Sundays in Suburbia. The summertime hum of lawnmowers, the congenial rotation of mowing each other’s front garden. The reward of freshly baked brownies, so gooey they stick to the roof of your mouth like gum. The jovial “good morning” as paths of dog walking neighbours cross. The friendly wave as you drive past each other. Children that become natural friends due to proximity. Their laughter and fun that bubbles over into neighbouring gardens. The two male neighbours that take it on themselves to tidy up the shared green areas, regardless of how bad a job they do. The Christmas cards and invitations that come habitually through the door. Decorations that change as the seasons pass: Easter. Eggs to pumpkins to baubles. Life in Suburbia.
I moved here for the city, but here I am in Suburbia. The antithesis of the bustling, busy, boisterous city. The city with its foreboding gothic architecture, it’s populous streets, it’s life that never stops, and then there’s suburbia – houses slathered with sickly pastel hues, perfectly manicured gardens preened and primed by a woman on the verge of being ensconced by the domesticity around her (maybe I’m thinking too much of Edward Scissorhands). The city is fast, youthful, suburbia is slow, mature. Suburbia symbolised settling down, giving up, the city was where the dreamers went. I saw the divide like opposites in my mind – the city was yellow and the suburbs blue, little did I know that they could merge together to bask in the green.
And there I am, I’m close enough to dip my toe in the enthralling pool of city life, I can pull it out just as quick and retire to the comfort of home. Walk the dog, wave at the neighbours, and in 15 minutes be marching through the city at metropolitan speed. Suburbia is not what it used to be. Women with their uniformed short blonde bob and brown boots drop their children to school, departing just after their husband leaves in the better car off the driveway. It looks like she doesn’t work, and he’s off to work at 6am to pay the bills. Really, she’s built up a tech empire from her sofa, and got him the BMW as a gift, but you wouldn’t know that. The children go door to door in the summertime, selling things for charity, to make a difference – their dreams are big. The suburban couple uniform is optional; there’s no blonde bob or stress induced receding hairline to be seen here. The uniformity of suburban living is out; dreamers are in.