Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Longing

I hate where I live. No. I loathe where I live.

Aside from the fact that I am a fish out of water in every sense of the word, and that I simply cannot abide the interminable summers where heat and humidity and bugs make us captive inside our homes for 6 months out of the year, I hate how we live.

We live on the outskirts of Atlanta in a modest suburban enclave. Our home is a nondescript crackerbox that lacks grace and character. There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood. No. Sidewalks. Who ever heard of a neighborhood with no sidewalks?

The subdivision is bordered on three sides by very busy roads; roads that seperate the residential from the commercial. My children cannot walk or bike anywhere, nor can I. We are completely dependant upon our car for even the smallest errand.

There is no life in this neighborhood. I can go days without seeing actual people, though of course they are here.

I am isolated and alone during the day. If I want to encounter living breathing human beings, I have to avail myself of contrived and superficial social gatherings...the very kind of thing that I avoid at all costs.

Husband's commute takes an hour on good days, through snarling traffic and surly drivers and belching exhaust. Last night, he made the fatal mistake of leaving at 4:00 instead of his usual time, 3:30, and it took him a full 90 minutes from door to door. He works only 30 miles from our home.

I am unhappy. Terribly, profoundly, inextricably, unhappy.

I long for the simplicity of the small-ish town where I grew up. We walked to school and when we were old enough, we biked. We walked to the park, the library, the corner candy store that is still there and where my sister still walks with her children for a special treat.

The summers are brief but glorious, the fall crisp and satisfying, the winters, yes, long, but not nearly as long as the scorching southern summers. And spring there...it's like rebirth when the winter looses its icy grip.

There are no venomous reptiles, or alligators or scorpions or cockroaches the size of small rodents.

My children are growing up in this vast metropolitan cesspool and I hate it. They are growing up in a land of intolerance and bigotry and I hate it. They are growing up to value things and judge people by the face they show to the world and I hate it.

I hate that they see my parents once a year, twice if they're lucky. I am profoundly resentful that the grandparents who can see them whenever they please, rarely do.

I hate that since they were born, I have been on my own.

I hate that they don't know their cousins. I hate the they don't know what a wonderful person my Auntie Carol is, or get the benefit of her particular brand of grandmotherly attention.

I hate that they don't know anything about how or where I grew up and probably never will. All they will ever know is this.

I talk to husband about it of course. And he agrees it would be a better way of life, but it is token agreement at best for he doesn't really want to leave. And always there is some obstacle or impediment. The job market, the housing crisis, the taxes! For him it's a practical matter. It's not the right time. It never will be.

I don't know how to make him understand that every day that we remain here, my spirit dies a little bit more. It dies of loneliness and boredom and homesickness. It dies of not belonging. It dies with the knowledge that I will one day have to say my good-byes to a dead body. It dies with the regret of having left behind the privilege of being with them while they are alive.

Sometimes, when I can't keep the homesickness at bay, I go online and look at realestate in that town. I always find the perfect thing of course. It's torture and I should know better. Most of the time I recognize that, but sometimes the need to look is just too much.

Today was one of those days. And of course, I found the perfect thing. I am angry that it cannot be mine. That it will probably never be mine.

I can usually push the anger and resentment away. I am lucky in so many respects. I have a wonderful husband and our marriage is strong. But I wonder what happens when I get that call, and it's too late. I wonder if the resentment will be so easily quelled in the throes of grief. I worry that it will tear us apart.

Jesus. Living between worlds is such a mess. I don't recommend it at all.

29 Comments:

  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger PunditMom said…

    What a powerful post. While I a lucky to live in an area I like, I, too, feel much of what you describe -- the grandparents being too far for the grandchildren and the loneliness of today's neighborhood's. I guess that's one of the reason's we're all here trying to connect. No sidewalks, but there are people.

     
  • At 6:21 PM, Blogger liv said…

    Maybe you could talk your husband into making a 3-5 year plan to escape? I know this is hard. I suffered, wanting to be where you are when we moved south. Now, I've grown accustomed to things, my friends, etc... Living miserably is the worst.

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    It hurts like a mother, doesn't it?

     
  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Simon said…

    Perhaps your husband should read your post. It says a lot, and says it to the world. For you to say publicly how you feel says just how much you feel it.

    I don't know the area you live in, but can you not move a little to be out of the urban area? Your husband could commute by train perhaps, which is far easier on the stress levels. I'd lay money that all of you would have a more enjoyable life.

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    I've so been there in the past. Not now, but in my past I was stuck in a place I loathed and I ended up with a sorry case of agoraphobia from the stress.

    I like Liv's idea of a 3-5 year plan. I don't know what your husband's job is, but Atlanta isn't the only city where he can work, surely. But the housing market does suck in Atlanta. My close friend Neener has been trying to sell her gorgeous in town home in Druid Hills for months and months. Not an offer in sight.

    You need to show your husband your post. He needs to understand that you're a team, and if you're wilting day by day, that team spirit is going to leave your body and then he'll be just as unhappy as you are.

    Hugs! And maybe you need a quick trip up north to visit a blog friend in, oh, say, Boston?

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can I suggest that you try to talk to him and make plans when you are on holiday, away from home. Sometimes you need to be out of your rut before escape can seem a possiblity.
    Kay (New Zealand)

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger URBAN PEDESTRIAN said…

    That's awful. It sounds like a soul-sucking place in which to suffer through your days. You need to get out. Really. I agree with the rest of your blogging friend - you need to make your husband see what this is doing to your family - to you, your children and to your relationship. There are so many beautiful, wonderful, uplifting places to live -- really live, that you should do whatever is necessary to surround yourself with a nurturing environment

     
  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    You know, when I have these moments, I think the universe is prompting me to act.

    Perhaps it's time to start scouting out locations and exploring how you can make a move? At the same time, you might find some sort of activity that you do just for you: taking a class; walking; volunteering somewhere. You might start to see your current surroundings differently if you jolt yourself out of your funk by making a change, no matter how small. You have the power and you can do it. I wish you luck!

     
  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    I don't envy your entire situation. On occasion my husband and I consider moving away for better work prospects or cheaper housing but we just can't leave family. Maybe you can keep working on him?

    As for the no sidewalks issue: It sounds just like Massachusetts. Not many sidewalks here.

     
  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    I know exactly what you are talking about.. and while you don't have the freedom to make this choice because of your kids.. sometimes being poor is preferable to being miserable.

    This area where I am living now doesn't feed my soul either which is why I'm heading off for Berkeley for a few years. Then Khon Kaen.

    Life is just too short to be miserable indefinitely.

     
  • At 9:07 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Oh, hon. Show your husband this post, please?

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger jen said…

    oh, honey.

    shit.

     
  • At 12:01 AM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    it is hard not to feel at home.

    and we have no sidewalks either. it is appalling.

     
  • At 12:16 AM, Anonymous pgoodness said…

    I'm sorry. I can feel your pain and desperation and aloneness and it brings tears to my eyes for you. The one thing I know for sure is that most men fear change. Perhaps if you had a specific, real plan on paper that shows that YES you can move, and YES it will work that it will move things in the right direction. Don't be miserable - have him read your post. Maybe he's not really hearing what you're saying...

     
  • At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "every day that we remain here, my spirit dies a little bit more"

    Mine too Sis....cuz none of my friends are...well they aren't YOU. So much time passes that we can't get back. Come home! Make him understand.

     
  • At 1:19 AM, Blogger mrinz said…

    Your post is such a sad one.

    There must be a way to compromise. There must.

    Perhaps it may take a crisis. Sometimes it takes a crisis to initiate change.

    Maybe you might have to engineer that crisis!

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My husband, 2 young boys & I moved from metropolitan to suburbia 6 years ago without either of us even having jobs! Like you, I had found a house online, came for a visit to see my parents & we looked at the house together. We both loved the older home with lots of character for different reasons.

    After the move, in the first 12 days of living back in my hometown, we knew more people in our neighborhood than we did in the 12 years we lived in a busy city.

    Kids need to be able to run free (somewhat), ride their bikes, and have neighorhood friends of all ages. While I'm not a Hilary Clinton fan, it DOES take a village to raise good, well rounded children.

    Take the risk - move home - while it's incredible scary - it'll be worth it in the end! Your kids deserve it - you and your husband deserve it!

    We thought we had a good life in the big city - but our life here in a small town is exponentionally better.

     
  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe you can convince your husband to circulate his resume to some Headhunters in the region you'd prefer to live. If he got a couple of bites and realized that his skills are valuable elsewhere, its possible that he may warm to the idea of taking a risk and changing locations. Your dh seems successful - chances are he may be much in demand. Good luck.

     
  • At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know exactly what you mean. I feel that way sometimes, too. I live north of Atlanta and my neighborhood is that way, too. Houses are set back from the road, no sidewalks, and neighbors who prefer to keep to themselves. I try and make friends through my kids, but those types of relationships are always guarded because when it comes down to it, these people are the parents of my children's classmates. The Mom's Club was not a disaster, but it wasn't the source of lifelong friendships, either.

    Funny thing is, I pretty much made my husband move here because I fell in love with some of the small towns and historical character that Florida always lacked. The seasons are nice, too.

     
  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    I know how it feels to hate where you live. I hated living where I did in MI...despised it. Cried when I would return from vacations because I knew that cesspool was awaiting me. My homes were nice, the neighborhoods were nice, but the greater Detroit area was not for me.

    Moving to a place you can enjoy can make all the difference...despite the fact that we've had to sell the dream home we built from a vision in my head, I'm still happy. I love my little city and it matters more than the house I live in.

    This next year looks like it will remain a buyer's market...I'll wish for you that you can take advantage of that in the town you love.

     
  • At 9:37 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I am 1,000 miles away from my family and sometimes so homesick for them that it hurts physically. But, luckily, I love where we live so that at least makes it better.

    Georgia is a whole other world, isn't it? I lived in Augusta for a bit... and though I loved living in a new place, it was like a foreign country in many ways.

    Hope there is a way for you to find a happy medium somehow...

     
  • At 11:16 PM, Anonymous lisa said…

    I so feel your pain. We are from the midwest (Ohio) and lived in South Carolina for 5 years which I absolutely and profoundly hated. Then we lived in Peachtree City for a year. There were sidewalks, but I still hated it. A midwestern girl living in the south just doesn't work. I never fit in. So I feel your pain. We live in Iowa now where we plan to stay. Cold, gray, and land locked. But it feels like home. Show hubby your post. Mine says al the time how he has a happier wife now. Good luck.

     
  • At 11:24 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    I do understand where you are coming from. I live in the Columbus, GA area and though I know it's nothing compared to the Atlanta area, I sometimes find myself longing to move far, far away, to someplace like Maine or New Zealand.

     
  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger D said…

    OMG, I bet we live in the SAME SUBDIVION! Except my husband drives 110 miles round trip to work each day! I have a 6 MONTH PLAN! It's too bad there are no real jobs where we really want to be. But one must EAT. *sigh*
    Every 2 months or so, I throw a pity party and tell my husband I hate this hell hole he's brought us to. and I'm used to hell holes, we were in the military for 18 years. and I LOVE the south, I'm from the south. But honey, this place is not the real south or country.

     
  • At 8:28 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    This sounds tough. I'm sorry.

     
  • At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Steff said…

    We live in the country....rural country....6 acres in NE oklahoma. I love my house and our area, we have holiday potlucks and 5 of us in our area have little boys in the 3-5 age bracket(3 of us have 2 of them) Its awesome. But I dont see my hubby who I adore every night I am lucky if I get 4 days every 5 weeks or so. I miss him terribly but could not even fathom moving back to the "city" or even a "city" type life. We are just now becoming financially stable for the first time in our married life, but I am not always sure thats what matters.
    Steff

     
  • At 3:48 PM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    i can relate. we live in a suburb that is, ahem, "blue collar" (which is polite-speak for "trashy"). our particular neighborhood is nice, and we have sidewalks, but we're surrounded by little boxy ranches in various states of disrepair and neglect. not to mention the majority of these "neighbors" are ignorant, redneck, hillbilly folk. i could overlook all that if we didn't live in the midwest, where summer ends in september and winter drags on til damn near june--i hate winter. i hate winter so much it makes me cry. my best friend lives in florida and yes, i often peruse the help wanteds and real estate ads in tampa. and then pout when my husband refuses to move to florida because it's too humid, there are too many mosquitoes, it would be hard for him to find a job, ad nauseum. so i try to make the best of what we have and where we are, but it's sometimes damned hard.

    you're not alone.

     
  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    I wish I could help. Your husband really should read your post.

     
  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    I KNOW! I lived in a place I hated for almost 5 years. It just sucked. I kept trying to play those head games with myself..."just get involved, join some groups..." but it never worked. It just wasn't my place. I moved 2 years ago this month and the day I moved, I felt better.

    I hope you find your good place.

     

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