When you’ve lived in a major city for most of your adult life, it can be a pretty big change to move to the suburbs. While I was definitely ready for it when I relocated from New York to South Jersey, I kind of wished there had been a support group of former city dwellers or something out here to help me make the transition: Can you still get away with not having a car? Do random acts of impromptu weirdness still show up on your walk to work? Are there are any good Thai/Indian/other takeout places around? In short, how do you cope with not having everything at your fingertips anymore?
Over the past year, I’ve managed to work my way through most of the issues, and generally, I’m a lot happier now than I had been in my last year or two in the city. But there are a lot of things I’m still working on getting over, and I’m sure anyone else who’s ever moved from a city to the 'burbs is either currently (or has been) in the same proverbial boat as me. Raise your hand if one or more of these things applies to you — because there are some things only we ex-city dwellers can truly understand.
You’re jaw-droppingly surprised at how far your paycheck goes now...
What? You mean my rent does not eat up half my pre-tax earnings every month? And I have way more living space now? Surely you jest!
But you don’t understand why in God's name everything closes at 6 p.m.
Say goodbye to late-night bodega trips when the Ben & Jerry’s craving to end all Ben & Jerry’s cravings hits.
You’re still mourning the loss of all your favorite Seamless options
But you’re also proud of yourself for broadening your culinary horizons
I consider learning how to make a passable chicken tikka masala to be one of my crowning achievements.
You're amazed you don’t have to limit your grocery-shopping trips to items you can carry home ten blocks...
A magical thing happens when you grocery shop with a car: You can cram as much as you want in your cart, and you’ll never have issues getting it home. Hoorah!
Only now you feel like you have to get all of your errands done in one fell swoop
Well, technically you don’t have to, but if you get home and figure out that you forgot one thing at Target, it feels like a ton of effort to drive all the way back there, get it, and come home again. Gone are the days of walking two blocks to the nearest Duane Reade for those last-minute items. Sigh.
Even though you have a car, going places seems like it requires so much more planning
Sure, checking to make sure the subway lines aren’t experiencing any weird delays or unfortunate construction could be a little complicated, but at least all you had to do was hop on the correct train whenever you needed to get somewhere. Now you have to plan car trips.
And it kind of bums you out that there’s a lot less nearby that you can walk to
Living where I do now, I can reasonably walk to the library, the post office, the liquor store, an ice cream shop…and that’s about it. Not that those four things aren’t useful; it just gets a little difficult to change up your routine when there’s nowhere else to go.
Episodes of How I Met Your Mother when Lily and Marshall move to Long Island make sense now
Except maybe for the whole burning beekeeper thing.
You sleep so. much. better.
You never have to worry about drunk people waking you up by bellowing Rebecca Black’s “Friday” at the top of their lungs as they stagger by your apartment in the whee hours of the morning. True story.
But it can be a little creepy at night when you’re home alone
In the suburbs, no one can hear you scream.
Trash day does not require gas masks, and it is marvelous
There’s really something to be said for being able to walk down the street without needing to hold your breath for 10 minutes at a time.
You're amazed you don’t have to get in line early on opening weekend for movie tickets now
Heck, you don’t even have to buy your movie tickets online anymore because nothing is ever sold out.
But you’re annoyed that there aren’t any cinemas playing that art-house flick you wanna see
Sometimes you feel like you live in a cultural wasteland.
It’s absolutely astounding that you can stand outside without any high-rise buildings ruining the view
But you’re unexpectedly conflicted about the absence of random mariachi bands
When I first moved to New York, I loved the fact that random mariachi bands routinely appeared in odd places. They got old pretty fast, though, and I started rolling my eyes every time they appeared. Now, though? I kind of miss them. It’s weird.
Being able to see the stars is so effing cool
There’s so much light pollution in New York that I’d literally almost forgotten there was such a thing as stars in the sky. Now I can see them all the time, and I love it.
The scariest thing in your life right now is getting back behind the wheel of a car
When you haven’t driven in years because you just haven’t needed to (who owns a car in the city?)… it’s bad. It’s really bad.
You find it strange that you actually have to make an effort to workout now
If walking everywhere used to be your primary source of exercise…well, you’d better figure something else out.
Leaving the house when it rains doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world anymore
It’s not nearly as bad when the most you’ll be outside is for the 30 seconds it takes to get to and from the car.
One word: Costco
But at least no matter where you are, you can always count on one thing to be constant...
Internet and cable service providers will always suck.
God bless America.