When Jim and I began dating I was a bona fide city girl. He, who lived in Kane County, claims that I said I would never, ever move to the suburbs. I’m pretty sure what I said was that I’m a city girl. I wasn’t opposed to the suburbs; I just loved living in the city. I loved shopping at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Sundays and strolling a couple blocks to Revolution Brewing for a pint. Downtown was a quick ride on the blue line. It didn’t hurt that the city was my business. The city was in my blood.
Jim moved in and after a few years of domestic bliss in a three flat across from an elementary school, our landlord decided to increase our rent by 46%. So, we decided to put everything in storage and be nomads for six months, using a friend’s basement as a base when we needed a break. During that time, I realized I didn’t want to spend the majority of my income on housing.
To the suburbs we went, and we’ve been suburbanites ever since.
I still love Chicago. Oh, I do. But I’m leaning more and more towards a quieter pace and a place where I can find peace and quiet within a five minute drive. We live a quarter mile from the Prairie Trail, a 28-mile rail trail. There are nearly thirty conservation areas in our county alone, and I’ve hiked every one of them. My neighbor and I regularly exchange baked goods. (I know that’s not a suburb thing, but I never had that in my thirteen years in Chicago.)
This year, our home in the quaintly-named Lake in the Hills has been the perfect place. We have enough space that we don’t get on each other’s nerves…too much. I can grill. I can garden. I have access to one of the best cancer centers around and getting to my treatments is easy. I cannot be around people right now, and out here, it’s easy to go for a walk without worrying that anyone will get too close.
There’s something about today’s wig that kinda says “Suburbanite” to me. It’s coiffed and curled and looks like a colorist used multiple shades. It’s also the closest match to my natural color. Is it a style I’d normally wear? Nope. But when I put this on, I felt comfortable. I felt pretty.
Today’s outfit is made up of a shirt and boots I haven’t worn in years. One of the side effects I’m experiencing is weight loss. I tell you – I’m not terribly upset about weighing less than I have since the early days of our relationship. (What can I say? Jim moved in and I made gravy. A lot of gravy.) The necklace and earrings were my grandmother’s. Mom said I can keep them. The leather jacket is Jim’s. Yep. I’m wearing my boyfriend’s jacket.
Will I ever move back to the city? Maybe. But for now, I’m exactly where I want to be.
Jim, however, is perfecting his Las Vegas lounge act.