Suburbanite/Urbanite

August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

I wonder if all city-dwellers are the same.

I have this habit, this Sunday afternoon ritual. I like looking at lists of weekend events to see what I missed and/or slept through – the “what if” of my weekend.

Here’s what I missed so far in 2013:

  • First Friday in January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August
  • Philly Beer Week
  • Manayunk Arts Festival
  • Free concerts at The Piazza
  • Manayunk Bike Race
  • Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary (for the fourth year in a row)
  • Shakespeare in Clark Park
  • The Mummer’s Parade
  • The entire concert season at The Mann

I had a good excuse for Philly Beer Week: my body doesn’t like gluten. And that’s a terrible truth to learn about yourself after 6 (legal) years of honing a distinctly craft taste.
(Confession: I spent a week drinking every gluten-free beer The Foodery sells before caving to my body’s medical needs.)

I live in Manayunk. I do not have good excuses for the Arts Festival or the Bike Race.

I moved to the city four years ago with opposite expectations: Nights out in NoLibs. Weekend dining in Center City. Brunch with bottomless mimosas every Sunday. Reclaiming my suburban high school and college years with a lush, urban life.

I did brunch with bottomless mimosas exactly twice. And one of those times was a year after I’d left the neighborhood.

With every year I live here, I go out less and less. You’re having a party? At Barcade? That’s a drive, into Fishtown. Ugh. Couldn’t you have picked an empty Roxborough dive instead?

Do I get up and go, or do I crack open another cider and marathon shows on Netflix? The decision is crushing, and now I want to take a nap.

Is this what happens as your 20s deplete, or after marriage? How many people plateau into a plain life, into suburban shells that drive home in cars on city streets and lock their apartment doors at 6pm? I’m one of those people. I was always one of those people.

Then I remember Ashley. She’s 30. She doesn’t look 30, though. She’s the kind of 30 that always makes you think 20-something. I thought 20-something the first time I met her in 2012, at a concert we flyered for the radio station. She wears the best scarves and she cuts her own hair. And when she’s 40-something, she’ll still be the same. Boundlessly adventurous.

We had a conversation about 20-somethings a week or so ago. She’s seeing a 27-year-old, and can’t get over how much he complains about being tired. Like, all the time. He works all day and crashes at night, somewhere around the 7:00 hour. He never wants to go out, what’s with him?

“And I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m 30. And I’ve got tons of energy. I don’t know what your problem is!'” And as she said that, I saw myself. I’m 27, and I don’t know what my problem is.

I came to the city to live, to absorb the energy and radiate with it. I came for experiences.

I’m 27 years old. And I need to get off the couch.

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