A Weekend in the Suburbs
A weekend away from Philadelphia is kind of a necessity after dealing with the so- called charm of the city for any significant amount of time, but a weekend in the suburbs is way different than a visit to NYC or a trek "down the shore" (which don't even get me started about that saying). A weekend in the suburbs makes me simultaneously feel two ways:
A weekend in the suburbs is staying at a B&B where you make your own breakfast and don't make the bed. It's nostalgia wrapped up in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Poke my belly and tell me it's real. It's the cheesy filling of a Tostito's Pizza Roll. It's the whipped coolness of a Starbucks Mocha Frappucino. It's the ethnic diversity you find at Trader Joe's/Giotto's/Jose's. Have I given you enough commercial metaphors yet to get where I'm going with this? I’m not really going anywhere.
It's the kind of good you feel bad about, or the kind of safe that makes you restless. It's what I'm always writing about and can't get away from.
But mostly, it's two things again: it's me and it's not me. It's where I come from, what I grew up with, and what I ran away from. There's strip after strip filled with tanning salons, Smoothie Kings, and Pizza Huts, betwixt big open yards with clean non-city grass and roads without potholes! I made tacos with a seasoning packet rather than trying to get the right mix of spices on my own and I ate prepackaged guacamole rather than mashing up fresh avocados and it felt just fine. Because, really, I ate tacos which is the same thing I would have been doing in Philadelphia, or in New York, or pretty much anywhere I could have gone.
The point is I love tacos? Absolutely! And maybe that regardless of the location, or the ingredients, the company (and the air conditioning) makes all the difference. And I guess also that vacations are always about food. That’s not it.
There's a characteristic of suburban sprawl that can make every town seem just like every town you've been to before. It's the boring version of Invisible Cities, lacking the mystery and charm of ancient cities and landscapes that most people only see on each month's calendar image. And I think that's what strikes me the most when I step away from my city footprints and revisit any town similar to the ones I grew up in: the wanderlust, the dichotomy of needing to feel safe yet wanting to explore beyond myself and the places I know so well. Going "home" only makes me want to see more.
It was beautiful outside last weekend, and that’s an undeniable fact as it’s now April 16th (Happy Birthday Mama! #shameless #makingmomfamous #IWISH) and I’ve only worn NO PANTS twice. Well, in public. It got me thinking after my second hamburger and my twentieth gin and tonic, how many people in Philadelphia were having as pleasant of a time as I was?
Here are my estimates:
Number of Hamburgers/Hotdogs/Tofu dogs grilled: 625,014
Number of beers drank: 2,818,000
Number of cigarettes smoked: 1,500,000
Number of Sloppy Kisses: 412,001
Number of One Night Stands: 412,000
Number of Bad Decisions: 12 (On the first nice weekend of the year, a bad decision has to be like "I threw my best friend into a running car while posting it on Vine" BAD.)
Number of Too-Short Shorts worn: 320,000
Number of Sunburns acquired: 320,000
Number of Frisbees thrown: 609
Number of College Kids hammered: 450,000
Number of Brunches brunched: 9,542
Number of Selfies snapped: 2,345,678
Number of Smiles smiled: 1,548,000
Come back soon, Sun. I’ve got more porches to sit on.
heavy heeled when walking; heavy handed when pouring a drink