Monday, October 26, 2009

Domesticity

Here's what I've learned about myself since moving to Denver: I'm very domestic. And I like it that way.

When I say "domestic" I don't mean that I like keeping house, per se. I'm not exactly a neat freak, and I only cook on rare occasions (Torsten has pretty much taken over the cooking duties since we moved into our house, and I like it that way).

No, what I mean is that I like staying in. I like being at home. And when I do go out, I like to do things that also feel fairly domestic.

For example: I like to go for walks and hikes. I like to go to the gym. I like doing the grocery shopping and other errands. I like going to the dog park. I like going to restaurants. In short, I like routine.

This weekend we ran some errands. We took the dog for a walk in a nearby park in the snow. We watched football. We went to the dog park. We cuddled in front of the fire. We slept. We cooked. And it was lovely and perfect.

I don't like going out to bars or clubs. I don't feel the need to hit up the latest festival or opening or museum exhibit. We subscribe to a local magazine, and I do peruse the calendar for listings of things we'd be interested in, but they tend to be more along the lines of a nearby farmer's market, and not so much with latest hip hangout spot. We hardly ever even bother going to the movies, even when there's something playing that we both want to see.

It's not that we never leave the house, or wish we didn't have to. We do get out and about. But our interests are in very specific things, like exploring the mountains and foothills and parks nearby.

This is part of why we didn't want to live in DC anymore. DC is a great city in a lot of ways, and it is priced accordingly. To me, it is absolutely worth paying the high cost of living in a big city if you love that city and take advantage of its unique offerings. We didn't. We didn't love DC and we never went to the museums or fairs or anything else that was going on. In fact, we tried to stay away from those things because we didn't like the hassle of the crowds.

So for us, the cost of living in DC wasn't worth the benefit. And there were several simple things missing--things like the ability to own a car without huge hassle, and having easy access to a Target and other suburban amenities, and affordable housing.

And yet, I still remember the comment a friend made when we told him we were moving to Denver. He said, "What a surprise. I always thought of you guys as more urban."

And at the time, you know what? I was offended by that. I thought we WERE urban. We handled living in DC. We even liked it. We weren't intimidated by the pace or the atmosphere or the people. We were at home there. And I was all like, we ARE urban. We're young urban professionals--the very definition of yuppie. And we like it. And Denver is a city too.

But now, I've realized that actually? We aren't urban. We like our house and our peaceful neighborhood. We like living in a dog-friendly area with lots of open spaces. We like having a car and driving to the mall if we need to run an errand, instead of spending an hour transferring on the Metro and the bus. We like having access to so many gorgeous hiking areas. We like Denver. And yeah, we like the downtown area too. But mostly just to have a nice meal and then take a nice walk.

And I like it this way. I'm domestic, I'm not urban, and I'm very happy with things the way they are. And it only took me 25 years to figure that out.

23 comments:

  1. I moved to the suburbs at 24, I think, and I've never looked back.

    Even before I had kids, I liked doing ... domestic-y things, like what you described. I think, honestly, it's part of why having Sam didn't really mess with my life that much. I miss going out to dinner sometimes, but that's about it, and I can satisfy that with delicious take-out after the kid's in bed.

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  2. YAY! I love this. I am also a domestic, just as you described. Except I cook a lot, when I have the time.

    You're going to be such a great mom for this, you know it? When you're happily settled in, I think it makes having kids so much easier.

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  3. I like domestic stuff too, a lot, but for whatever reason our recent move to the suburbs is killing me dead. I miss the city wlike crazy. But that may be in part because our city neighborhood is residential, with easy walks to parks and restaurants and groceries, and it's easy to keep a car there, so I don't have to make the same tradeoffs. There's even a target 5 minutes away!

    Now I've gotten myself all depressed thinking about what I'm missing. Sigh.

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  4. I like domestic stuff too, but I'd just about kill someone to be able to go out to a movie. Also - good deal on Torsten doing most of the cooking. :) I LOVE cooking, but sometimes it would be nice not to have to.

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  5. I totally hear you on the public transportation thing. Going ANYWHERE in Chicago usually takes an hour and multiple forms of public transportation. It gets old really fast, especially when its 10 degrees and snowing out.

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  6. I enjoy domestic life as well. I'm much more of a suburban girl than an urban one. I almost never go to Chicago because I hate the crowds.

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  7. I'm not super urban. There are times when I wonder if B and I would have liked living in a loft downtown for a few years, but we like our yard and dog and a house we own. The partying every night after college with my girlfriends didn't appeal to me - that's what college was for.

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  8. I think you can be domestic and urban (case in point: me). But, I agree with you on many fronts. For me, it was buying my own home that made me want to spend more time in it.

    When I rented apartments, I rarely painted walls. I didn't have furniture I was vested in (mostly hand-me-downs). I didn't invest in art. I always felt temporary (and it usually was).

    When I bought my first condo, I bought grown-up furniture to fit it. I painted the walls colors to make it mine. I began buying serious art to replace the countless framed posters. And I began to love spending time in the place I made into my home.

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  9. I call that being a homebody. =)
    Going to a friend's house is so much more fun than going to a bar, in my opinion.

    I like living in the suburbs but living close enough to the city that I have access to all that other cultural stuff too, just in case.

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  10. I like spending time at home, but I really enjoy going out with people to bars and restaurants. So I would consider myself domestic and urban.

    I wouldn't want to live in the suburbs of Atlanta because trying to get in and out of the city is ridiculous because of the traffic. For now I'm happy with being a city girl. Maybe in 10-15 years, I may change my mind!

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  11. that's why VA is so perfect for me. i have a nice spacious apartment, a car, malls/targets/etc within easy range, but ALSO the metro across the street to take me downtown for all the festivals / parties / bars / gallery openings that make dc fun for me :-)

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  12. Living in a big city doesn't mean you can't be "domestic" as you describe it. I live in a city of 1, 000, 000+ people and I own a car and drive to where I need to go and own a home [all by myself] and run my errands and take lots of walks in the green space that is all around me in my neighbourhood. I just think that every city has a different mood and clearly DC wasn't the right fit for you. Some cities want you out and about filling its space, they want to feed off of your energy, and some cities just want you to chill out and relax on your front porch with a drink in your hand. I think it has far less to do with domesticity and just with matching your surroundings to your insides.

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  13. AMEN! I agree completely! I sometimes think Queens gets frustrated with me because I am definitely more subburban and domestic than she is. I like staying home. I like spending Friday nights cuddled on the couch with Achoo watching Psych.

    I don't think I could handle living in a city. I like grass and people saying 'hello' and driving to the store.

    But to each his own!

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  14. Right now we live in the suburbs of Portland and it is my first experience living in the convergence space of urban and rural and I have to say I think it's a good fit. I like that everything I need is close by and that there is easy access to variety when I want it but I also like that the variety is not shoved in my face every time I leave my apartment. So I wouldn't say that it is urban v. domestic :) I'd say its hyper urban v. sub urban :)

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  15. Oh man, me too. Moving to Boston really made me realize how much I love the suburbs. Give me a house, a yard, a good grocery store, and ample parking.

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  16. Totally with you on this one...except to note that even in the suburbs a person can live a life of frantic event-ing. Back before we had kids, even, my MIL used to call EVERY OTHER SECOND with "ideas" for how we could spend our time--NewWest Fest! The symphony is playing! There's a great play at the Bas Bleu Theatre! How about we go to the play and then the Fest and then stop at the Rio for a drink afterwards! And this was in a town of not much more than 100K. EXHAUSTING, just to field the phone calls.

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  17. PS: I kreative blogger awarded you! :)

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  18. I think buying a house has that effect on a lot of people. I'm much more content to stay home now than I was when I lived in an apartment. That said, I do like to take advantage of the things a city has to offer. Just not every weekend, I guess.

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  19. I'm the OPPOSITE OF DOMESTIC. Which isn't to say I'm not a total homebody. But I'm also lazy and need convenience.

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  20. I'm right with you sister!

    Sometimes, I feel like I'm "old" or something, cause everybody my age is just clubbing and getting drunk. But, I don't like that anymore, I don't feel the need to do those things. I like being at home with my honey and doing couply/domestic stuff ;)

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  21. That is so funny, I was literally just thinking the same thing. I would so much rather stay at home than be out, and often my weekends are filled with dogs, parks, dinner with my fiance, and our latest Netflix deliveries (Friday Night Lights = awesome). I used to feel badly about it, like I should be trying to do more/see more people. I've realized lately that it's my life and it makes me happy. So I'm going with it.

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  22. I totally get it. I love the city and I have lived in the city all of my adult life until about 5 months ago. I'm in the suburbs now, across the street from Target, and I love it. I can't wait to buy a house in a nice neighborhood and have kids who can ride their bikes in the street and play with their neighbor friends. We're about 20 minutes outside of downtown Seattle and it's perfect. When we want a dose of city life, we can just hop on the bus or drive into the city.

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