Over the years, I’ve lived in places where I’ve heard people say that they “moved here to get away from it all”.
I have one word for the people who say this: ugh.
I have another: argh.
And a third one: STOP.
You know the type–these are the annoying suburbia-minded people who move to the outskirts of a metro area, or even further out, into a more rural setting, with the intention of “getting away from it all”.
There are two problems with this type of people:
- They aren’t cut out for outskirts/rural life. They bring their city/suburban mentality with them, and
- They tend not to come alone; they usually swarm in in droves, descending upon a quiet little place that was doing just fine before it made some list of “Top 10 Underrated Places To Live” or something.
My words “ugh” and “argh” have a clearer meaning now, don’t they?
People who move to the very outskirts of an area, or to a more rural area from the city or suburbs generally have no clue what to expect or how non-city life works. They haven’t done their homework. They haven’t looked up the pertinent information (beyond land values and home-to-work commute times, that is), nor have they spent much time in such an area before buying property there, nor have they talked to the other people who live there, nor have they thought far enough ahead to envision what their daily lives might look like.
Oh sure, if they’re (marginally) smarter than average, they may have gone so far as to drive the route between their desired property and their current workplace, but hell, anybody can make the drive once; it takes more imagination than most people are capable of to envision themselves making that trip to work and back every day, estimating the cumulative effects of enduring that commute day after day, after the novelty of the new house has worn off and the reality has set in.
It’s tempting to romanticize country or outskirts living while downplaying its headaches.
It’s one thing to make the drive out to the property once, probably during off-peak traffic times, to meet with the agent for a showing; it’s quite another to make that unprotected turn out of that rural driveway onto that surprisingly-busy-and-growing little county road every morning, behind 8, 10, 14 other cars trying to do the same thing.
And it’s one thing to tell oneself, wow, everybody’s nice out here! We sure beat the rest of the rat race of the city and now we’re free!, until it dawns on them (and hopefully it does) that they have to keep up their end of the bargain; those same neighbors are going to expect the same courtesy from the newcomer, too. They’re the new kid on the block, and the longtime residents are going to expect the newcomer to play by their rules, whether or not they’re aware of them. After all, it’s the city-slicker who came barging in to their turf–not the other way around.
It’s also one thing to imagine oneself standing at the kitchen window while fresh homemade brisket grills in the backyard, and it’s another thing entirely to deal with the reality that the property next door that bestows great views today will probably be snapped up by some other city-slicker with the same idea.
Because after all, they’re moving further out to “get away from it all”, too. Suddenly, the realization hits the newcomer that they weren’t so smart, so far ahead of the pack, after all.
The other unfortunate fact is, the city-slickers don’t come alone; their movement is usually not isolated but rather, part of a larger trend. And when other city-slickers move in, the earlier waves will whine and complain about every little facet of the city that they claimed to work so hard to get away from. They’ll actually moan and protest, “but we moved to this area to get away from that! We don’t appreciate dealing with that here, too! We moved here to get away from it all!”
The ugly truth is, that those people are the very same ones who end up bringing “it all” with them–the very same “it all” that they were trying to get away from. Of course they can’t move to get away from it all–they brought it with them! It’s not magically going to stop at the city limits; it’s not a cling-on on their U-haul. It’s a mindset, and obviously they didn’t let it go and truly embrace the Lower Population Density way of life.
And that, of course, circles back around to a failure to do one’s homework before signing on the property.
And if the city-slicker way of life hasn’t made the sprawl just yet, then the newcomers from the city will bitch about that, too.
“We need more cops out here; crime rates are going up.”
“They need a traffic light here. This road is getting too busy and it’s starting to take too long to turn.”
(Can’t imagine why…)
“Omg my property tax bill is sky-high this year! I thought that they’d be cheaper out here.”
(Well, when you start demanding more traffic lights and police officers… Because Basic Math.)
Really, city-slickers, what did you think was going to happen? When you move to the sticks and you pay for sticks and you get sticks, don’t complain about sticks! If you want the amenities of a city and you have a city mentality, why did you move out of the city?
There simply seems to be no logic in the minds of city-slickers and suburbanites. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. They demand the impossible and unrealistic, and then they whine when it doesn’t magically appear, just for them.
They come in droves, make unreasonable demands, stamp their feet and pitch a fit until they get their way, make asses of themselves the entire time, drive up property prices until the locals can no longer afford them, and then when they get sick and tired of the cesspool they’ve created, they have the luxury of moving out, moving on like locusts, to go rain hell down on the next hot-and-trendy place on the underrated, “undervalued” real estate list.
And the urban sprawl continues, running one town into another, creating mega-metroplexes.
And STOP, indeed.
The plaintiff rests, your honor.