Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Never Say Never

Something strange is happening. Ever since I moved to the suburbs, all I could think about was how much I missed the city. Granted, Houston is not the most exciting city I've ever experienced, but it has more going on than the suburbs.

I've gone on and on about how there is a nail salon, bank, or church on every corner in Katy, yet there are not enough good restaurants or stores. I've ranted about the homogeny of the people and everything else. I've called it vanilla. I've driven into the city for entertainment nearly every weekend. However, something has shifted in me recently and it is becoming more and more palpable.

Ever since we returned from New York a few weeks ago, I have secretly liked living here a little more. Sure, I love Manhattan and think it's one of the most exciting places in the world, but I'm not sure if I would like living there. Things would be different if I were single and had carved out a different path. If that were the case, I think I would like to give Manhattan living a try, but it's not. When we came home, it was kind of nice being in a slower paced environment. But enough about Manhattan as it is not a fair comparison. It's apples and oranges and we need to compare apples to apples, so Houston and Katy it is.

I've started to put things into perspective and have really started looking at the big picture. The crime in Houston has increased in the past couple of years (there was even a shoot out at a church in the tony West University area last night) and Houston ISD would not be my top choice for my children. Believe me, I would know, as I have taught in Houston ISD. Also, those who are familiar with Houston real estate know that you get a lot more for your money in the suburbs and you don't have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a private school education. Katy ISD is among the top rated school districts in Texas. Yes, I've taught there, too.

This weekend, we had an open house at the school where I teach and I met a lot of my new students and their families. I've complained about the lack of diversity in the past, but things are changing. I have students who have moved here from California, Connecticut, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, and Dubai. If there is one thing I've learned from teaching both in the city and in the suburbs it is that kids are essentially the same everywhere. They may not wear the same clothes or have the same interests, but in the end they only know what is familiar to them. Their worlds generally consist of the fifteen mile radius immediately surrounding their community.

This area is growing very quickly and I am confident that we will eventually have many of the things that I like in Houston. Does that mean that I will stop going to the museum district? No, but I can get there in 20 minutes. Will I stop going into town for my favorite restaurants and stores? Of course not. Will I stop loving the stately mansions of River Oaks, West University, Southampton, and Memorial? Don't be silly.

For now at least, I think that I could be happy living in the suburbs as it would be best for my phantom children. However, we will be a well cultured and open minded family. I will never turn into some of the Stepford Wives I've encountered here and will probably be a little more liberal and progressive than most of my neighbors and I'm okay with that. Maybe I will rub off on them.

We'll see if I keep feeling this way or if it is just the August heat. All I can say is never say never.


Sheri said...

Okay, I think you have hit the nail on the head here for how I am feeling about the Katy-area right now. I was almost in tears the other day thinking we made a mistake moving out here after dealing with the close-mindedness. I actually felt bad the other day for Madison because we offended one of her friends' mother. I am kicking myself for that now, but that's a whole other story.

All I have to say is that your phantom children can play with my girls any day. At least I know you won't freak out if your children see boobs in a piece of art-- okay that was the stupid situation.

mrsplainjane said...

Oh no, you are going to the suburb dark side!! Just kidding. :) Like I can talk!! There are definitely different pros and cons of both... grass is always greener!