Friday, June 6, 2008

Dreaming of a Cat-Centered Community

Hubby and I are in serious discussions about selling our house and relocating to the next state over where the cost of living is quite a bit cheaper. It's a tough thing for us to do because we LOVE where we live and especially love our home. But with the economy being what it is and the cost of everything skyrocketing (everything, that is, except for salaries) something has to give, and for us, it looks like it will be location.

We are planning to stay within the general metropolitan area and the towns we are investigating are within 20 miles of our current house so we are already generally familiar with the area. To do more in-depth research into exactly where to relocate, however, I started posting on a discussion board that is specifically geared toward people helping others decide where to live/relocate.

So how is all this relevant to the CF issue? I will tell you how. Practically 75% of the advice asked for and given on that site concerns school systems. People are obsessed with this subject! There's talk about School System X being #3 on the list of best school districts versus School System Y which is only #20. There are drawn-out arguments (practically flame wars) over whose town has the better school system, people agonizing over what town to move to - "we absolutely love Smedleyville, but we're worried that the schools aren't as good as Whoville!" Their whole lives are dictated by SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

And here I am, in the middle of this board and all I want to know is, which towns are quaint, pretty, quiet, with older architecture, a nice old-fashioned main street, liberal residents, easy access to public transportation and shopping, reasonable property taxes and a nice park nearby where I can plant my ass on a Sunday afternoon (hopefully as far as possible from obnoxious parents with kids).

Situations like this constantly remind me how in practically every facet of life, things are so much easier for us because we don't have children. Take this situation - we can live wherever the hell we want - even in a bombed-out war zone if that's what tickles our fancy - with no worries about school systems or whether an area is good for children. And let's face it - the simple truth is that areas that are best for children and families, aren't usually that exciting for anyone else.

Take our town, for example. It's all about families, and I am not talking families like mine - i.e. husband, wife and 3 cats. I am talking about people with kids....every community activity it seems is centered around "families". Every year in early spring, our township mails us a brochure containing a listing of upcoming parks and rec programs and events and there is rarely anything in there that would appeal to people like hubby and me. There are "programs for children", "programs for seniors", "family events" out the wazoo - movie night at the local park where they show "Shrek" and other mindless kiddie crap. Nothing interesting for adults who who don't have kids. I guess they figure why bother - since most adults don't have time for fun activities because they are tied down with kids - hence all the family activities.

The simplest solution , of course, would be to move to the city, but we're not really city people. We like to live near the city. We like to work in the city. We like to go out with friends in the city. But aside from that, we're too fond of those lovely suburban things that you just don't get in the city - the sound of crickets at night (and even better, the sound of quiet when the windows are open) space, trees, grass, privacy, safety, a car, a driveway, windows on all sides of the house, a yard large enough for a nice barbecue in the summer. No, I wouldn't trade these things for a life of reduced child-centeredness, although I guess it's possible that if we look hard enough, maybe for our next home we'll be able to find a neighborhood with a little more diversity of family types. Hey, maybe we can even find a cat-centered neighborhood - cats in every yard, cat parades and parks & rec brochures filled with cat programs! Now wouldn't that be a joyful place to live?

" It sure would!"


Unknown said...

I'd love to live in a cat-centered community near that happy cat! Our kitten's the only baby we're ever going to have.

Stepher said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

And I'm not even religious...

We also live in suburbia next to people who moved here to get into certain school systems. That concept blows my mind; I can't even fathom having to consider such a thing...

I wish you the best of luck should you decide to move. My husband and I have also been contemplating a move although when we relocate, we're looking at Key West b/c of their laid-back/who-gives-a-sh*t attitude. Plus our seven cats will be few among many down there. ;-)

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have two cats, and I love my cat-centered household. There are screaming kids two doors down from me that cause my tubes to re-tie themselves every time they scream.

Just makes me love my kitties even more.