We’ve Lived Here for a Year

And I still hate it. Sorry, Cary people. I hate it here. I wish I didn’t — I feel like a total loser, in fact. I feel like I have nothing to show for the last year except some exceptionally large dust bunnies and two guinea pigs that I love more than you should love animals who live in their own litterbox.

(The explanation for my intense guinea pig-love is that I have very few friends here. Sometimes I sit down with them and make conversation while they squeak and purr.)

I have tried, y’all, to make friends. I know all about forcing yourself to get out there — and I get out there. I think if you polled moms in large families, I get out way more than most of them do. I regularly attend two book clubs, I work part-time, I am part of a homeschool co-op and a very large homeschool umbrella group, My Chemical Romance is involved in scouting and we’re starting homeschool 4-H next month. I totally should have some friends by now.

Who wants to hang out tonight???? (Flickr: ccmbc)

I do have a couple. Sadly, one of my friends, Sin-D, and I have never actually completed a conversation. (She has four kids ages eight and under; I have five ages nine and under. Enough said, right?) We might actually hate each other, if we ever get a chance to talk.

I truly believe there are potential friends everywhere. Yet everyone who I think is a potential friend is all, “Oh yeah, we should totally hang out… sometime…” while desperately avoiding eye contact — and then six months goes by in which “getting together” is never again mentioned. For as tactless as I often CHOOSE TO BE, I can follow basic social cues. Until that sometime, I’ll be spending tonight reading on my Kindle and talking to my guinea pigs.

Other things I hate about it here:

1. The mosquitoes and the bugs

Seriously, I feel like I’m living in a fucking swamp. Charlotte is three hours away; how is it that Cary has three hundred times the mosquitoes?!?! On the other hand, the “water bugs” — which is a North Carolina euphemism for GIANT FUCKING COCKROACHES — are equally disturbing.

2. The cost of living

Gas is expensive here. The rental market is pure insanity. I just spent 30 minutes with a realtor who actively persuaded me AGAINST renting the house she was showing me because she doesn’t want to rent it to my family. It’s a 3b/2b house that costs more than the mortgage on my 5b/2.5b house in Charlotte. Of course, the realtor reminded me of most people I’ve met here: snooty, snotty (yes, both snooty AND snotty), and closed-off. What kills me is that she can say no because she KNOWS she’ll find someone to rent the house who doesn’t have five kids, even though the house is overpriced. And probably covered in mosquitoes.

$1850/mo. For the red one. (Flickr: BRAYDAWG)

3. Lack of Diversity

The irony is, I grew up in a city very much like this: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. According to Wikipedia

Bloomfield Hills consistently ranks as one of the top five wealthiest cities in the United States with population between 2,500 to 9,999 — it currently is listed at the number four position and in 1990 it was ranked number two,[6]and has the highest income of any city outside of California, Florida or Virginia.

My childhood was… affluent and fine, and I grew up around other fine, affluent white people. Going to college — even the fairly affluent, fine University of Michigan — was quite a shock. There were people of color. There were liberals. There were all kinds of student groups. In retrospect, I wish I’d known those people existed before I was 18.

I just want my kids to grow up surrounded by a little diversity. I want someplace with a little more culture.

Honestly, this is all ALMOST enough to make me doubt my own awesomeness. In fact, sometimes I do. I had a moment recently where I said to My Chemical Romance, “I don’t know what to do here. There must be something wrong with me, rather than wrong with the thousands of people I’ve encountered in the last year. Maybe I actually suck and I just didn’t realize it til I moved here…”

But then I remembered: NO. I am awesome.

My dream car. (Flickr: Matski_98)

I’ll stay awesome and keep fighting the good fight.

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12 Responses

  1. Come to Durham, where people are awesome, diverse, and more friendly.

  2. For what it’s worth… We’ve moved so often that I just dive in to the local culture (which it sounds like you’ve done). The 3 things I do right off: Find a kid-friendly church, volunteer at the school, and throw neighborhood parties — from your blogs I’m assuming only one of those options appeals to you… So you’ll need to throw the parties more often :). But honestly, just seek out time to do things YOU love, like the book clubs, and you’ll eventually meet more people like you.

  3. Too bad there is not JDate or Date.com for awesome people to meet other awesome people.

  4. I have totally been there….hang in there…shoot me a message if you need to vent. But no it’s not you, some city’s just don’t always work out for the best. I wish I could tell you different, that or I didn’t try hard enough in TN….but I tried pretty darn hard to make friends. I guess I shouldn’t complain I did meet my husband there.

  5. I am currently in the 36th most affluent town according to something my husband read last week. Not a shocker as this is a seriously white ass town. I know what you mean about wanting to live somewhere more diverse. I have lived in those places before and just not recognized how good they were. As I tend toward more liberal ideals but live in TEXAS I can tell you that friend finding is hard work. My personal beliefs often seem a threat to others around here. I seem a personal affront to all there “sensibilities” . So I have not made new friends. I have one old friend and a sister in this whole huge state and I have been here for four years. It is lonely to say the least.

    • Ugh! That sucks. Dustin nearly took a job in Dallas instead of here, and I wonder if I would have liked it better there…

      • Probably not. Dallas is very conservative and bible beating as a general rule. Of course there are the more progressive thinkers and even a few Christians that won’t try to convert you but on the whole Texas in general is more trouble than it is worth.

  6. Sorry babe. =( I’d love if you moved to MY town! It’s pretty far from you though. And in Canada. So I’m guessing not on your list of potential towns to live in? Plus, it’s pretty white, pretty non diverse, pretty materialistic, and i have trouble finding like minded friends. So the only real selling feature of my town is ME!!!! NEED I SAY MORE?! Move here. Tomorrow. =D

  7. I don’t know what’s available near you, but try meetup.com. The comment about JDate made me think of it. 🙂 It’s free to join and will let you put in your interests (like if you want to meet other parents, or guinea pig enthusiasts, or whatever). And then you can avoid the other types of people, heh heh.

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