(image taken from Angel Fire)
Amidst the staggering, pulsating wave of heat, one that grips the body in its mandibles, chewing and gnawing until lathering in saliva-sweat, and a pile of projects baking on my cubicle desk from the sunbeams refracting through my large window, I neglected my three year anniversary with my company. And my three year anniversary living in a small suburban town on the outskirts of one of the greatest and most exciting cities in the world. Three years in the same apartment, which I mostly adore, the same short and frantic commute to my office. Three years occasionally frequenting the same hackneyed local bars, with select but occasionally admirable wine and cocktail options. Three years where live music is a rare and special occasion, and establishments that offer goat cheese are deluxe. This has also meant three years, again, on the outskirts and thus incredibly close to a beautiful and vibrant city, but, sometimes, those are the longest twenty-five miles in the world.
For young and intelligent and spirited young women, suburban malaise is a prevalent condition, one with myriad manifestations and an even vaster array of potential solutions, with, naturally, varying degrees of efficacy. Conflicted with my own malaise, at this realization of time spent between manicured lawns and franchise-laden strip shopping centers, my creativity has been sufficiently suffocated and stunted. So, in cataloguing some of the appropriate remedies, I have turned to revered and beloved icons, fictional and fantastically real, for inspiration.
Though Primrose Hill is decidedly not suburban, and is in fact an epicenter of wealth and culture, Sylvia Plath cannot shed her status as queen of feminine frustration, of an insatiable and unfulfilling quest for intellectual challenge. For a mutually respected love. While I can totally get aboard writing notebook after notebook of confessional poetry, unleashing my aggression on the characters of my life in verse, sticking my head in an oven seems a bit extreme. The filmmaker is far from a philandering liar, so, I think I can avoid this measure.
(image taken from All Movie Photo)
April Wheeler of Revolutionary Road plotted an expatriate escape to Paris, a whimsical and romantic device I can support and would follow, awkward neighbor-sex, self-performed abortion, and death aside. Her husband also not completely faithful, to his wife, and to their ultimate fantasy of fleeing the country.
(image taken from Film)
Seduction by the powers and the cunning of my own inexplicable sorcery, in the vein of the older and sultry temptresses of The Witches of Eastwick, would probably be optimal, especially as there are a plethora of ridiculous folks in my town that could benefit from the surprise. Alas, summoning threatening thunderstorms and efficacious effigies does not seem to be happening with my hands and my concentration alone. Hopefully, though, in a few years, and after a failed marriage, my competencies in flirtation and casual liaisons will not be stifled by a lackluster environment, if I am still wallowing here among the picket fences and elementary schools.
(image taken from Helen Glory)
If I had the financial resources, for the appropriate wardrobe and the appropriate accoutrements, like the crucial and expensive horse, I could take up riding, like the contemporary poster-girl for suburban ennui, Betty Francis, formerly Betty Draper. On trend, while Mrs. Don Draper, she tolerated, and also retaliated against, a fair amount of rousting philandering that seems to be associated with advertising demigod status. Banal, but effective, her horseback riding obsession alleviates some of the frustration that comes with both sexual and intellectual dissatisfaction. A bit of a healthier alternative to the oven solution.
(image taken from Book Tryst)
(image taken from Lucindaville)
Arguably the most feasible, least destructive, and rationale approach to battling suburban doldrums is to dive into a collection of poetry or a thick, stream of consciousness novel and spend the lazy, quiet days reading. I do indulge, though, unfortunately, not as often as I would like given my professional fettering to my computer.
(image taken from Real Simple)
For now, without a cheating husband or a literary giant to imbue me with marvelous magic, I have embraced a sort of if-you-cannot-beat-them, join them approach, basically, by dressing like a young suburban mother, only without the breast milk and vomit stains, and without the over-sized pastel pink diaper bag. My latest indulgence has been a pair of white cigarette-leg skinny jeans. Given my earlier innocently inappropriate allusion to young mothers and stained clothing, perhaps my associating them with white is a tad misrepresentative. But, it is my suburban party, and I can lie to myself if I want to.
I ordered the jeans from the Gap, falling victim to their latest online sale. They have not yet arrived, but, when they do, I have the perfect flowing tunic and golden sandals to accompany them, each items plucked from the sartorial stylings of my own mother. The prospects are thrilling.