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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Reflection: Suburbs and Subdivisions

Growing up, until my Freshman year of high school, we lived within Houston city limits. It wasn't like living "downtown" exactly, but it wasn't the suburbs either. If you're not familiar with Houston, a glance at the map to the left shows it's HUGE. Over the past thirty years, since I lived within city limits, the suburban areas outside of Houston have exploded and expanded. Recently on Twitter I came across a post about suburbs being started as a segregation tactic. There were other posts, all negatively referring to suburbs as basically things of evil. I find this funny because back when I was in high school, I would've agreed.

At the time of our move out of city limits I was a lonely teenager with zero friends or acquaintances in the school district I was moved into as a Freshman. We moved into a "subdivision", which honestly freaked me out a little bit. The only things I knew about subdivisions at the time were from Rush lyrics, and none of it was flattering. That put a definite damper on my expectations of my new school and classmates. It actually turned out really well for me. I graduated with good friends, many I'm still in touch with, and tons of great memories. Did I conform? Yeah probably. At the time I didn't think much of it, but I realize now how much of my Mexican culture I sacrificed during my teen years. However, all teens go through the transition of identity phase and that was mine.

Years later, after many more moves, I talked my husband into moving back into the general area of my high school years because of those fond memories. We wound up, and still live, in a subdivision in the suburbs. But let me tell you about the suburbs where we live. It's quite diverse. I'm not surrounded by white housewives when I go to the grocery store. I don't see a plethora of Trump for President signs as I drive down the street. There's a feeling of community here, even though most of us stay to ourselves and only smile and wave to each other in passing. Once when walking into the local grocery store, a lady was struggling to push her cart and pull a carpet cleaning machine behind her. I immediately headed her way, but before I could help her two other people got to her and aided her to her car.  

Another time, my husband and I were walking into the same store on a rainy day and a lady slipped and fell in front of us. The manager rushed out and a few other people stopped with us to help her. The store manager, who I knew well, talked her into letting me drive her home while my husband followed. No one thought anything of it because we're all neighbors. We're all a community. Sure, we have our problems like anywhere. I see Ring and Nextdoor alerts of stolen packages and car break-ins, but luckily it's not a daily occurrence. As mentioned, there are Trump supporters just like there are Biden supporters, but I've yet to see any public arguments. Everyone walking into the local grocery store wears a mask. When lost pet notices are posted people respond to help. I like living in my subdivision in the suburbs.

That being said, I DO NOT find Mike Pence in any way sexy or attractive. In fact, I laughed out loud when I saw that making the rounds on Twitter. I think a big part of the problem with the negative view of suburbs right now is the misconception that only one type of person lives in them. Well, that's certainly not true where I live and I have a feeling it's not true for a lot of suburbs around the U.S.


  1. The subdivision I grew up in south in Clear Lake was pretty “all white” with minor diversity. I don’t exactly remember people being overly nice to me. I couldn’t wait to branch out on my own. Now where I live though I completely agree with you. I’m not sure if the difference is as a teen I was oblivious or if it didn’t exist.

    1. As teens we see things so differently than adults. I realize now just how self-centered I was, when I thought I was a very empathetic person.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!