Tuesday, March 27, 2007

13 in 30 - City Mouse/Suburb Mouse

I work in a small town, in the suburbs north of Boston. Prior to taking this job, I spent a little over a decade going to school and then working in Boston. While I enjoy my job, and have absolutely NO nostalgia for the long commute, and in turn, the 13 hour days that working in the city entailed, I do miss Boston.

Today, as a result of my co-worker's inability to complete a task assigned to her, which then meant it was thrown onto my already overfilled plate (see yesterday's bitch session), I had to make a trip into the city to file some paperwork.

As cranky as I was about the fact that I was doing someone else's work while mine piled higher and higher on my desk, I have to admit that any excuse to go into the city, especially on a nice day like today, is fine by me.

After parking my car in a ridiculously overpriced garage, and realizing that I was wearing the wrong shoes for a walk up Beacon Hill, I strolled through the city enjoying the spring like weather. I'd forgotten how, on these very first days of spring, Boston is a flurry of activity. From the students outside Suffolk University (my alma matter) having conversations outside until the very last minute before class starts, to the groups in business suits, sitting on a curb or a stairway, eating their lunch, enjoying the first rays of sunshine after a long winter locked away under fluorescent lights, Boston is a different city in the spring and summer. I used to love sitting out in Post Office Square, watching as all variety of people would enjoy their lunch, being part of the group of young professionals, part of the rat race.

Now, I enjoy my short commute home, and the freedom of working in a small town allows me to have a life outside of work, not trapped so far from home, and imprisoned by train schedules. I can stop at any of the four grocery stores along my route home and do my shopping. Need an oil change? Stop on the way and get that done as well. An appointment in the morning or evening no longer requires a half day off work, as I can be there much quicker, just jumping in my car. It is even easier to put in a few extra hours at work, because I'll still be home in time for prime time television. And the small town feeling has allowed me to foster relationships with town clerks, registry clerks, and other locals, which makes doing my job that much easier.

And yet, I'm a city girl. In an enviroment where business casual is more casual than business, I still wear stilletos to work. Where after dinner drinks are beers at a pub, I'm ordering martinis. Where coworkers rush home to be with their husbands/wives and children, I'm still single, searching for my next night out with my other single girlfriends. I'm a city girl, stuck in the suburbs. It's as if Carrie Bradshaw had moved next door to Ray Romano. Okay, I'm not Carrie Bradshaw (though I'd take her shoe collection any day), and my neighbors...well...not quite the Romanos either.

But it is on days like today, when I make it into the city in the middle of a workday that I realize how much I miss working in the big city. The suburbs work for me in a lot of ways, and I don't think I'd ever want to work in Boston unless I lived there as well...but I'm a city girl...I miss it.

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