Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Woman in Her Thirties and Community

When you're buying a home for the first time, people always repeat the same old mantra:   Location, location, location.  I remember it from when I bought my first home, a townhouse in Sacramento near the river, and I remember it when we moved many multiple times since then, and I certainly remember it when we bought our house here in P-town.

For those of you not from here, or maybe those of you who didn't see our family grace the cover of our neighborhood magazine...

This is T and H, both laughing uncontrollably at that magazine cover.  I love my friends. 

... Pleasantville has a bit of reputation for snobbery.  Not just my neighborhood (though it certainly does), but the whole of P-town. We are called cake-eaters, which is pretty dumb if you think about it, but I get it now.  Especially as an outsider, someone who didn't grow up knowing many of her neighbors, and doesn't have much to relate to when it comes to country clubs and nannies.

Here's what I've discovered in the last five years living here:  The reputation I live amidst is not completely unfounded.  As a friend said the other day, 'You get caught up in the bubble; you start comparing yourself to the people around you and focus on what you don't have, rather than what you do.'  Yes.  Yes here, yes for many women in their thirties, I would imagine.

However, two things happened this month that made me appreciate this bubble in which I live.  The first involves this big, gray cloud that has hung over me since I was about sixteen years old-- a molar in my mouth that never came down to play with my other teeth and ended up fuzing to my cheekbone. The technical term is 'ankylosed', and to make a long story short, that thing had to come out.  I really didn't know what to expect in terms of recovery, but I figured shoot, I recovered from a C-Section, didn't I?  And at least this time I didn't have to breastfeed after.

I didn't tell too many people what was going on because I was in denial felt like I had things under control.  On surgery day, L was prepped and ready to take over for a few days so I could stay drugged up and get through the most painful hump of recovery.  The people who did know kept offering to bring food, take my kids, sit with me and wipe the drool from my mouth, anything.  L came home from picking the kids up from school that day and said, 'Jeez, everyone there is SO nice!'  Because it's true.

And as much as I said, 'Please, I'm on an Ensure diet anyway! Don't bring me anything!' I kept getting stuff:

Pumpkin bread and Juice So Good... my new favorite thing!

Beautiful flowers

Nie Nie's delicious soup

A woman in her thirties knows enough about the world to know that this doesn't happen everywhere. My surgery ended up being MUCH better than we'd anticipated (hooray!), and I was reminded yet again of the generosity of the people I'm surrounded with.

A few days after this, while I was still recovering, the news of a dear neighbor's grave condition started filtering through the neighborhood.  She had been battling cancer for some time, and as the end drew near, the neighbors all rallied.  Visits to hospice, lots and lots of food deliveries, flowers, cards... Her funeral was Friday, and as I sat in my pew next to another set of neighbors we really truly couldn't live without, I was overcome with appreciation for where I live.  That afternoon, as we hand-delivered our Christmas cards...

I talked to Anna about how lucky she was to live here. She, of course, had no idea what I was talking about...

... and neither will her brother, at least not until they go out into the world and see it for themselves.  So until then, I will just have to eat my cake (or pumpkin bread, whatever) and appreciate it for them.

1 comment:

  1. For the record, we were not laughing at the cover... it was the opening paragraph. And only out of jealousy. You live in a seriously awesome (and modest...) area. :)