So I was thinking…(prolonged exposure to cleaning chemicals will do that to me. Yes, Spouse, I actually do use them thankyouverymuch…)
A lot of us SAHMs jokingly refer to our neighborhoods as “Stepford”. Now obviously we aren’t being turned into mindless robots…ummm…wait. Ok, our HUSBANDS aren’t turning us into mindless robots. We’ll leave the mainstream media and the government out of this for now…
As I was saying, many of us jokingly refer to our communities as Stepford, or have blog titles like Stepford Mom. What makes you think that your community is like that?
I can tell you why I think that way. First is the general appearance of the neighborhood. The common areas are always perfect. Every day there is some sort of grounds maintenance going on. Mowing, mulching, planting, trimming. I mean the public areas of this place are perfect. At all times. A little creepy. This extends to the homes themselves. Our HOA is really vigilant, to the point of absurdity, of enforcing deed restrictions. And there are just enough neighbors with nothing better to do who are more than willing to report even the most minor of violations. Like my neighbor, but that’s another post. Most people employ a lawn service (like we did until recently; now we have a 10 year old!), so the lawns are perfect. At all times. Again, a little creepy. The environment is just too perfect, like we’re hiding something.
Second is the houses themselves. With the exception of the very few red brick houses and big custom jobs, most houses are either beige brick or limestone. Woe betide you if you consider changing the color of your exterior. There is a lengthy process you must go through in submitting your color change to the Architectural Committee. If your actual color turns out differently from your sample for some reason, like what just happened to a friend of mine, you are in for some haranguing. And a possible $500 fine.
Third is the cars. If it’s not a minivan, it’s an SUV. In white or silver. I remember a day a few years back when I was getting my mail at the mail station (and when did that become the norm BTW?) and I saw no fewer than six white large SUV’s. They all looked so similar that I thought there was some sort of special op going down in the park. My Mazda? Bright Blue.
Fourth is the women. There is the standard uniform of the jogging suit, baseball cap, and tennis shoes for casual days. With perfect make-up of course. Or a tennis outfit, if you prefer. Maybe a pair of jean capris with a cute top. And pedicures? De rigueur. Even those of us who have more individuality fall into this. We all look the same. Depressing. And it’s all about having the cleanest, best decorated house or the being in the best shape or having the smartest kids. All of these things are outward, things others can see and appreciate/envy. I don’t see a lot of people doing something for the sake of just doing it. I mean yeah, it’s good to be in shape and clean your house, but to hear some of these people talk about it, it’s a competition.
Last (or rather the last I’m going to discuss as I’m closing in on the end of my allotted blogging time) are the churches. There are those of us who go to Mainline Protestant churches or Catholic churches, and we seem pretty average. But the majority of the inhabitants here attend one of the Very Large Churches in the area. These churches would be described as Evangelical or Non-denominational. I’m not saying that all of the people who attend these churches are like this, but a great many of them follow The Party Line. Completely. Without question. And it’s really unnerving. Especially when they say that dissent in any form is unpatriotic or that Lutherans and Episcopalians aren’t really Christians.
So, that’s why I think I live in Stepford. Why do I stay? Well, there are enough people who are like me that I can survive. The schools are good, even if they don’t have an orchestra program. And the property values have gone through the roof, especially with all of the Californians coming in (again, another topic for later). The good outweighs the bad, but just barely.
Do you think you live in Stepford? Why? Discuss. Yeah, I know, a blatant attempt to get comments. But I’d really like to discuss it!
On another note…I’m approaching my 100th post. Any ideas on what to do for that? Want to plan ahead for such a momentous occasion….