Chaos Attraction

City Love

2003-10-16, 7:40 p.m.

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The eternal debate: where would you like to live?

Some people have places that they just think of as "home." I don't know if any particular place has struck me in THAT way or not- at least, nothing has especially done it so's I'd notice. This town is pretty homey, but there's one major aspect of it that I wish would change- the lack-of-activity factor. You can eat/drink, go to a bookstore, or go to the movies after 6 p.m., and that's it.

I don't really think that there's a place out there I'd find ideal. Mainly because my two top needs are completely incompatible with each other.

1. Safety. The plus about living in the dull suburbs is that practically nothing happens to you. I can walk home at 3 a.m. in the dark alone and be safe, and that's a great thing for a little bitty girl who can't drive. I am not too afraid to go around here.

2. Excitement. I'd like to live somewhere where there is actually stuff to do in town that doesn't involve the movies. Where interesting things happen. Where there's plenty of options if you want to go out, and fun shows, fairs, and activities go on a lot. Somewhere where a night life EXISTS.

I find it frustrating as all hell that ALL cool things happen in cities. That you really just can't get a group of people together for well, anything (NaNoWriMo gatherings, Church of Craft, etc.) unless you live in Some Major City. You can try, of course, but unless you personally already know a gaggle of people living there interested in your favorite subject/activity, you will probably be out of luck if you just ask around, post on local message boards, what have you. You don't have the numbers to do anything, to get anything, to get anyone cool to come to your town. This town's better than most small towns due to the college/bigshot theater, but there's still not a whole lot that can be done in a small town.

It's a tradeoff- smaller numbers of people equals less crime and more safety and less activities, or larger numbers of people equals more crime, less safety and more activities.

I really do want to live somewhere exciting one day, while I'm still young and can have fun and go out. I'm running out of time for my fun days- hell, they may have already passed me by and I didn't get to have enough fun yet. I'm so jealous of Heather going out and partying every night, and wish I could do that, but of course I can't, I have to work at 8 a.m. My time is done and I never got enough partying in.

But...there's the safety factor. I wig out with fear in certain big cities. Most areas of San Francisco scare me, and I'm not comfortable walking down the streets in daylight there, especially since I already tend to be a freak magnet. I get the creeps seeing a business that HAS to put heavy bars over every open door and window at night.

Modesto is only slightly less freaky at times- if I walk down the street in daylight alone and I'm not in the downtown area (the few blocks of town that seem to be safe) I start getting followed by creeps. There's areas of the town that are really nice, there's even more areas that are run down to hell, and they're all thrown together helter-skelter. It's definitely not safe to be out alone after dark if you're not downtown. I think it drives Dave nuts a little that I'm this little timid sheltered spoiled suburb girl who freaks every time she hears another bad story.

What it amounts to, I guess, is, could I ever handle the big time?

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