Saturday, January 12, 2013

Geography, for $800

Answer: A metaphorical place, beyond Bridge-and-Tunnel land, more removed from Metropolis, heavily residential, not so pedestrian friendly, seemingly free from crime, inadvertently isolating and serviced by commuter rail.

Question: Where is the Seventh Borough?

After our wedding, and I don't mean right after our wedding, like when you are still finding pins in your hair, or you can trace the lines from your Spanx all over your torso like a snake tattoo, no I'm talking about a few months later, when all the hoopla has died down, we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.

After our wedding, after the Thank You cards had been ordered and mailed out, after the sunburn marks from our 4x4 Jeep drive across Aruba faded away into our pale, dry Northeast winter skin, after I got over the Cosmo-induced Karaoke session on our honeymoon cruise (but not before Rob let me live it down - who knew Don McLean's American Pie had an eight minute thirty-three second version, and who puts 8 minute songs on a Karaoke list????), we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.

After our mid-October wedding, after Thanksgiving, after our wedding China and household gifts had happily merged into our holiday meals, after looking at the photographer's album proofs during Christmas week, after New Year's toasts, after what seemed like a year of toasts and an endless river of Champagne, we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.

After buying a home, after securing a mortgage, after minor repairs and a month-long paint job, after merging two apartments into a three-bedroom mini-colonial from the 1920's, after planning, living and recovering from our Brooklyn wedding, after many, many trips to Brooklyn in preparation for this wedding (to the point where I wondered why I ever left in the first place), after getting over my fear of the Tri-Borough Bridge (another story for another day), after fretting over the fact that our printed directions to our wedding instructed others to cross the Tri-Borough Bridge, which had also just been renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, and would that throw off GPS directions (????) we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.

After our wedding, after two years of major life events, after adopting two sickly, flea-ridden, puss-eyed (read: conjunctivitis) kittens whom we nursed back to health (with love and a few hundred dollars at the vet), we found ourselves with nothing to do but go to work, make dinner and put out the recycling on Wednesday nights. In other words, we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.

The Seventh Borough is a land of routine, uneventful Americana. Most Seventh Borough inhabitants emigrated from, or at one point lived, in Metropolis, in one of its Five Boroughs. The Sixth Borough provides a small cushion to keep the steerage of Boroughs One through Five from accidentally seeping into the Seventh Borough, as to preserve its uneventful-ness. Not too far removed from Metropolis, Seventh Borough citizens retain many of their Metropolitan characteristics: they walk and talk fast, they still compete over parking spaces, and they return to Metropolis not only for work, but for social, cultural and dining experiences.  The Seventh Borough's landscape is made up of rolling hills, covered with detached, single-family homes with ample, legal parking spots (despite peoples' tendencies to continue to fight over parking spots, it's a kill-or-be-killed instinct that once it's in you, it can never be shaken).

 But like any other Borough, town, hamlet or city-state, it's just a place to live, where other people also live. Perhaps Borough #7 seemed boring. Or perhaps after two years of major life events, we seemed boring.

 Let's face it, I'm an accountant and my husband is an engineer. We're not exactly Lucy and Desi, we're more like Fred and Ethel. No, really we're more like Liz and Rob who aren't on any television show at all. We are in our thirties and we still have a lot of Ikea furniture. We have over 7 versions of the game Monopoly. We drive a Toyota. I'm sure we make chicken for dinner more than two nights a week.  We put out the garbage on Sunday nights and we put out the recycling on Wednesday nights. The big excitement these days includes sitting around the firepit out back with a glass of wine.

But slowly, we acclimate, to both regular life, and our Seventh Borough community.  We found a new parish Church, we found the best places to park the car in the church parking lot (they are all legal parking spots, but you know, some spots are better than others). We found some good local places to eat, we frequent Stop and Shop and we've figured out what checkout lines are the best to avoid. We've become friendly with our neighbors in the red house next door. We voted on the school budget. We joined the town swimming pool. We are in Rome, and we have begun to do as the Romans do, boring or otherwise. (Who am I kidding, Rome would be so much better!) Truth is, we may be just as uneventful and routine as the Seventh Borough itself. But hey, we DVR Jeopardy!


  1. I look forward to hearing how this story turns out! I'll be tuning in on a weekly basis :)