Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Green Acres



I just received an e-mail from a dear friend that stated "dear farmer boy, please send fresh milk". After I read this, I realized that she thinks I live on a farm, now that I no longer live in the embrace of the fashionable (although mostly plus sized) city of Chicago.

Since living here in this bucolic state, I have noticed that I have been called "the big city page", people enquire how I live here. I'd like to clarify for those of you who have never lived outside of a major metropolitan area.

I do not live on a farm.

Yes, it is true that I can no longer stop and get Thai food, drop off my dry cleaning, stop in several clever boutiques, and then have a cocktail (or three) at a trendy cafe. Its also true that I have to drive to the grocery store now, and can no longer make the jaunt with my handy personal shopping cart - and then walk home with carrot greens, and a baguette sticking out of the top of the brown paper bag. Its also true that the nearest department store is 20 minutes away by car, and that there is no Marshall Fields here. I can no longer take a 3 hour lunch, sip alcoholic beverages at my desk, and take thirty cigarette breaks while at work.

You can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy. I still knot my Burberry scarf around my neck, and wear knock off Gucci sunglasses when I go to the grocery store. I still get Thai food and drop off my dry cleaning, only know it takes 25 minutes to make the round trip adventure. I no longer belong to a gardening society, but I still garden (much to my neighbors amazement) in a crisply ironed white shirt, and well pressed trousers. I have kept much of what is considered "urban" behavior, despite the fact I no longer live in an "urban" area. I do live in the largest city in this state. I'm doing the best I can. I feel like Zsa Zsa must have felt when she moved to Green Acres. When given lemons, make a Lemon Martini. That's what I say.

Its funny. When living in the city, we prided ourselves on going to out door markets, shopping for fresh vegetables and flowers at the farmers market, and hosting out door dinner parties. We could pretend we were the genteel folk of the countryside.

Now when living in the "country side", we pride ourselves on going to the theatre, reading the home delivered NY Times, and making an extra ordinary effort to find big label clothing at the local Mall.

What gives? I'm not going to lie. The most ideal surroundings for me would be big city, with a big garden in the back yard. I want to have neighbors so close, I can hear them argue. I miss the buzz of traffic outside my window. I like being intra-national and inter-national.

My favorite author, Beverley Nichols has a book called "Green Grows the City". That is what I want. A posh sophisticated life, with all the niceties of visiting Grandma in the country. 10 minutes from the Opera, 20 minutes from the nearest University, an hour from my summer home.

Do librarian's even have summer homes? I'm sure the ones at Sotheby's do. Oh well. I had better get my order in to Smith and Hawken for my Wellies. Yes, I even accessorize in the garden.

Moral of this blog: I too get allergic smelling hay. But if hay was the latest fragrance at Marshall Fields, I wouldn't.

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