Aug 2014
Josie Bungert

Postgrad with my parents: Life in suburbia

DISCLAIMER: Living back home isn’t that bad, and my parents have been straight up WONDERFUL about the whole thing.

Though not one of epic proportions, being back home with my parents and brothers has been quite the adventure.

From being thrown back into family life to getting a minimum wage job, I’ve actually kept relatively busy. That is, as busy as one can be, when living in your typical suburban city.

Being back home would probably not be a that bad if my parents lived somewhere more exciting. Sure, they have their reasons for living here (family, school system, jobs, close commute, etc.) but my goodness, if you looked up “suburb” in the dictionary, The Ville would be under it. So, by default, I am living the life of a suburban mom, since “suburban young adult” is just, like, not a thing, because who does this?

I had my gripes about Omaha, but it wins, hands down, in the culture, things to do, and people. The Ville consists of schools, churches, houses (and more houses), parks, and a handful of retail stores and restaurants. My day rarely consists of more than hopping in the suburban (ironic, right?) with mom, heading to whichever mom-stop store we need to that day, (CVS, Walgreens, Cub Foods, Wal Mart, etc.) and getting exciting items like prescriptions and groceries. I help her go through ads to clip coupons (extreme couponing at its finest) and remind her to bring our plethora of cloth, reusable bags, to the store.

When this isn’t happening, carting around my bros is. I am basically their taxi, which is fine because then my parents throw some gas money my way. My youngest brother will be a senior in high school this fall, so he has activities, meetings, etc., and my 19 year old brother, before he returns to college in the fall, has been spending his summer in church activities and hanging with his friends. Did I mention that both of them are old enough to have their license but don’t? (That’s a whole nother story, but you can see how this becomes my problem.)

I also have a straight up suburbanesque job, to amplify the personality I now must take on. As a seating hostess at a local restaurant, I spend my days greeting suburban families, coming from soccer in the minivan or from the grocery store, right nextdoor. I deal with suburban moms, dads, grandparents, and kids. People sit at the bar, but not to get crazy at, like, real bars. It’s dad after a long day of work, or the few other 20-somethings who also find themselves back at home and have nowhere to go.

In my free time from helpin’ out working my minimum wage job, I do typical, suburban activities. We have an above ground swimming pool and trampoline, which make great afternoon wasters. I watch a lot of TV with my cat on my lap, and eat a lot of down home homemade food. And, when I do decide to have a social life, unless we want to go downtown (which can be a struggle if you don’t live there), my friends and I have bonfires in the backyard or go for walks. My boyfriend’s family also lives in a suburb similar in nature to The Ville (except it has MOA in it, which makes a difference despite my hatred for that concrete zoo), so our options are mostly the same.

Life in suburbia is very different than life was for me when I was in college in a city of almost a million people. I don’t walk to bars, I don’t frequent new, trendy restaurants, and I don’t try new things. I don’t meet up with a variety of friends each night, and I don’t control my schedule, most of the time.

Not your situation? Well then I hope you enjoyed this small snapshot into suburban life. Understanding how those of us too broke to live on our own live is important if you were to ever encounter us. And, I hope you other folks at home can relate. Welcome to suburbia, the place where you see the same people at the store day after day, nothing changes, and you age 20 years in a month.