I’ve been called an “urban snob” in the past. And for good reason. I am an urban snob. I don’t understand why anyone would choose to live in a house that matches the house next door. (Gross!). I didn’t know what a cul-de-sac was until I was in college. (Cul-de-sacs are a suburban, not an urban, phenomenon). I get really upset when people claim to be from a city when they are actually from a suburb of said city. In fact, I am such a snob that when I meet someone who claims to be from Minneapolis, I give them a once-over and confront them with, “Where are you REALLY from?” if I can tell by their look or attitude that they are clearly not from my beloved city.
Yes, I am an urban snob.
Recently, Travel & Leisure Magazine came out with a list of America’s snobbiest cities.
My home of Minneapolis was #4 on the list.
My favorite US city of Seattle was #5.
Travel & Leisure’s description of what makes a snobby city is as follows, “To determine which city has the biggest nose in the air, we factored in some traditional staples of snobbery: a reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents, along with high-end shopping and highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater.”
Me? An aloof smarty-pants?
Well, maybe. I don’t care much for high-end shopping, but I certainly have been known to appreciate “highbrow cultural offerings.”
Travel & Leisure’s description of what makes a snobby city perfectly fits my description of what makes an ideal city! Isn’t this what everyone wants in a place to live?
Well, this aloof smarty-pants has some changes coming! We moved to Tacoma so that I could complete a 2-year Fellowship. Seattle is my favorite US city, and I’ve wanted to live there ever since I first visited the city in my early twenties. When we originally moved to Washington, I wanted to live in Seattle and do the 35 miles commute south to my job here in the Tacoma area. I ended up giving up the dream to live in Seattle when I compared the cost-of-living between the two cities. Housing is cheap here in Tacoma.
So that was fine, we settled here in Tacoma for 2 years, with hopes of moving up to Seattle eventually. The first time I visited Seattle, I said, “It’s just like Minneapolis, except 8x bigger.” Urban, artsy, liberal, outdoorsy, and dog-friendly. These are my people. I love Seattle. Husband Saign and I have been dreaming of moving to Seattle after my fellowship ends.
But recently, a position in my field opened up in Tacoma. I began thinking about how easy it would be to stay in Tacoma. We can afford to live here. Financially, Tacoma makes sense. We still have great access to the outdoors. We don’t have all the crazy traffic. Husband Saign has family that lives here. There certainly are some benefits to staying in Tacoma.
But then, as I thought more seriously about settling here, I started to panic. Tacoma is kind of like Seattle’s super, super dweeby little brother. An aloof smarty-pants does not belong here. I would not describe Tacoma as urban, artsy, or liberal. (Thankfully, it is outdoorsy and dog-friendly). In my panicking, I began to more seriously consider moving out of the country.
However, we learned that Husband Saign might be prevented by the government to continue his work as an artist if we moved overseas. So, I had to turn the overseas job down.
And then, I had to do some soul-searching.
As an urban snob, it’s tough to accept settling down in a place like Tacoma. Tacoma is simply too small, too conservative, and too quiet to be a place that I want to be long-term.
But, sometimes even aloof smarty-pants have to grow up. There is a job here that I know I will love. We can afford to live here and will be able to buy a house soon. Husband Saign has started to build a reputation here for his business. People here are nice.
Is Tacoma my dream city? No.
Am I ready to put on my big girl pants and get rid of my smarty-pants? Yes.
I am ecstatic for my new job, excited to be able to stay near the many great people that I know here in the Pacific Northwest, and am ready to learn to like Tacoma. Husband Saign and I haven’t actually made much effort to explore Tacoma. We have friends and fun in Seattle, and spend weekdays working and sleeping in this little city. We plan to learn to love this little place that we will now call home.
How did you choose where to call “home”? Is settling down hard for you?