Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rules of the Suburban Road

{ photo credit djcodrin }

Woohoo! I have survived over 18 months in suburbia!! What a ride it has been. We are settled in, but I would hardly say I am acclimated to suburbia. I have stopped driving back to the city on a weekly basis. I have weaned myself down to a few visits a month. I can also find the grocery store and Target without a map, so that's huge! I still have to dust off my GPS to find most playdates, and I cannot for the life of me commit to memory the names of the local sub divisions (hence the GPS for playdates). I also still cannot get out of my driveway (120 feet long remember) without hitting something at least once a week. 

Actually the hardest thing to get used to is the driving. (I wrote about some of my driving issues over at Chicago Moms Blog). I have however learned that are definite "rules" of Suburban driving that may help other city mama's who may be making a move to suburbia I offer these as a guide to help you acclimate quicker. 

Suburban Rules of the Road:

  1. There is no grid system. So staying on the same road does not assure you are staying on the same road as routes wind and curve and follow several roads. Also, names don't mean anything. 94W goes North, so be sure to follow your GPS and compass not the names.
  2. You must drive something enormous. Minivans are the norm, however if you are under 5 foot 2 and especially if you are only about 100 lbs (while loaded down with child and diaper bag) than it needs to be a Suburban, at the smallest.
  3. The bigger car gets the right of way, always. It does not matter who got to the stop sign or parking space "first" bigger is better and wins!
  4. The only thing that trumps size is price. The pricey car gets the right of way. Pricey Big car? You can do what ever you want. 
  5. You will either always be in a hurry driving too fast, not signaling , or tailgating or you are driving 5 under to be "safe." There is no normal or average speed.
  6. Driving rules and regulations will not apply to school parking lots. School parking lots will be treated as both drag zones, whoever can speed out first wins! And as parade zone where everyone will move slowly and stop to talk to people along the route.
  7. Parking lot lines are just suggestions, as long as you are within the lines, the angle of your car does not matter; and by within the lines we mean your tires are within the lines (on the lines counts as in).
Note that if there is snow on the ground none of these rules apply. If you have 4 wheel drive (or think you do, no matter if it is on) you will drive like it's the speedway and you are invisible. If not you will drive at least 5 under. 

There you go, hope it helps you. Remember that GPS is your friend as there is no grid system in suburbia and if you get lost it is okay to ask for directions. This is also a great tactic for distracting a cop and getting sympathy when you are being questioned for having expired license plates (but I wouldn't know anything about that). 


Anonymous said...

I'm embarassed to admit it, but this is mostly the definition of me. Especially the driving too fast part.

Shell said...

Hilarious...and true!

KLZ said...

I live in the city and all of this sounds preferable right now compared with the city folks ignoring traffic signals completely and sitting in the middle of the intersection until things go their way.

Louise said...

I've really enjoyed your posts during Creativity Boot Camp.
I've left you an award on my blog because you are a beautiful blogger!

John said...

I like the list but one of my favorite ones for the Grayslake area that I'd add is:
8. You can park on the street (except between the hours of 1am-6am when we are out giving tickets b/c it's the burbs and we are bored or if there is an inch of snow on the ground even if we haven't plowed your street yet!)