“little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky,
little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same.”
Irvine, California is kinda a strange place. It oozes curated perfection and picturesque-ness (no bars! no liquor stores! lest the pristine image be sullied), while looking like a commercialized metropolitan and a small town at the same time. Renowned for being one of America’s top cities, everyone seems to live in a bubble of perfectly manicured lawns, Louis Vuitton bags, and luxury cars. Irvine is American suburbia perfection. And anyone who knows me knows that’s not how I roll.
But D lives in Irvine. Many years ago before we met, he bought a charming little townhouse in a charming little community whose streets are lined with similar little townhouses. He said he chose Irvine believing the property value will increase (it hasn’t) and for its great food (it has). And so I have spent a year making the hour-long drive from LA to Irvine, where we would spend a wonderful weekend discovering new restaurants, visiting favorite haunts, or simply being with each other in his house.
I hate to admit it….while Irvine is beautiful, it is really really boring. Irvine is the type of town where the local pho restaurant is one of the only few places open after 10 pm and thus the nightlife hotspot. Irvine breeds routine and conformity.
Even still, every week as Sunday evening rolls around, I would feel this wave of sadness and big, fat tears would inevitably run down my cheeks. It breaks his heart every time. I don’t know what it is about leaving that makes me so sad.. maybe it’s the lonely drive back, the return to my drab little apartment, and/or the prospect of not seeing each other for another whole week.
And so I have moved. Over a frantic 2 days, I sold all my furniture, packed up my life, and moved into the little townhouse community with the perfectly manicured lawns. But our cars remain humble and my closet is modest at best.
I hate moving…the packing, the cleaning, the physical act of carrying boxes. I used to say that the next time I move would be into a forever home so I wouldn’t ever have to move again. But here I am now, settling into a home that is merely temporary. This stop in Irvine is only a stepping stone for what will hopefully be years of travel and being constantly on the move.
It’s all quite ironic.
But for the next few months, Irvine is my home and we will be making the best of it. And how did we celebrate this special milestone of our relationship? Carbo-loading at the (aforementioned) pho restaurant of course!
“And the children go to summer camp, And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes, And they come out all the same.”
– Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds
This was the plan set me for, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Why settle in a box when you can make the world your home? :)