Monday, July 2, 2007

Yuppy Land

Yesterday afternoon, hubs took us to his new gym (I use that term loosely) to show us around and use the outdoor pool. The gym is near our house, about five minutes away, and is on the way to a lot of shopping that we do (Super Target!). It is called Lifetime Fitness.

This gym boasts a spa, four gyms, rock climbing wall, indoor pool with two water slides, outdoor pool with two water slides and zero entry kids' area, outdoor field turf area for running around and playing catch, two cafes (one indoors, one out), a work out area, and more. It's pretty incredible. There are indoor and outdoor spas. The locker rooms also feature a sauna and steam room. Not to mention top of the line facilities.

I felt uncomfortable.

I feel uncomfortable around people with money. There, I said it.

Especially people who want others to know they have money.

Especially people who like to walk around and make sure that others know they have money.

I felt like this building was a shrine to that. Judgmental again, I'm on a roll.

Not everyone there was like that. There were really only a few that were obviously in the group I'm speaking of. Kids texting on their way out to their car. Men in expensive work out gear, strutting their stuff. Women with too many highlights, walking on two inch flip flops, covered in their matching white terry cover-ups. And of course, the "right" shades. Blech.

This brings me to the inner debate that I've been having a lot lately. Is this where I want my kids to grow up? It's not only about the gym. It's about raising kids in the city, where every opportunity is right here for them, or in a small town where it is...different. This gym is so far from where I grew up. Not just in terms of miles.

We live in Omaha, population is roughly 400,000. I grew up in a town that inflates its population to 800. My husband grew up here, yet he longs to run a high school in a smaller town. His career goal is to be a high school principal, or maybe someday a superintendent. Right now he is an assistant principal (one of four) for the second largest high school in our state. I work in a high school that is more than three times the size of my hometown.

I LOVE it here. The zoo, the Children's Museum, the theater, the downtown area, the lake that we live near with the trails and playground. Super Target. Our school district is arguably the best in the state. We would have none of this in rural Nebraska. I have daydreams of getting season tickets for the touring Broadway shows that come to town for Brenna and I when she's old enough. Also of hubs and I being able to enjoy the nightlife more when our kids are older. Lots of plans.

I don't know what the answer is and I'm sure a lot of it will be decided on based on whether hubs accepts a job elsewhere in a few years. I just don't want to raise snobs. That is a big goal of mine. No snobs. And no jackasses. If we stay here, my work may be cut out for me.


California mom said...

Wow, sounds just like California!!!! Actually, I joined a gym last month, but it is small. They have weights, ellipticals, treadmills, bikes,etc... and even a few group classes. But there are no water slides in the 1 outdoor pool.
I understand your concern with not wanting to raise snobs. I think that you will be okay no matter where you live, because I think the parents' attitudes have more to do with how their kids turn out than anything. You are such a sweet, caring person that I'm sure your kids will learn the "right" way to act.

Omaha Mama said...

The gym I belong to is comparatively small. Just a gym. No spa, no cafe, definitely no water park!

Jacqniel said...

No matter where you go you will have people who think they are 'better than' because of money-even in small towns. You just have more of them in a city. I remember a classmate in my small town that never, and I mean NEVER, wore the same outfit twice. And there were the kids that drove the deluxe cars and acted like they were entitled to everything. Was I jealous? OF COURSE! But it was a good life lesson - and seeing where they are today - I will take my life, thank you very much!
You and Jay will do a great job in seeing your kids are thankful for what they have and not hold their blessings over others head
s - no matter where you live.
Question - why do I always have to do word verification on your comments and not on any one elses?

nikkis30by30 said...

I don't think I need to comment on this one, you know how I feel too. I want my kids in a small town. It isn't that I don't like who they are now, but things like when we go to the "beach" at the lake and they are flipping out because the water isn't clear. Heeelllllooooo?!?! Can you say CITY KIDS?!?!? I want, so badly, to move to a smaller town. I don't care if it's back to Holdrege (where we would be if my parents were still there), Doniphan, Ashland, Milford..... I don't care. I don't want to be in the city. Alas, I feel as though we are stuck here. I hope that you are one day lucky enough to live in the prefect area for YOU. I just hope it isn't too far away!! And the way I see it, it doesn't matter where we live, we will be able to travel when we get older and come to the cities and do all those things you listed. Catch 22. Always Catch 22.

Jenifer said...

I can relate to this as well. And you know it is not just where you live, it is what you wear, drive, eat, and on and on.

We worried about taking the girls to Disney World last summer. Hubby kept saying once we do this what will ever measure up? You know my girls will talk about that trip, but they also talk about our trip to the pool or the zoo or to Niagara Falls for two days on March Break.

I make sure they understand how lucky and priviledged they are everyday.

It is how you raise your kids each day that will help them understand who they are and what they stand for. It is not an easy task and sometimes I want to run away and live in a cabin somewhere...but like you I love Target! And yes, I was at Target on Friday, we crossed over so Hubby could get an iPhone...don't ask.

Beck said...

One of the problems about living someplace that has great stuff is that great stuff is often accompanied by snobs and jackasses. I'm not sure what the balance is - we decided to move all the way to the middle of nowhere and so now we have nothing to do and the kids are in a terrible school, but we're quite happy.

Mimi said...

I did the opposite trek to Beck: I moved from the middle of nowhere to my small city (about the same size as Omaha).

My small town (pop 10,000, but really really remote) was awash in nepotism and sexism and racism and was really isolationist and .... small-minded. I didn't want that for my kids. There was no bookstore in my small town, and smart people got picked on.

Yeah, cities have a lot of jackasses. Hell, I teach a lot of jackass twenty-somethings, and there is a lot of status-seeking behaviour among adults in my relatively affluent area.

But I really think that parenting can counteract the negatives of small-city living. And this might be easier than trying to conjure up touring broadway shows, museums, bookstore, diversity, and the freedom of bigness.

That's my two cents. Of course, where the parents are happiest is where the children will be best served. So whatever you decide will be what's best for your family.

Sorry to hog the comments. Very interesting post.

I hate all gyms. They make me feel dumb and out of shape ...

Michelle said...

Isn't it so hard to make a decision on where you want to live!?

Joe has been stationed here for 8 years! 8 years! That's usually unheard of to be at one base for so long, but I don't even know where we want to get orders to. They're closing a lot of bases.

Then he only has about 5.5 yrs until retirement. We don't really want to retire here, we're too far away from family and it's just not convienent to get to. We're used to it here, Joe doesn't want to go on the East Coast because it's over populated, we both want to live near a military facility when we retire, but we still don't know where!
It's tough making those decisions!