Life on the Monorail

I read the following passage of an Augusten Burroughs book the same week that I told my husband that I thought it was funny that we always choose to live in the city right where the action is, even though we generally cook at home more than we eat out and rarely participate in most of what said city offers.

I've never read Augusten Burroughs before, but when I saw his new book, "This is How", on the library shelf, and I took a moment to leaf through it.  I immediately happened upon a page that raises the very topic of habitually small-radius behavior.

"The reason I live in Manhattan is not because I 'enjoy taking advantage of everything the city has to offer'  like a dubious personal ad; it's because I'm both wasteful and a glutton.  I like knowing that everything is right there beside me so I can let it all spoil in the refrigerator next to the broccoli...
...For example, if you take a subway or walk to work each day, do you alter your course?  Do you ever get on the wrong train, on purpose?...
...Do you seek out fresh neighborhoods in parts of town you've never seen so you can discover a brand-new dentist every time you need your teeth cleaned?
...When you run out of saltines, are you going to go to the nearest store, or spice it up and head over the supermarket on the other side of town?..."

The passage made me laugh and also reassured me.  Sometimes I feel guilty that we don't take more advantage of what's around us, but on the other hand, we choose neighborhoods because they feel comfortable to us, and meet our needs in whatever ways we have defined those needs.  I wouldn't necessarily conclude that my husband and I are "both wasteful and a glutton", but I do admit that I miss many events out of sheer laziness.  We are more adventurous when it comes to restaurants, but after paying a city price for a mediocre meal, I often remain reluctant for weeks before feeling interested in trying another new one.  This is especially true when I have already identified a few consistent favorites.

Having said all of that, I can report that each time we've moved away from the trail of cities behind us, I can identify regrets of omission.  I'm sorry that we didn't experience Commander's Palace in New Orleans, and I'm a little bit sad that I didn't see Vancouver or Montreal while we were in Canada.  Part of my urge to avoid early departure from Houston resides somewhere in this feeling; I'd like to rack up a few more new adventures, in addition to enjoying the comfy daily rhythms already in place.  It doesn't seem likely that I will want to travel frequently to Texas after we move away, so it feels important to soak up more of it now, while it is handy.