Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 28, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor

But I can’t help it. I live in a nice house, in a great town and have nothing to complain about. But I always do. I take the kids to Florida and I want to move there. It’s clean, it’s warm, there are beaches and palm trees. People are out biking and roller blading and playing tennis all year round. They look healthy and tan. I come back here and its gray and cold and we’re all pasty and white and huddled inside the house half the year and paying through the nose for heating bills. Then I take my kids to an away travel soccer game. It’s only a forty minute drive, same state, and I’m already doing the same thing.

“Look at these fields!!”

“Look at these houses!”

“Look at all the land they have!”

“I bet they pay half of what I pay in real estate taxes!”

My brain is already calculating how much I could get for my house if I put it on the market, paid off the mortgage, took the equity and put it down on one of these McMansions on five acres. I’m thinking about the new school system for the kids, the healthy childhood, riding their bikes, yada yada yada. Our trip to Mexico last year totally put me over the top. In the span of a few days, I was not only selling the house and all our belongings, but I was exchanging everything into pesos and trying to figure out if I ever had to work again. I told the kids we could fish for our dinners, grow our own crops and live like a modern day Swiss Family Robinson. They looked at me like I was loco.

Sometimes when we walk into a restaurant, especially if its really busy, I start counting tables and customers and multiplying the average cost of an entree and the table turnover rate and when I’m all done with my primitive calculations I wonder why I don’t quit my day job and open a restaurant. Why do I do this? I really do like my house and my neighbors and just about everything about my town. I even like what I do but I just can’t help myself. Is it the grass is greener syndrome (which, by the way, my neighbor’s grass IS greener)? Or is it the other lane is always moving faster complex (it really is moving faster until I move into it)? Is it Woody Allen’s line about not wanting to be a member of a club that would have someone like me as a member? Help me out here. Am I alone on this?

In the meantime while I’m waiting to hear back, I’ll just keep my day job, stay close to home and take the kids no further than the mall.



  1. People go to Florida to die.
    People go to South Jersey to hit the beach for 1 day. Then they drive back to civilization in their air-conditioned Tahoe with sand in their balls, cause there are no friggin beach showers in South Jersey.
    People go to Mexico to get away, get a hangover, and get diarrhea.
    Snap out of it.

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