Aimee Phan has a First World problem: It’s sooooo expensive to live in the Bay Area:
Families pay a lot to stay in the city, which is why so many leave. Young families typically flee for the suburbs or more reasonably priced towns, and in the Bay Area, they often travel from San Francisco to the east and south bays, to even more remote cities and towns far beyond the metropolitan area.
There are also those who stay. Since my husband and I work in San Francisco with frequent evening obligations, we must live close to work. We also love our diverse, vibrant community. But this loyalty is constantly tested by persistently high crime rates, rising rents and uneven public school systems.
They were both raised in the boring old suburbs plagued by safe streets and good public schools, and they ain’t going back to that hell:
Before moving to the Bay Area, my husband and I lived in eastern Washington State, where the cost of living was half of what we pay for in Berkeley. Our colleagues and friends in the rural university town often remarked that it was the perfect place to raise children: safe, clean and cheap.
But the prospect of raising our biracial children in a small, isolated town surrounded by wheat fields concerned me.
Racist wheat fields! Who among us wouldn’t embrace family life in a high-crime area with crappy public schools if it meant refuge from those bigoted waves of grain? Besides, safe, clean, and cheap — who needs it when you can put your kids in a school like this:
I already see how my daughter, whose preschool proudly displays a mixed-race children’s bill of rights in its foyer, thrives from being surrounded by teachers and children of many ethnicities and cultures.
You can’t get a Mixed-Race Children’s Bill Of Rights in the foyers of single-grain Eastern Washington schools. So there’s that.
Aimee Phan wants you to know that she and her husband — both of them teach writing at the California College of the Arts — are pretty much just like the poors!:
We’ve got everything we need, in theory, to make ends meet: good educations, two working parents. But like so many families in America recovering from the economic crisis, we are struggling to make do with less.
Wait a minute. They made a deliberate choice to relocate from a “safe, clean, and cheap” town to move somewhere more “diverse” and “vibrant,” but more dangerous and vastly more expensive — and she wants to claim hardship? I’m not seeing it. Most of the people I knew when we lived in New York City over a decade ago moved out when they decided to have kids, because none of us could afford the cost of city life. You give up a lot to move to places that are safe, boring, and cheap, and for some, the trade-off is not worth it. That’s fine. I can understand that. But don’t complain that you’re put-upon. She’s paying a premium for the privilege of living amid all that vibrant diversity.
This essay, by the way, appeared on The New York Times‘s parenting blog, which is a gold mine of SWPLish hathos.
UPDATE: Noah172 writes in the combox:
See the hypocrisy? When a white person complains about not being around enough white people, it’s racism — even a prelude to pogroms and a new Holocaust. When a person of color does it, we are supposed to mourn for her “isolation” from vibrant diversity.