Cities: The Relentless Onslaught On Individuality

We had an interesting experience yesterday. Had reason to see half a dozen front doors on the same block Thursday morning. I noticed, at one, the cheap wood they’d used. Knots, with bits missing, raggedy and not attractive.

Now, I love the structure of wood, the character. But it should be character, not just flaws. I pointed it out to Sue and she smiled and nodded like she does when I’m ranting.

A few minutes later, she was pointing out identical flaws in another door. Identical. The same knots, in the same locations.

They were cast plastic doors, with phony ‘flaws’ embedded to make them look more real.

Letting others see my flaws is one reason they see me as a real person, even online. But faking flaws to make something faux look real? Bad. Wrong. Disingenuous.

And doing it with a cookie cutter all down the block? It borders on body-snatcher mind-control.

Our travel has made it clear that we’re small town folks, country folks. Now more than ever, we’re committed to ‘not the city’ when the day comes to settle down.


  1. This isn’t an urban-rural dichotomy. When one goes to a small town that has new construction, or 1970’s mobile homes, you can see ugly there, too. Ditto the country. Some of my acquaintances in the country don’t have time or inclination or money to get “real” wood with flaws. They love the low/no maintenance fake stuff and don’t necessarily have the rarified taste of the city dweller who might have more exposure to dwellings that people are willing to spend MONEY on.

    Devil’s Advocate as usual.

  2. You’re right about what exists. Just reported what I saw and where I saw it.

    The larger point: so do you think either urban or rural nudges us toward conformity? Well, not necessarily ‘us’ because that’s you and I, but folks in general.

  3. I think small town nudges more toward conformity than urban settings. Does that mean I would be less pleased to live in a small town? No.

    However, having lived rurally (briefly) and in a small town (less briefly) and in a suburb of a city (growing up) and in THE city (by choice) my current fave is the city. It is environmentally superior both in land use and ability to access services by walking or public transit. And, the ability to get the kind of services you prefer is great.

    Some of the benefits of the small town shift depending on your life phase (parenting, retired, working, looking for love.)

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