I've realized there are many status symbols here in suburbia -- our cars, our electronic gadgets, our children's most recent abilities. One of those status symbols has become particularly peculiar to me, especially with the recent house crisis.
Women in suburbia have some sort of obsession with having large, flat, extremely expensive polished rocks in our kitchens. I'm not sure when this trend began, but now everyone seems to want them. No -- NEED them.
When we picked out our kitchen "amenities" a few years back, I went for the Corian (OK -- fake Corian) countertops. After all -- they provide basically the same utilitarian purpose as granite, and were half the price. OK -- there is one fall back: I can't put a boiling hot pot on my fake Corian countertop -- I need to put my $2 potholder under it.
And yet, after visiting many neighbors, I see granite, granite, granite. I even hear about foreclosed homes, now abandoned, still with their granite countertops. After all, granite is too heavy to move or steal.
"Are these granite?"
"Your countertops are BEAUTIFUL!"
"Your husband let you get these?"
And I admit, a little envy -- or maybe inadequacy-- creeps in. I don't even know why. So strange that suburbia.