Karen Green: Out Of My Element


City vs Cornfield: The Teen Years

Is it better to be a teenager in the city or the country?

Growing up in the cornfield awarded my husband a very different teenagehood than I experienced in Toronto’s closest suburb. We have compared notes many times, and now that I am out here in the sticks, it’s interesting to see that (most of) what he said was totally accurate and not just fable. If we’re still here when my own kids are teenagers, they sure are in for a different ride than the one I was on. For better or for worse. To prepare, a short summary of my life in the city vs. my husband’s life in the country when we were teens. 

City: Had music wing, art wing, photography lab, pool, auto mechanics garage
Cornfield: Had on-site daycare
Summer Job
City: cashier, grocery store
Cornfield: farmhand, cornfield (This is what all the kids still do. They work hard. It’s insane.)
Leisure Time
City: lounging in backyard or mall
Cornfield: poolside or lakeside
City: Dreadlocked windsurfer, previously unknown
Cornfield: Whomever the least number of your friends had already slept with
City: Sneaking into clubs where they don’t card; parties in basements
Cornfield: parties in cornfields — follow the empty two-fours placed along the country roads to know you’re headed in the right direction
City: getting kicked out of the clubs that didn’t bother to card you on the way in. Injustice!
Cornfield: getting expelled from local campgrounds and Provincial parks for turning the picnic tables into firewood; driving into the lake. 
City: horrible 
Cornfield: even worse
City: Dead tour across the east coast, dressed like we wished we lived on the Prairie. 
Cornfield: Primus concert in Detroit, dressed like they wished they lived in the city.
Where did you grow up? What were the most memorable experiences of your teenage years?