Cabin fever. But worse
Everyone knows what cabin fever is – irritability after spending long periods of time indoors – it is what drove Jack Nicholson to (spoiler alert) try and kill his entire family during one winter working at a hotel. Suburban fever, as I like to call it, is the crankiness one finds creeping up on them when they spend too much time surrounded by cookie-cutter surroundings.
I used to suffer from horrible suburban fever – but please, don’t worry, I never killed anyone. I overcame it, but to this day sometimes I’ll see four mini-vans driving in a row like a middle-class funeral procession and I’ll feel a twinge in my neck. The three letters P,T, and A don’t bother me on their own – but when put together, they can give me mild nausea. The words, “Hey there, neighbor!” spoken in a peppy tone usually causes me indigestion and don’t even get me started on Girl Scout Cookies*.
Since there is no real term for the grumpiness suburbia can cause people like myself, I suggest the term “suburban fever” be popularized so folks don’t have to go into so much detail explaining why “charming streets” make them feel claustrophobic or why knit sweaters buttoned all the way to the top (think Bree Van de Kamp) make them feel overwhelmingly sad. Suburban fever doesn’t have to mean that you go on a murderous rampage; it simply means that too much suburbia drives you a little kooky and has you itching for some air.
*If you’d really like to know, I think they’re ridiculously over-priced and not even that tasty – business owners are just capitalizing on our immediate response to not be jackasses to children by rejecting their piece-of-shit cookies.