These days, when you live in a suburban bedroom community like we do, the norm is to see one, if not both, vehicles parked in the driveway… not the garage.
Yes, that sort of defeats the purpose- why have a 2 car garage if you don’t use it to park your 2 cars in?
The answer becomes evident the moment you drive by these houses when their garage doors happen to be up.
You will see unpacked boxes, kids’ riding toys, and lawn care equipment; among other random items. I often see garages simply turned in to man caves.
It has become the cultural norm in neighborhoods like mine to use a 2 car garage for storing junk, in addition to items normally found in a garage.
My theory is that this is not happening simply because people have too much junk; though I definitely believe that’s a big part of it, as middle class Americans.
I would have to think the main reason is because garages in cookie cutter neighborhoods like mine are smaller than the garages our parents’ houses had in the 1980s and 1990s, where living in a bedroom community wasn’t necessary, as so many of us grew up in small towns where there were still jobs; before everything moved to China.
A 2 car garage is a selling point when showing a home to a commuter family like mine. We don’t care how big the garage actually is, as long as we can 2 cars in there if we wanted to.
But by the time the family moves in the house, it becomes more practical for them to store their junk in the garage than it is to figure out how to carefully park both vehicles in there each day.
As for me, though, my wife is the equivalent to the lovable Jewish character on Friends, Monica Geller.
There is no such thing as “junk” in our house. If it ever existed, it got thrown out long ago.
Every weekend we clean our entire house. No junk gets left behind, trust me.
Please note that on my own, I wouldn’t be this disciplined. But as part of a married couple, and as a family, we live a deliberate lifestyle in which park both cars in our garage every day.
By no means does that make us better than the majority; if anything, it makes us strange in the neighborhood.
Yesterday I drove home from work in the 2015 Lexus GX that our family will be reviewing this weekend.
As large as it is, I made it fit. I had to move the garbage can as well as my son’s wagon, but I made it work. Fortunately, the back door swings out, so I can still access the very back even with the garage door closed.
I just can’t bring myself to park a car in the driveway when I have a garage. Not to mention, I’m always paranoid someone will break into my car at night if I just leave it outside; despite the extremely low crime rate where I live- where the speed limit is 20, and there are cops proactively patrolling all the time. I even the lock the car doors after I’ve already shut the garage door.
But again, I’m the strange neighbor.