In about a month, my fellowship runs out and Ryan will be starting a new job to support us all while I finish my dissertation. Where that new job will be is a huge decision and we are really struggling with it. The first city, which we'll call "North", although I'm sure if have been reading you will easily figure out where it is, would give us an opportunity to try living in an urban setting. Just today I found an apartment within walking distance of no fewer than SIX coffee shops.
When I think about living there I get all giddy as I imagine walking to Whole Foods with Charlie in the Ergo and leisurely selecting locally grown organic apples in front of the store while making easy friendships with all the stroller wielding hippy women I remember from our visit. I imagine taking Charlie sledding in the winter and then coming home to hot cocoa and cozy quilts and homemade cookies. I imagine weekend trips to the beach and summer afternoons at the science museum and Ryan taking Charlie sailing at the sailing club we found (just ONE STOP away from the kickass apartment I found). And also, I imagine myself working at a university (there are sixty of them in North), wearing long skirts and carrying a briefcase on the subway and having colleagues and interesting conversations.
When I think about living in the other place, we'll call it "South", I get excited too. We'd be near my parents and my sister and a day's drive from Ryan's parents. My aunt and uncle and their four kids live nearby. We could take Charlie to the lake and my dad could teach him about boats. We could meet my parents for breakfast tacos, a Saturday tradition in my family. Charlie could grow up with big loud family gatherings where the kids disappear as soon as they hit the door to build forts and play hide and seek and watch a movie sitting together on the sofa-bed with Dixie Cups full of popcorn and KoolAide. It is warm there, nearly year round, and, well, MEXICAN FOOD!
So in the morning, if I want to go to the coffee shop, where I have to drive, I want to go to North and the whole time I'm driving I am whistling a happy happy tune that one day soon I will be able to roll out of bed, throw on some pants and some shoes and walk to the coffee shop. WITH MY FEET! And then I figure I'll stop at the grocery store to pick up a frozen pizza while I'm out and as soon as I round the corner into the aisle where the freezers are goosebumps pop up all over my body and I start thinking maybe South would be better, what with the Seasonal Affective Disorder and all (I tend to go a little nuts here if a cold snap lasts more than eighteen hours or so). On the way home when I get stuck behind some ninety-five year old woman applying mascara and drinking God-knows-what as she drives down BOTH lanes of the street then I want to move to North. Think about housing prices? South wins. Think about fall? North wins. Think about our families? South wins. Think about Fourth of July? North WINS. Ad infinitum.
I'm also making this decision easy on Ryan by emailing him dozens of links to apartments on Craigslist from one city and then the other. And by declaring my certain allegiance to one city and then the other depending on how much sleep I've had and my proximity to the freezer door.
Charlie says "Mama, QC871 D34 1992 isn't here, would QC871 D34 1979 work?"