Monday, July 16, 2007

Not Seeing The Forest For The Trees

Well, I (we) were thisclose to leaving this forsaken city for greener pastures. A career opportunity in another state brought the whole moving issue front and center. But it looks like we are staying here for a while more.

I don’t know why this is happening now, but I very suddenly urgently and desperately need to move out of the city. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it was spending an afternoon at my friend Jen’s new house (land, trees, lawn, woods, swing sets and BBQ grills). Or it could just be the annual get-out-of-the-city urge, brought on by heat, which brings on the stink, which brings out the worst in people here in the city. But this desire is reaching a fevered pitch and becoming impossible to ignore.

I assumed we would eventually end up somewhere else, but NYC has a way of sucking you in and not letting you go. I have been here for 17 years, starting when I was 18 years old. And I love this life. But I also yearn for a different one: The kind of life that includes a house with a driveway (no more paying for parking or having to call the cantankerous man at the garage to tell him I will need my car at a certain time) and a porch with a porch swing and hanging plants and a mailbox that doesn’t require a key (oh the novelty of just opening a mailbox and getting mail). I want to shop in grocery stores that don’t charge nearly $8 a pound for chicken. I want to pull my car into a parking lot (again, the novelty) and buy more groceries than I can carry. I want trees and grass and most important several hydrangea bushes (blue, purple and pink preferable) and a semi-mature apple tree in the backyard (optional). A hammock. A fireplace would be nice. Built-in bookshelves for certain. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Nicole was being head-hunted by a company in another state that I wouldn’t mind living in for a few years. There were several benefits to this particular position, but the main one was they were paying a ridiculous salary. We talked about what would happen if they made an official offer and we both decided, hey, why not move. We would rent out our apartment here and move there for a few years. And then we could come back. Or if we loved it there, we could stay. We were all about being flexible.

It isn’t an easy decision because we would be leaving behind some loved ones. But we figured we would be taking lots of weekend trips back up this way.

Well, then the tide turned. They wanted to fly (or train ride) Nicole in to interview with the final people. But Nicole told them she changed her mind. She said life is crazy with two new babies and even leaving for a night right now isn’t appealing to her. She told them good luck with their search and that if the position was still available in a few weeks to call her. She broke practically every interviewee rule in the book and they still wanted her. They told her they would WAIT for her. They wouldn’t take no for an answer. They then offered to put us all (babies too) up for the weekend n a nice hotel and show us just how great it is to live in their town. But it wasn’t moving that is the issue; it is more about a lot of change (babies, etc.) in a short period of time. I begged Nicole to let us at least do the weekend away. But she is way too ethical for my tastes and said it wouldn’t be right, unless she was seriously considering this position. We can’t just go on an all-expenses-paid weekend jaunt. Damn.

In the meantime, we are staying put. For now. I wonder how long we will last in the city, especially now with children. My brother gives us a year. Nicole and I think we have a good four years to go. I really don’t know. If we get a place to go to on the weekends, then I can imagine lasting here a very long time. But being in the city year-round, without any escape? I think I am over that.

And then the question: When is enough enough? Enough time living in the city? Enough money? Enough material possessions? Enough of the fast pace? Enough of paying almost $6 for a half gallon of orange juice?

Pictured above, my friend Jen’s backyard. You can hear the breeze swish through the trees. It doesn’t get any better than that.


nailgirl said...

I say move what have you got to lose beside leaving loved ones behind.Good luck with convincing Nicole, that may be easier said then doen. Why doesn't she want to mmove?

Truck Driver Wife said...

Sounds like the city where I live. I sure wish you gals luck with everything. I think your friends back yard looks mighty appealing.

calliope said...

Wow- a move would be huge!
Does Nicole really ant to say or is she doing what she feels would be easiest/smoothest right now?

Anonymous said...

I hate paying absurd prices for food, parking, blah blah in this town. But somehow I get scared that people in the burbs aren't the most gay friendly or accepting of an alternative family. Maybe I am a just a snotty new yorker.


Shelli said...

I think it's also age, and family, too. I moved to NYC in 1989, at barely 19 years old. It was the life, single, free, city that never sleeps, center of the world, etc. I always told guests that "You can't see the garbage from the top of the Empire State Building." And I've stuck to that story for 18 years.

I LOVE New York. There's NO where else that we can be a Jewish, Bi-racial, lesbian Family with such comfort and ease.

But then each and every time we go back to Portland for a trip to see family and friends, my heart is pulled there more and more. I want a house. With a yard. And a washer and dryer. INSIDE THE HOUSE. And and and, everything you said. Since I've left theatre, finding jobs for me is easy-peasy. But not so much for Narda. She heads a stage management program at a university, and there's only a few cities that offer that kind of study program. But we long for the proximity of family, (aka free babysitting), and just that more "settled life."

I never thought I'd be the type to want to leave NYC. NEVER. But you know? I'm there now. It's just not as important to me as it was when I was 19.

So I hear you. Big time.

K J and the kids said...

Just dive in.

amy said...

change is scary no doubt, especially when you add kids to the mix. i think she should give the new company a try. it's not unethical to take the weekend and honestly consider your options. the company isn't banking on her accepting the position, it's just another carrot that they're dangling. believe me, i do this ALL the time from the employer's perspective. in fact, i am flying someone in from nyc the week after next to dangle a carrot. who knows if she's committed to move, i don't, i'm sure she doesn't but it's worth giving it some more thought and the only way to do it is to have her come down and experience atlanta for herself...

good luck in whatever you guys decide...

we live in atlanta btw and have all of the things you yearn for + a really cool city fool of culture. you can have both!

Anonymous said...

In my company it's very standard to fly people over for an interview and put them up at nice hotels...And you never know, she might just like the job enough that she decides to take it...I went on gratuitous "all expenses paid" trip when chosing a grad school and ended up staying because I liked the people I'd work with so much, even though I had a different preference.

Carey & Steph said...

I vote for a move to Northern CA... :) It's pretty, doesn't rain all summer, and CA is a great place for gay couples & families!! We love it here.

I say go and look... take the weekend trip and just see what it's like. You just never know......

Motel Manager said...

We have also been thinking of moving, though the reverse of what you're doing - we want to get back to a larger city (and a place where we have lots of friends) from a smaller, more manageable place. We're always off-cycle. I think your plan makes more sense.

It sounds as if Nicole may get other offers in the future, so maybe it'll make more sense then!