No sooner had my husband and I driven away from the brick-red stucco apartment of Oakland, CA when I began insisting the West Coast wouldn’t get over me without a fight. The 1oo+ degree weather that met us with a suffocatingly sweaty handshake in North Carolina made my surrender all the easier.
Here I am now, a year later, living in Seattle for the summer where the sun shines more than its locals let on and the sporadic rain affords a scenic backdrop to my introspection.
Was I an insane idealist to think two and a half months away from my home, my friends, my dog, and my husband was healthy? Was I seemingly selfish to think following my vocational path to the Center for Courage & Renewal was going to be good for both me and for my marriage? And was I just plain deranged to think after five years of living with only one other person that I could sleep on the floor of my brother’s house shared by him and three other roommates?
I’ve surprised myself:
(1) I can cook. More than bacon and eggs. I can cook for myself. Everyday. Sometimes that includes toasted pita and peanut butter. But sometimes that means whipping up a batch of lamb and gorgonzola meatballs with a yogurt mint dipping sauce. I am not domestically handicapped.
(2) I am strong, physically. I wish I could find some time to sit on my ass in front of the computer but, alas, people in the Pacific Northwest seem to really love exercising. All the time. Just when you think you’re done for the day, some chipper hipster suggests a quick bike to the sculpture garden. And you pedal hard to keep up, to keep cool.
(3) I am indebted to Hulu. Television is a delight rather under-appreciated in Seattle. You’d prefer homemaking candles? I’d prefer homemaking with the fictional Modern Family. No, I do not want to play Dungeons and Dragons. I am a dork of the mainstream media variety.
(4) I am a great roommate. I am tidy, I am agreeable, and I bring home cake pops from Starbucks when everyone gives me a puzzled look at their description. I splurge on Swiffer wet jets, swipe the hair out of the shower drain, and politely hold my pee when one of my four roommates is using the bathroom.
(5) I am really attracted to my husband. Seattle men are among the prettiest I have seen with their polished man boots and gentlemanly vests. But no one has that misplaced dimple under their left eye, no one wears flannel and high tops in such an unpretentious way, and no one would whisper through tears, “I’m proud of you” when their wife high-tails it out of town like my husband. Seattle makes me want to date him. Hard.
Truth to be told, I got the impression that most friends thought I was more than a little too independent, too fiercely feminist for following my call to Seattle. Friends asked if I was unhappy in North Carolina. Others told me that they liked their husbands too much. I insisted my husband liked me too much not to let me go.
And here I am. Two weeks strong. Two weeks more in love.