bacon and freedom, as defined by (what else) cupcakes
One of my favorite parts of Me Talk Pretty One Day, is when Sedaris tells us how his Yankee mother relocated to small hick town, and he himself ended up in France, both in the name of love. “Meet a man, fall in love, give up a tiny bit of control, and suddenly you are eating a different part of the pig.”
It’s kind of like that, you know, minus the pig’s feet.
In the coming months, Alex’s job will very likely relocate upstate, a four-hour drive from here. It’s a lovely game of roulette they’ve created – follow your job and we will shower you with money, stability, and benefits; stay here and face a more than 50% chance of a layoff. While Alex will begin looking for a new job in the city on Monday morning, we have but three weeks to decide if this offer is something we are willing to take.
Can you see me outside New York? I can’t. Maybe Rome. Hell, I’m even a fan of Atlanta, but I’ve always drawn the line where cities end. Urban messes make sense to me; they’re logical, convenient and their immediate access to all things at all hours has become my definition of freedom. Plus, they sparkle at night. My absorption with New York City borders on obsession; I never thought I’d exist anywhere else, so it’s no surprise I’ve barely slept this week and my hearts a little broken.
We also have to look at what’s being offered to us, namely financial gains. (Yes, I know talking about money is tacky, but, um, have you seen my site?) We could pay off our student loans and credit card debt, be fully reimbursed for tuition, and even possibly save enough for that elusive down payment on a pad in Brooklyn with a tiny yard filled with herb gardens and a tire swing for a you-know-what. We’d only have to commit to one year outside the city. Plus… [drum roll, please]: I COULD ICE CUPCAKES ALL DAY AND STILL BREAK EVEN.
Isn’t that freedom, too?
Is it childish for me to refuse to imagine life anywhere else when I haven’t tried it yet?
But more importantly, who is this grown-up person talking and what did you do with the girl who never valued paying a few lousy bills on time over living in the place that she loves most?
I say do it. You may love it and suprise yourself. And there is no doubt you love Alex. It sounds like it would be good for him and compromise, especially at the beginning of a marriage, is a lovely thing.
FWIW: one of my co-workers who is more new yawk than anyone I've ever met, fell in love with a guy who hated the city. Not just The City but all cities. They moved to a farmhouse in nowhere NY (somewhere between Syracuse and the end of the earth) and really are living happily ever after.
Of course on the other hand my mother is from Syracuse and her motto is "never goin' back again.
I'm such a big help :)
I say do it. You can do anything for a year. The fact that it is for a finite period of time gives you the luxury of trying something new and having the option to return to the city.
DON'T DO IT.
at least if i were you, i wouldn't. i left the city (san francisco) to move to the suburbs to be close to my job. plus, i'm almost 30, just got married... this is what people do, right?
it is HORRIBLE and LONELY and i am 30 minutes from the city. if i were to do it again, i would have found another way to make it work.
"Is it childish for me to refuse to imagine life anywhere else when I haven’t tried it yet?"
No, but it does suggest that fear of the unknown is one of your most potent enemies.
"But more importantly, who is this grown-up person talking and what did you do with the girl who never valued paying a few lousy bills on time over living in the place that she loves most?"
Ain't the future weird that way?
Only a year? Good Lord - do it. I'm a bit biased by my dire financial straits, but still... sounds like a no-lose situation. One year is so little time, and so many people my/your age are having to move back in with THEIR PARENTS (!!!) to make ends meet these days - I'd say you've been handed a hell of an opportunity.
6 | ej | January 21, 2005 06:50 PM
At first I was going to say "OH GOD HONEY NO!" But I mean, it's just a year and the money sounds really great. I think it's worth sacrificing a year of city life to have the life you want later on (with the little herb gardens and tire swings). I guess part of being an adult is thinking about what's best for the future not just what's best for RIGHT now. But, as I always say, go with your gut. And if your gut wants to take a year off and ice cupcakes, then do it. And send me some cupcakes.
do it. i moved from a small city i loved to a big city i hated - all in the name of love. admittedly it was a hard two years, but now that i'm home (yep.. we moved back) i'm so glad i've had the experience. it's so hard to step outside the comfort zone, but it feels damn good to know you can. challenge yourself.
8 | melissa | January 21, 2005 07:19 PM
ok, ok. Deb, here's the story... my proposal came like this...
"will you marry me..." (yes, oh yes, ohyesyesyes!)
"..and move to the suburbs of New York City?" (oh god oh no nonononoooooooo!)
I moved away from my beautiful city (New Orleans), my family, my amazing, brilliant wonderful friends that I had since grade school.
All because I loved him.
I was miserable for exactly one year.
Then... boom.... poof. I woke up one morning and realized that I had made actual friends up here, I had done wonders for my career, I was happily engaged (now married) to a man I adore, and you know what... it's not so bad.
But all you have to get through is one year.
Girl, why are you even hesitating? You can do anything for a year!
Go for it.
I say you go for it. Try Southern California to upstate NY, which is what I'm faced with. There's a lot to be said for love, but I've never lived anywhere else - California girl to the extreme. So what do I do? Promise a year, and if it's hated, make him move somewhere that has sun once in awhile. Or sun daily.
Give it a shot -you can always move back.
11 | Miss T. | January 21, 2005 08:41 PM
Ahem, Canada is lovely. And I say go for it too. You won't be that far away, and it's only a year and the getting debt-free, and being able to save up money is great! Oh, and the cupcake baking!
Uh...Did they come out and say "In one year, we will bring you back to the city" or did they say "Hey, Alex, it's only for a year, buddy." Big difference.
Deb, it's a year. Think about how long a year really is (it'll fly by) and how much longer you and Alex would have to work to save for all those things you hope for (the pad in Brooklyn, etc) if you stayed in NYC. Whatever your decision, we'll all be here rooting for ya.
Wow. Huge decision, I'm not envious. On the other hand; huge adventure with someone you love who loves you, and suddenly it seems exciting no matter what you decide!!
Howard - It's a one-year contract, once the benefits are accepted.
Hey, if you're THAT close to Canada, you can drive to Toronto for some big-city wining, dining, and shopping, all that much more affordable for being in Canadian dollars!
Regardless of what you decide, bourbon travels.
It's only three hundred and sixty five one day at a times.
Deb, you can do a year standing on your head. And then think of how much you can hold this over Alex's head for decades to come!
Think of it as a long semester-abroad program.
You know, it's funny because I've been begging Alex for months to find a way for us to move to France for a year. France, Syracuse - same thing, right?
Oh, mgood, that's such good advice. I moved to Oklahoma for a year. Let me say that again, but better: Okla-frickin-homa. And it was totally and completely worth it, even the times when I bitterly missed my friends (in DC) and my family (in Philadelphia). My (now husband, then fiance) and I learned a lot about each other and our relationship. I offer no suggestions of whether or not you should do it but I will tell you this: whatever you decide, you've made the right decision.
Buy some snowboots (if you dont have them already)!
Being free of credit card debt? Thats saying something- Just make sure alex promises you frequent trips to the islands as compensation. If you live in the cold suburbs you are going to need more of those do-nothing-all-inclusive vacations. You know the ones--the kind with the swim-up bars.
Besides didnt we all say we were going to move to Canada when faced with 4 more years of that moron? Just think, you will *almost* make good that promise.
23 | Anonymous | January 22, 2005 05:34 PM
I just returned to my big city after four months in podunk America to accelerate my career and augment my bank account and I have to say, it was hard to leave podunk. There is a helluva lot to be said for podunk, and Syrcacuse isn't even definable as podunk. Frankly, I think it sounds like a great opportunity--for you BOTH. Good luck deciding on what's right you guys.
syracuse? Are you FUCKING NUTS. there are OTHER JOBS. there is not enough money in the world. It would be like the movie Deliverance. Think of poor Jasa in Albany--HE IS DYING or boredom.
Stop freaking out, get the Sunday Times and start interviewing.
Go for it, I agree that you guys would find out a lot about each other, your relationship, and it would make you guys stronger.
It would also make you truly appreciate NYC, I think, and then you could move back in a year.
mgood and Lizzi gave SUCH good advice. Running the risk of sounding trite, here is my advice: follow your heart. You rarely regret it. You never know - after a year, you may have fallen in love with the place and never want to leave.
Delurking to say that I don't think it's childish to want to stay in New York. New York and Syracuse are like different parts of the world. Whenever my husband and I visit my in-laws in Dutchess County (which is only about an hour and a half north of the city), it's pleasant and bucolic for about ten minutes and then I just want to get back home. I feel like when I leave the city I leave the happiest part of me behind. The energy and diversity of New York is so unique to this city, that I would be very reluctant to leave it behind, even for a year. Plus, I'd be afraid I'd get stuck in the boondocks.
That being said, I might do it anyway, if I was sure it was only for a year, and if the financial benefits were considerable. They would have to be pretty considerable though, and something that I knew I couldn't duplicate in New York.
Is Syracuse anywhere near Hyde Park? All I know is that they're both located outside of the City. Duh. Anyway, let me know if you're going to be anywhere close to the CIA -- Culinary Institute of America. They have all kinds of cool jobs that you would love!
30 | Notorious ANG | January 23, 2005 06:58 PM
God I love ya Ang, but no, it's hours north of Hyde Park. It was my first thought, too!
If martha can do prison for 5 months, you can do syracuse for a year.
Okay, hang on, I just want to clarify that Syracuse is neither the boondocks, nor the country, nor podunk, nor bucolic in any way. It's not NYC, but it's not rural. It's a small city. You folks in THE City may not know about this, but there are other cities! Some of them just a fraction of NYC's size! Some don't even have skyscrapers! And yet, they are still cities. I guess you have to see to believe.
33 | ej | January 24, 2005 10:14 AM
oh this "green acres" tale sounds so familiar (I feel like one of those ghosts in A Christmas Carol that comes to warn). . . I was lured from my beloved Boston (sure it's no NYC, but I loved it) up to hootersville because it would only be "temporary" and I could quit my job and write full time . . . lemme just say--- one year, fine-- you'll survive-- but get it in writing, in blood, that you only have to be away from civilization for one year. Cause babe, that was twelve years ago. I'm just saying.