Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm Breaking Up With You, Bartlett.

It's not you, it's me.

Over the past four years that we've lived out here, I've kind of re-adjusted my expectations of the ideal place for us to be. When I was little, I used to think about where I might live when I grew up and there were two things I would dream about. The first was having an old two-story Victorian home that I could renovate and fix up. (Yes, I thought about renovating and decorating even when I was a kid. Maybe I should have gone to school for that?) Second, I always wanted to live in a big city- namely Chicago. Luckily, for five years after we graduated high school Jason and I were able to live in the city and it was the perfect place for us to be at the time (despite the cramped living quarters and no air conditioning.) However, after we had Juliana and wanted to upgrade out of apartment living, we discovered that our finances wouldn't allow for us to purchase the type of home we wanted and needed inside of the city,

So I re-adjusted myself to accept the suburbs. I didn't really want to live there but the idea of being a homeowner won out. I also didn't want a townhouse at first, but the size and quality of home you get for the money in a condo as opposed to a single-family home drew me in. I remember saying, "It doesn't matter what it looks on the outside. We'll make it ours on the inside." That part is true. Our house is pretty awesome on the inside. It's quite obviously a newer, more contemporary style home rather than the older, vintage homes I like but hey, it's a "starter house" as they call it. We'll only be here five years or so, we said.

And now it's 4 1/2 years later! We've outgrown the space and quite frankly, outgrown the 'burbs. I've joked a lot since we've been here that I've turned into a suburban soccer mom but in all honesty, I SERIOUSLY don't fit in with all the other moms around here. First of all, when we moved here I was only 23. I used to go take aerobics and kickboxing classes at the gym and though I enjoyed the workout, I felt horribly out of place. Everyone was older than me, drove mini-vans and SUVS and had multiple kids already. Plus being as young as I was, whenever I went shopping with Juliana I had the feeling that people weren't sure if I was her mother or her older sister (or possibly even the nanny.) Basically, I felt like a baby. A very weird baby.

Over the years here I have slowly adjusted to suburban life. I've grown up a bit and actually feel like an adult now but I've still never connected with other moms in the area. I've talked to plenty of nice, friendly people at the park or on the street but I've never met anyone in the neighborhood to go have coffee with or have over for dinner. Jason and I are like a pair of odd ducks in a sea of oversized SUVs and neutral decor. But as I keep saying, I accepted that as just the way things had to be. If I wanted to have a dinner party, I could call friends in Rockford, or Milwaukee or Chicago and have them drive out to our house. And after every one of those gatherings I would think, "Boy, wouldn't it be nice if we lived closer to them so we could do this all the time."

Moving to Chicago was out simply because of the outrageous real estate market there. Rockford was out because there is no train from Rockford to Chicago for Jason to ride and despite the friends and family there, I spent too many years wanting to leave that town for me to justify moving back. Milwaukee was my absolute first choice but again, there was the question of Jason's job. He works in Chicago and a train ride for an hour and a half each way every day is quite a hike.

That is, of course, if you HAVE to ride the train every day. And therein lies the solution. If Jason could work out a deal with his job where he only has to go into the office 3 or 4 days a week and work from home the other days WE COULD ACTUALLY MOVE TO A TOWN WHERE WE HAVE FRIENDS! WHEEE!

So we're doing it. And pretty quickly too. After the holidays are over we're going to put our townhouse on the market and start looking for a house in Milwaukee. We should be making enough profit from the sale of our condo to buy a pretty sweet place up there too, hopefully in the style that I've always wanted. We're even driving up there on Sunday to tour some neighborhoods and get an idea for what we can afford. And I can't even begin to tell you HOW! EXCITED! I! AM! I feel like a little kid. I want to move right now but we still have some small projects to finish around here and think it would be best to wait until after Thanksgiving and Christmas are over. (Can you believe I'm talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas? Is it almost OCTOBER already?)

So sorry, Bartlett. We've had a good run but you're really just not my type. We can still be friends though. Dont' take it too hard. It' s not you. It's me.


  1. I wish both of you nothing but happines and luck. I wish I was moving out there too!!!
    But you want to talk about crappy teacher pay I make almost over 12,000 more out here.

  2. Thanks OWJ! Maybe the next time you come to Milwaukee to visit Billy we'll all meet up and hit the town.