Monday, March 28, 2005

Female nomadism

Every year or so my lovely wife decides that we have to move. This is an annual thing, and seems to correspond with the onset of spring. The topic generally arises during a weekend breakfast and begins with the following: “Honey, I’ve been thinking….” When I hear that, I know it’s time to duck and run and hide all the classifieds. Either that or start packing. Anyway, as you all know, Sunday the 20th was the first day of spring. Like clockwork, we’re eating waffles this past Saturday and the lovely pops out with, “Honey, I’ve been thinking…” Shit! Where to run, where to hide! Trapped by the alluring odor of hot waffles and coffee, I’m forced to respond. Adopting my most innocent tone, I come up with the brilliant, “Oh yeah, about what?”

”I think we need to move into a real house.”

Ah yes, “A real house”. Last year we moved from a one-bedroom, rail car apartment into our current abode. It’s a row house. It has two floors. It faces east and has great light. A year ago, this was a real house. By Saturday it had apparently transmogrified into something altogether different.

“I’ve been reading the classifieds and I found a nice house in Del Ray.”

What? Where’d she get the classifieds? I thought I burned those when I brought the paper in this morning. “Really? Del Ray? Hmmm…”

“I think I’m going to call the woman and see if we can look at the house. It has two bedrooms! I mean, we’re only going to look, right?”

“Honey, we have two bedrooms.”

”I know, but we don’t have a backyard.”

”Sure we do, it just happens to be encased in concrete. It’s behind the house, though, and definitely qualifies as a backyard.”

“I can’t plant anything in concrete, I’m going to call this woman.”

So it was, that yesterday at 5:00, the lovely and I are walking around a cute little bungalow with two bedrooms and a backyard in Del Ray, Virginia. It really was nice. Wood floors, a bathroom in the basement (for me), a full backyard with raised beds, a 15 minute walk to the Metro. It was nice, but I couldn’t see myself living there. More importantly, even if I could imagine that, I didn’t want to pack up everything we own (again) and move (again) to a place that in about a year, won’t be a “real house.” Okay, it might be a real house, but I suspect that that this “real house” business is just lovely wife shorthand for “I’m a nomad at heart and wish we lived in a well-appointed, two-bedroom yurt that we could move around at will.”

Anyway, long story short, once we got back into the car and were driving home, I pulled out the trump card. “Honey, what if I get that clerkship on the 9th Circuit? We might have to move to California in a month.”

By the time we got home, it seems the row house had become “real” again. Real enough to last until we figure out what state we’ll be living in next year.