My parents have been pretty supportive of my move to San Francisco and both (despite the fact that they miss me–I think??) encouraged me not to me not to take an opportunity in NYC this fall in favor of staying here and digging deeper into the Gold Coast.
However, I have noticed my mother slipping in a few arguments here and there for why it is a good idea for me to return home.
There was the time I mentioned that I needed to get some boots fixed but had yet to find a shoe repair place.
“They probably don’t have shoe repair places there,” she told me. “You’ll need to send your boots to me, or come home.”
“What do you mean they don’t have shoe repair places here?” I demanded. “That’s ridiculous.”
“Well, people just don’t get shoes fixed in San Francisco,” she explained. “Because they walk less.”
Then there was the time when I called her up to tell her that I was really convinced that I needed to get breast implants. Instead of the usual, “Do you know how dangerous/painful that is” or “You’ll lose sensation!” or “Sorry you inherited my worst trait,” she simply said, “Ok. But you need to come back to New York to do it. This is where all the best plastic surgeons are.”
Normally I find these arguments amusing, and good for both reminding me that I have a “home” to go back to and convincing me that it’s healthy not to be there now.
However, I was just in NY for the week and despite being more miserable than I’ve been in months, I’m suddenly finding myself homesick.
Yesterday in the office kitchen, I blurted out to a crowd of people, “You know what I miss about New York? Being around other people who want to kill people for no reason.”
“I’m sorry we’re not angry enough for you,” one girl told me. Only in San Francisco (and maybe the Midwest) will people apologize for sh*t like that.
A day later, and still unable to find anyone who would join me in irrational and relentless fury and/or frustration, I called my mom for a solid gripe session.
After she had her turn, I moaned, “I can’t write my blog anymore. I mean, I just don’t know what to say.”
“Well,” she explained. “There’s just not as much material there is New York.” This time, I was totally receptive to the case she was making.
“YES.” I cheered. “That is the problem. You know the only thing to write about here? They don’t label the stops on the BART. How am I supposed to know when to get off if the only place they label the stop is on the wall behind the other train. It’s a disgrace.”
“They don’t really want you to take public transportation,” my mother guessed. “They say they’re all green, but what they really want is for you to drive a car.”
“I know. UGH.”
The truth is, there’s too much to write about here, and no way to censor it for public consumption in a way that makes sense. My sarcastic sense of humor is ill-equipped to describe it, and I don’t know how else to communicate.
But if there’s one thing I learned after 23 years in New York, it’s that when the going gets tough, the tough start criticizing cities in other states. And…we’re back!