Relocation Options: Option One, Iowa

posted in: Tips, Travel 4
You can see Robert James Waller’s face in the side of this covered bridge if the light’s just right.

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people who care about each other to terminate the living situation which has connected them with another and to assume among the powers of real estate, the separate and hopefully equal apartments to which the Leases and Landlords and/or Management Companies grant them, a decent respect to the considerations of mankind suggests that they should declare the options before them as to where exactly in Sam Hill they plan to go.”

Of course, I can only speak for myself. Here are facts:

1. Yuri and I have agreed that living together is not what we should do right now.
2. My condo in Chicago is unavailable, as I have tenants in the unit through mid-June.
3. I do not wish to stay in New York.

Fact One on its own is manageable enough: find separate apartments. Unfortunately, Fact Three renders this possibility D.O.A. I don’t want to find another apartment in New York, especially one that I would be able to afford on my own. Sharing a one-bedroom is great in this city (or any other) because two can afford something together that one couldn’t possibly swing. I did the research. The furnished apartments I found that were within my budget made me extremely depressed. Did I look in every nook and cranny of the city? Did I look in Queens? No, I didn’t, because I don’t want to live in Queens. No offense to Queens, I just don’t want to live there.

All right, then just go back to Chicago. A fine idea, but for Fact Two. Sure, I could tempt my adorable med students with a free month’s rent and some cash to vacate early — everyone has their price and second-year med students are probably happy to let you know what that number might be — but I don’t like this plan. It’s disruptive to them and it would be painful for me. My relationship has failed and my move to New York has failed. Returning to Chicago before the one-year-gone anniversary would be too painful. I picture myself with a little hobo stick, riding into town on a broken-down palomino.

I could get a little apartment in Chicago and wait out my tenants till June, but that would maybe be more depressing. “I can see my house from here!” I’d cry, holding my hobo stick.

So no New York, no Chicago till June. Six months. Six months to go. Over these painful weeks, I have been weighing options and crunching numbers and going over and back over what my best course of action is, here. And now:

Option No. 1: Mom’s House — Winterset, Iowa
Winterset is my hometown. I was born there. My sisters were born there. I know all the bank tellers and the bank tellers’ kids. Lots of people move back home. A large number of people never leave in the first place.

There are many upsides to Option No. 1., including but not limited to; cost of living (essentially nil), being able to hang out with Mom and Mark a lot, a big kitchen, access to cars, Des Moines is a short 35 minutes away and Des Moines is alright, I would get to be with Scrabble (Mom’s dog who I love), I could say hi to the bank tellers, their kids, etc.

Downsides? Numerous. There is no public transportation system to use, so I have to drive everywhere and I don’t particularly like driving in Iowa on account of all the deer. Add to that that I love my mom and stepdad so much but six months is a heckuva long time. I’m more worried they’d get annoyed with me than the other way around. Besides, all those bank tellers remember watching my car die in the Homecoming parade. Turns out you can go home again, but do you want to?

The main problem with Winterset is that I need to save it. See, if I’m going to be at Mom’s house for six whole months, I want to be suffering from a bonafide nervous breakdown. I want to save the “I’m Going Home For Awhile” card for full-on crazy. I want people to ask my mom, “Did I see Mary at the grocery store the other day?” so Mom can go, “Oh, yes. Mary’s… Mary’s home for a little while.” Then the person will say, “Oh, is she okay?” and Mom will say something like, “I think Mary just needs a little…rest.” And I’ll be at home on the couch watching 19 Kids and Counting in the fetal position, combing my hair with a fork. It sounds amazing. I don’t want to blow that opportunity now, when I feel sad but otherwise totally functional.

So Iowa is out. Tomorrow, the next sensible option explored.