In a tradition that started after I moved into The Clubhouse the September following my college graduation, every Wednesday I would go back home to the ‘burbs and enjoy a home cooked meal from mom and update my parents on how my life was and assure them I wasn’t as completely helpless in the real world as my internet persona makes me out to be. I also did laundry for free. That was clutch.
And for three years, every Wednesday night like clockwork, I’d be seated at my kitchen table with my parents, dodging questions about how my quest to find an NJG (nice Jewish girl) was going, and being relatively aloof about my future. Grad school? “Just trying to take it one day at a time.” New job? “Just trying to get better every day.” Any trips planned? “I’m on to Cincinnati.” I may have never laced them up for the Patriots, but I’ve certainly been ready to field media questions if ever called upon to do so.
With my decision made mid-summer that I wanted to put all my worldly possessions in a bundle and high-tail it out of town, it seemed pertinent to inform my parents. Apparently when you have kids, you want to have a sense of where they physically are on the planet. Wild stuff.
So I’m sitting there in my kitchen, enjoying mom’s maple bourbon glazed wild caught salmon when I just had out with it. “I’m planning on moving out of Boston.” And as you can imagine, my parents were stunned. They were no strangers to their boys leaving town (one brother lives in Oakland, the other in Pittsburgh), but they never expected it from me. I’d never lived farther than 15 or 20 minutes from home before. Not in college, not after college. To say that my blood is part Dunkin Donuts coffee and part Charles River sludge would be a fairly accurate representation.
“Where are you moving?”
“To be determined.”
“You going to get a new job?”
“Most likely going to have to.”
“So why now,” my mom asked.
Good question, mum. Because it’s the right time. Maybe the perfect time, if there ever is such a thing. I’m not so entrenched in my job that deucing out on them would be career ruining. Three years of experience on my resume (Don’t call it a CV. I hate when people call a resume a CV. Can’t explain that irrational hate, so don’t ask). Three years is enough experience to get a solid new job, but not long enough to niche myself in one line of work either. It’s enough life experience to know where the hell I’m beginning to fit into the world, but not long enough to feel like I have deep roots in one place, outside of my family. No wife. No girlfriend. 26 seems like a really solid age to go on a bit of an adventure. If I ever wanted to experience life outside of Boston, the current time just feels right.
“What are you going to do about your lease ending after August?” my Dad asked.
“I’m not going to sign a new one. End of The Clubhouse as we know it.”
“So where are you going to live if you don’t get a new job before September?”
That’s when I sort of pursed my lips to one side, raised my eyebrows, my eyes looking straight up in their sockets – right to the ceiling – above which my childhood bedroom loomed. My mom seemed happy. My dad was already figuring out how much rent he could get away with charging me for rent.
On the first day I moved in, my parents let me know that while I was living back home they were set out on a mission to – and I quote – “de-bro-gram me.” I told them I wouldn’t be back home long enough to be debrogrammed.
Well, it’s been a few months, and while the jury is still out on whether or not I’ve been debrogrammed (I haven’t), one thing has become stupendously clear to me. I should have started looking for jobs earlier. Like, as soon as I realized I had any inkling of wanting to move, just to get the process rolling. It never hurts to be early to these kinds of things, but I thought my resume was sexy enough to grab a new job in my new city quickly. Kind of like Taylor Swift. She always has a new boyfriend coming out of the bullpen as soon as she breaks up, and I was going to get a job immediately after setting out to do so. Turns out that even the best looking resumes take time on the market before there’s a good fit.
Timing is everything, and I certainly underestimated how long I’d be home. But honestly, even though I’ve been home for longer than I would have liked, overall it’s been wicked awesome being back in the ‘burbs. Obviously it hasn’t all been positive, but it’s certainly been a hell of a ride so far.
Back to day one of being home – day one of my debrogramming – and my mom casually asked how my crazy upstairs neighbor took the news of me leaving. “Not well,” and I simply left it at that.
I flashed back in my head to a few weeks earlier. Crazy Upstairs Neighbor had knocked on the door to have us watch her dog (of course) when she noticed a couple of guys she’d never seen before signing some paperwork on our bar. “What’s going on in here?” she asked.
“They’re taking over the lease in September. The Roommate and I are parting ways. He’s moving in with his girl.”
“And you’re moving too?”
“Yep. Leaving Boston!”
“But who’s going to watch the dog!?” Of course, she was only concerned with the dog.
“The new guys!”
“Okay,” she seemed more settled knowing she was getting new puppy sitters. “So where are you moving exactly?”
I smiled. “I moving to – ” I paused. My phone was buzzing on the coffee table; I was getting a call from Mia, my college ex-girlfriend and post-college emotional crutch. I looked back at Crazy Upstairs Neighbor. “Hold that thought.” .