Place Love

May 10, 2010

This morning I go in for the sonogram to see how big my follicles are. I wonder if I’ll get any feedback about the number of eggs in general? If the follicle is a good size, I’ll get a shot to make it drop and come back tomorrow for an IUI. And the next day for another one, even though Dr. Hugs already said that he doesnt like to do two IUIs in one cycle because, “it only increases your chances by about blah blah percent.” Dr. Hugs is on an island right now. He doesnt get a say.

Also, I added a cycle day ticker at the bottom of the homepage. This cycle day ticker’s for you, LPC.

I’ve been in a twitchy mood lately. Quiet, furtive, otherly. I really want to leave this place and I really want 3,000 dollars to fall out of the sky in order to make it happen. Awhile ago, when Wifebian and I were hashing out the meaning of love and life as it was between us, she observed that maybe I like to fall in love so much because I’m depressed and isnt love is a fan-fucking-tastic anti-depressant? I mean, dont get me wrong. I didnt spend my twenties falling in out of love every two weeks, I wasnt recklessness, but I definitely bent over backwards for love. I’ve had the honor of falling head over heels four times and all of them involved crossing many, many state lines. Specifically, the ones between Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., California, Utah, and Florida. Just my lousy luck, I guess, but I never shirked from my responsibility to go boldly forth in the name of love, to get on that Greyhound or rent that Ryder.

Now that I am married, I hopefully wont be falling in love again (because, well, wouldnt that be a disaster) but what is it that I can fall in love with, I ask myself? I mean, I agree. Falling in love seems to really do it for me, surely getting married isnt the end of the falling in love.

I know motherhood will do it. But I think finding a place will do it, too. Finding the final apartment, in that one city, in that one state, where I will really just stay. I want to fall in love with the place I live. But somehow, in spite of being married, and therefore, ostensibly settled down, I still find myself in the moving business. In the four years I’ve been with Wifebian, I have moved six times, gracing four states with my presence. I have lived in D.C., the homebase I love, and Virginia  (which I swore up and down I would never do), and I have lived, well, here. And there are two unmentionable, unfathomable heres, states I never even took the time to swear about not living in because who ever thought I would have to?

I want to go some place and I want to stay there. For fucking ever. I want to love it and I want to take care of it. I want to attend city council meetings and block parties. I want to sweep my front step and pick up other people’s dog poop. I want to have an opinion about stoplights and I want to adopt a highway. “Yes, I will donate an extra $25.00 to have my name engraved on that brick,” I will say. I want the address on my checks to match the address on my license. I want to infest the nooks and crannies of my house with layer upon layer of my creepy, crawly memories. I want to douse the sidewalks with stories. I want every building to have a story and most of the faces to register recognition when they see me coming. I want to start something, or at least become a part of something, and I want all the people I’m in it with to come to my funeral. I want one city, one neighborhood, one house, to be mine from now on. I want my kid to say, “I was born here,” and have an accent while they say it.

And in my youthful exuberance I thought D.C. might be that place. I had most of my good stories there, and my mother’s and father’s, too. That was one of the great things about that DC, my history and my parents’ histories were everywhere I was. He got arrested in an the alley behind the Manhattan laundry building. They met in Georgetown.  And there’s where their stories start to make mine. She stood in the parking lot of a GW building with a young me and decided not to apply for a doctorate program. Me and him driving past the Pepsi bottling company on the way back to Maryland.

I was a tour guide in DC one summer. Being a tour guide in DC was awesome. To have the history of our nation in all of its blackness and whiteness and wars mingling with my own family’s history, as well as the registry of public places in which I had sex during my early twenties was like an ice cream sundae! So many sprinkles and cherries! SO MUCH FUDGE. But the place for me, the adult place, isnt DC. What self-respecting middle class white liberal can afford to raise a family there? (Cue zombie voice, raise arms parallel to the floor.) Middle-class white liberal must buy house. Must buy house. Buy house. Hauwsssss.

So. I need to find a place to love and take care of and a place that will love and take care of me . . . and I wonder if that place isnt Baltimore. Being a native Marylander, it is, after all, my birthright. And there is some family history. My mom says that my grandparents had a dry cleaning store on St. Paul Street and my mom got a certificate at JHU (instead of that PhD from GW). I have a very dear friend there, who I believe in my heart is never going to leave. And my company has offices there, plus there are lots of positions there with the National Health Service Corps. Baltimore has a dab of history and a spot of friendship and a job prospect or two, which is enough to get started. In fact, one of my fondest memories of my dad is picking up my first interstate love from the bus station in Baltimore. (I was 16 and I had met him on the internet.) My dad took me to pick him up and suggested that we cross the street so we could be warmer on the sunny side. Having grown up in the suburbs, I didnt know that about city streets and I just thought to myself, “That is so smart!” and thought my dad was so savvy.

I mean, I can make it work. Baltimore has place personality for miles. I could play place games like letterboxing and foursquare for days in that little city. And while I have always thought of it as D.C.’s annoying little sister and I never imaged I would deign to set up shop there, I am considering it. I started a Baltimorean category on the blogroll. I troll Craigslist. I daydream.

Baltimore, however, is Wifebian’s last choice ever. Although she is nonetheless mostly willing, the other night, when she came home from visiting her sister’s new baby, she put a moratorium on all Baltimore-talk. She couldnt bear the thought of ever leaving this place, this place I do not love, this clean, conservative, southern place that is the shining birthplace of her first-ever most precious niece, for some place as dirty and busted as Baltimore. Yesterday morning we had to cry about it all a little. Today, we are getting together the infinite paperwork for the licenses.

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8 Responses to “Place Love”

  1. Angie said

    Oh, Mrs. Basement. How I adore this post AND you. I have the same thoughts, same fears. I grew up around DC and my childhood, memories and my sense of home has always been there. Before I moved to Baltimore I also thought it was DC’s annoying little sister that won’t take a hint that she’s too little to play with the big kids. But I love it now- every little piece of it. The culture, the grime, the crime, the bad rap, the art, the volunteering… it makes me feel good to be from our state. It makes me good to be from Baltimore, because when everyone else is talking trash and I can proudly say that I live in Baltimore and “you don’t have any idea how awesome it is.”

    We love our apartment, but one day we want a house. Some grass to cut, a porch to swing, and a backyard filled with big wheels’ and play houses. That day is far away from us, but I understand how you feel. But for us, that house just may be in Baltimore. But then we get into the whole public vs. private school talks and I want to crawl away and hide. Bleh.

    And a couple of notes- Virginia? I don’t know what it is about that state, but I will never ever live there. (Swear up and down.) And also, I think it’s beautiful you and Wifebian and growing some roots in Baltimore. Sometimes, whether we like it or not, home is home. Kind of funny I say that because we dream of living in Austin and LA (we would kill for year round sunshine), but for some reason leaving MD and leaving Baltimore just don’t feel right to me. Can’t put my finger on it.

    Oh, and if you, wifebian, josh and our beans end up in the same neighborhood… knock on my door and say, “Hi, I’m Mrs. Basement!” And I would be delighted and we’ll have all the awesome block parties we want, start a community garden, take the beans to events at any Enoch Pratt we want, and have all the sno-balls our little hearts desire.

    Wow. I think I’m in love with Baltimore, now.

  2. What is it about DC that makes public sex so damn easy? The wife and I have our own significant roster of public sex locations. Good good memories.

  3. MamaDeux said

    Ah, I relate to this so much. I’ve drifted between coasts (and countries) and can’t figure out what exactly will make a place stick in my life. Uno & I talk about Seattle – I grew up nearby – but it’s hard to imagine re-planting all these tentative roots we’ve got going here. Then again, I’m sick of the South too. Hard when Uno is *from* the South and has family here. Anyway, I love the sound of Baltimore, and even better, the idea of picking up and moving someplace with the full intent to stake your claim.

    Good luck with the IUIs this week!

  4. NewlyMrsS said

    Oh, Mrs. Basment! I lurk here and read your wonderful writing and nod my head at all that you get right and now you have to go and write about Baltimore and I cannot lurk any longer without commenting.
    I wish that you and Wifebian didn’t have to cry over it (I wish we all had to cry hard tears less often), but I put in my vote for Baltimore. I went to school there, I live in another, even more maligned town in MD (hello, College Park), and I LOVE Baltimore. Oh so many of my favorite people and things are there. Mostly, I love how it embraces its quirkiness. Honfest and the Visionary Art Museum and all of it.
    Good luck tomorrow. My baby-making thoughts will be with you.

  5. jen said

    Oh how I wish I had the balls to up and move somewhere I’d rather be. Instead i’m stuck her In FL where we have no rights at all and my wife loves her job. She’s from Boston and would rather stay here. WTF? I would love to be in a big city, 2 moms, second paretn adoptions! Oh well, I guess we’re staying in FL. Let’s hope I at least get a baby out of it! Good Luck this week! And thanks for adding me and posting my first comment.

  6. murphybird said

    I hear ya. After living in so many different cities for school, I would love to settle down somewhere, but the job market is so uncertain for me. Being with a partner made it even harder, since we never agreed on where we wanted to live.

    You’ll find it.

  7. LPC said

    Oh thank you honey. I can’t help with the moving stuff. I grew up in Northern California, and I came home and had my kids here as soon as I could organize the requirements. It’s kind of too easy, loving my home town, so I can never separate my feeling of home from the blue blue skies.

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