13 months ago…
Lance and I always had The Itch to cut ties with Philadelphia. Like most cities in the Northeast, it’s dirty, full of trashy, abrasive people, and overcast about eight months of the year. When I moved to Philly from Michigan for grad school, my relocation was intended to be temporary–I ended up staying for love (SICK!).
Heck, Lance has even tried to escape Philly before. For some reason, though, he decided to live in the only places worse than Philly, Delaware and Baltimore, and was eventually sucked back via the City of Brotherly Love’s unbreakable gravitational pull of “youse” as a collective pronoun.
Early on in our relationship, when things were getting serious-er (ooh la la), Lance and I starting stringing together lists of places we’d like to relocate at some point, cities or equatorial island chains that seemed streets ahead of Philly. It would only take a strong enough itch to leave for us to finally scratch.
In rough chronological order of conception, here’s our Itch List:
- Chicago: Google Maps, Google Maps on my screen, which is the fairest city I’ve seen? Y’all, I love Chicago–it has the metropolitan feel of New York while being as clean as Toronto (gotta love those Canucks). Just ignore the horrific murder rate.
- Las Vegas: Though Lance imagined a life of glitz and glamour, neon lights and Showgirls re-enactments involving pools and pushing people down stairs, I pulled the plug on this possibility real fast, for obvious reasons: Vegas is terrible.
- New York City: there was a brief moment where Lance and I thought maybe we could swing the Big Apple, since NYC is the epicenter of the world, basically. Then our friend told us she paid $3500/month for a 350-ish square foot apartment in the Village and we laughed and laughed…
- O’ahu/Kaua’i, Hawaii: Maybe some day, but right now it doesn’t seem super realistic, being one of the most remote places in the world and all.
And then there’s California. To people native to the East Coast, California is either where the streets are paved with gold, or where a bunch of crazy whackadoos have bizarre gubernatorial recall elections featuring Gary Coleman, the Terminator, and porn stars, all while bracing for The Big One.
We’d been to SoCal together once before, and enjoyed it for what we saw–San Diego and, of course, Disneyland. But last winter, when Lance went on a trip to Palm Springs without me (don’t worry, friends, he was with a proper lady), he called me on his first morning there and said, with palm trees and mid-century modern architecture all around him, “We have to move here.”
And for some reason, this time after years of talking about it, we finally scratched that itch.