Throughout the years, Liz and I have had our share of crises. First there was our identity crisis. (Ask Liz about her meltdown in college when everyone called BOTH OF US Lisa.)
Then there was our quarterlife crisis. (Don't EVUH buy one of those close-up lighted vanity mirrors after age 35. Trust me on this one ladies.)
And now, I'm in the middle of a geography crisis. A major one.
I can't decide where I live. Chicago, IL or Long Beach, CA?
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well....
As many of you know, about six months ago I "shmoved" to Chicago be with my soon-to-be fiance. I chose to use the word "shmove" over "move" because it was, well, less "I no longer live in California" sounding. After all, I still had a car and my furnished condo in Long Beach , my driver's license still said Cali and, c'mon, could I ever really be a Midwestern girl?
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Midwestern people. In fact, they're nicer than most. But, when you technically have two residences, you can pick and choose where you want to live based on who's asking. And most of the time, you're going to say California mostly in order to avoid the weird, squinty look people give you when they try to process why on God's green Earth you'd ever choose to go from the West to the Midwest. So, I'm not really lying when I say Long Beach... even though all my Hanky Pankys are in Illinois and my Long Beach condo has now been rented.
But since it's a New Year and I'm about to marry the man I've been shmiving with for the past six months, it's probably time to make a few confessions:
1. I confess: I'm still using a California driver's license. Okay, so here's the deal. I went into the DMV and I was ready to bite the bullet, I swear. Well, that is until I started sweating through my "I love California" t-shirt. As I looked around at the long line of wool coat and scarf wearing people, I knew that if I went through with my application for a driver's license that I'd officially be an Illinois resident. Which meant...
I could no longer hand my California ID to the lady at Target and have her "ooh and ahh" over the great, warm life I must have back there.
I could no longer get comments from the cute boys behind the counter at Cubs games when they saw my ID. I'd officially be a Midwesterner.
So, I turned on my North Face snow boot heel and walked out of there faster than you could say Go Cubs!
2. I confess: I still watch TV on West Coast time! I still watch the Bachelor at the time my West Coast friends do. Half the fun of watching shows like these is the sideline banter I have with Liz during the show. And now, even though I have to wait TWO FULL HOURS so we can write on each other's walls about the 24 year old with fake ta-tas who's only known Jake for 11 seconds but is ready to marry him and have his babies, it's worth it.
3. I confess: I'm f***ing freezing my ever-expanding ass off! In order to keep my Midwestern cred with my new Midwestern friends, I LIE about how the cold is affecting me. I tell them that this Cali girl is A-okay and that the cold isn't anything a North Face coat and a good pair of gloves can't handle! But the truth is, I'm freezing my ass off! It's not like I haven't been around cold before...I love to ski and snowboard. But...this is ridiculous. It was NINE degrees here on Sunday. And when I checked the weather in Long Beach on my Iphone (something I do at least once a day I guess to torture myself) it was SEVENTY TWO! So, to warm myself up, I've turned the thermostat up to 75 and gone through an entire forest of firewood trying to turn "brutal cold" nights into "warm hearth" evenings. But I'm still cold...And the only thing I've actually succeeded in is making my fiance's head spin off each time the heating bill arrives in the mail.
4. I confess: When I fly back to Cali, I tell the person in the seat next to me that I'm "on my way home." The minute I buckle myself into my seat and head to Cali, I'm often asked "do you live in California?" And I usually say, "Why, yes I do!" Then the person will say "what part?" and I'll happily respond "Long Beach" and they'll nod with approval. What can I say? I get homesick for the sun as soon as I make sure my Louis is stowed away properly and my tray table is in its upright position. I know that when I land I'm going to remember what I've been missing. How glorious it will be when I'll be able to walk outside to the taxi line WITHOUT needing thermal underwear and a face mask. How people will be wearing flip flops in the seventy five degree January weather.
Don't believe me? Want to see my ID?!