It’s been an exciting few days. Aside from missing out on scoring an awesome piece of art – yes, I’m still fixated on the dogs playing poker tapestry! – plenty of groovy stuff has happened. The biggest piece of news is that my wonderful girlfriend is moving in with me.
That’s right. Tara and I are shacking up!!!
I’m such a romantic, huh? But truly, this is fantastic. We met in person just over a year ago, and as I was driving away from our lunch date that drizzly March afternoon, I never would have dreamed that she and I would be in an amazing relationship six months later, and starting a life together not long after that. She and I have talked about this, and it seriously boggles both of our minds. I spent a portion of this past weekend skimming through old Facebook status updates from 2009 (Timeline makes this very easy to do), and couldn’t help but smile every time there was a comment from Tara. Which was often. I love that our friendship dates back so long – it makes for a wonderful story. And also solidifies my belief that we were meant to be.
Also, there was a very interesting comment I made about “suddenly becoming a Peyton Manning fan.” As a Broncos fan, it’s strange how this has come to fruition. The past is a funny thing.
Tara’s original plan was to find a job and then move out here, but the reality of the situation is, long-distance job hunting is even more challenging than short-distance job hunting. The fact that she wasn’t living here was a disadvantage; even though she rocked the interview for a job she was perfectly suited for a few weeks ago, the hiring manager told her straight up that not being here was a strike against her. Suddenly, it looked like she might not be able to make it out here for a long time, which would never do because we’re both so damn impatient. And then, she came up with a brilliant plan that will enable her to move out here right away and search for a job. She’s much less pickier than I am, and I’m confident it won’t take her long to find something right up her alley. Yesterday she gave three weeks’ notice to her employer, and she’ll be moving in on April 14th!
Tara, however, isn’t used to living in a large metropolitan area. There are big differences between her state and mine. For starters, Nevada is a trapezoid and Washington’s more of a rectangle. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In the interest of easing my girlfriend’s transition to life in “the city” (which is how her friends and family refer to this place – or anyplace with more than four stoplights, actually), I came up with a list that not only points out the differences between Nevada and Washington, but also provides a few handy tips to blending in with the locals and embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle.
Nevada v. Washington, or How To Survive in “The City”
- There are no video poker machines in the corner laundromat. Or the convenience store, the carwash, McDonald’s, etc. I’ve spent a lot of time in Nevada the past six months and still can’t get used to the novelty of seeing gambling machines wherever there’s a spare electrical outlet.
- People don’t have “jockey boxes” here, they’ve got “glove compartments.” I didn’t know what Tara was talking about the first time she mentioned a jockey box. I assumed it was a holding pen for people who race horses for a living, not the opening on the passenger side of a car’s dashboard where people store, oh you know, gloves and things. I don’t care how short he is, there’s no way you could fit a jockey in there!
- A “crick” is something you get in your neck, not a fast-flowing body of water. You will see plenty of CREEKS when we are hiking, dear. If we do happen to come across a crick, I’ll massage it out for you.
- People lock their doors when they leave the house here. I wish it could be like Ely. I was amazed that Tara would leave the house without locking the front door. This happened time and time again, whether we were leaving for ten minutes or fourteen hours. I always worried about my “stuff” disappearing, yet it never did. Almost makes up for the weird “jockey box” and “crick” talk.
- We freak out over snow. I know you think our two-inch snowstorms are “cute,” but you know who doesn’t? The mayor. He absolutely panics. So do most other people. If there’s so much as a threat of a few flakes in the forecast, people flock to the grocery store to stock up on essentials like salmon and hazelnuts. Oh, and we can’t drive in it, either.
- Rain, on the other hand? THAT we’re used to! So used to that, we don’t bother with fancy contraptions like umbrellas. Don’t buy one if you want to blend in with the locals. Or buy one, but use it as a hiking stick. Or to poke all the annoying Californians invading our slice of paradise.
- We take recycling very seriously. Sorry for freaking out over the fact that your dad didn’t have any recycling bins in his house. I felt like I’d committed a crime, throwing aluminum cans in the trash like that. We have bins for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. We even have bins for recycling our old bins.
- Washington is as blue as blue can be. Politically speaking, that is – I certainly don’t mean the sky. Sure, there are pockets of conservatism out there – but that’s all east of the Cascades, where the population is roughly 65. We’re the state that just legalized gay marriage and will be voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the fall. We haven’t had a Republican governor since 1985!
- The Mob doesn’t give a damn about Washington. We do have a disproportionately large number of serial killers, however. People like Ted Bundy, Ken Bianchi and Gary Ridgway. Even the DC Sniper used to live here. Instead of burying bodies in the desert, our killers choose the forest. Which, when you think about it, is simply another form of recycling! (See # 7).
- There’s actually stuff to do here all the time – and you don’t have to drive 4 hours to do it. We both love music, and you’ve been busy penciling in your calendar with all the live shows you want to see. We’re going to be going to a lot of great concerts! Not to mention restaurants, art galleries, farmer’s markets, wineries, festivals, trips to the coast, etc. I promise we’ll never be bored!
And I didn’t even mention Voodoo Doughnut…