A Midlife Crisis and a Big Move
It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve added a blog entry, which makes this the longest hiatus in the history of my blog. And my excuses after the last hiatuses (hiati?) had already started to take on a “dog ate my homework” quality.
But, honest, I’ve had a good reason. It involves my husband’s Midlife Crisis.
A Midlife Crisis is a way to push back against the inevitability of aging and mortality. Usually when hubbies have midlife crises, they involve the purchase of an expensive red sports car. Or a motorcycle. During one of his multiple midlife crises, my father bought a motorcycle. The first day he had it, he was sitting on it in the garage, the thing tipped over, and he ended up in the hospital with a separated shoulder.
My husband, though, took a different approach. Instead of purchasing a shiny, fast, and dangerous motor vehicle, he decided to sell both our cars. And our house in Albany. And sell or give away about three quarters of our possessions so that we can fit into a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. (Like many of his colleagues at the university, he plans to reverse-commute from NYC to Albany on the days that he teaches.)
A husband’s Midlife Crisis poses a challenge for the wife. She can try to talk sense into the old boy. Or she can go along for the ride.
I tried the first approach. I suggested we rent a small pied-a-terre to see if we really liked living in New York City, if the commute wasn’t too difficult, and if we didn’t want to scratch each other’s eyes out living in such close quarters.
Two years later, our eyes are intact. We discovered that we spent so much time in the city that I didn’t feel we were adequately using and taking care of our beautiful historic home in Albany. And an opportunity came to me in New York City that would never have happened had I stayed back in Albany, leaving my Midlife-Crisis-suffering husband to say, “ha ha, I told you so!”
Hubby and I spent the better part of December and early January apartment hunting in Manhattan. After looking at the possibilities on our tiny budget in downtown and midtown — we needed good access to public transportation because he will be commuting at least twice a week — we settled on a place around the corner from our daughter in the East Village.
Just before we notified our realtor, I had lunch with my funny and wonderful agent, Ellen Geiger, and talked with her about our impending move. I told her the location of our first choice, and she said, “Have you ever been down there on a Friday or Saturday night?”
“No,” I answered.
“You need to see it before you decide. The streets are full of young people with open containers, in and out of bars…” She paused, winked at me. “But maybe you two want that.”
This past week, we moved most of our remaining possessions from Albany to our new home in the East Village. Earlier, I packed up my Lego town, Little Brick Township, and whenever the weather improves, I’ll be driving it down to the city as well.
I don’t imagine we’ll become regulars at the three bars across the street from our new apartment, but we’ve certainly captured the spirit of the Midlife Crisis. And while I’m not usually one to expose private emotions in a public forum like a blog, today is Valentine’s Day. So, Richard, whether it’s a red sports car or a motorcycle, or a window seat in New York City across the street from three crowded bars — thank you for taking me along for the ride.