“I love you but I hate Virginia”: The Maryland Bride’s LamentPosted: March 17, 2011
Although there are always exceptions, most married people live together. I am beginning to suspect Special Someone and I might end up falling into the “exceptions” category. This does not make me as sad as it should.
He lives in Northern Virginia, which to me is hell on earth; I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, which to many people is hell on earth, but having grown up there and lived there most of my adult life, I find almost a kind of comfort when sitting in traffic on Rockville Pike.
I’ve always talked about getting the hell out of the DC area, but never have. It’s too easy to stick around when I have my parents (who happen to give me a pretty sweet Daughter Discount to rent a house they own), most of my extended family, and a good number of close friends all within a 15-minute drive (okay, make that a 30-minute drive – traffic here is terrible). Also, the job market is better here than in most other U.S. cities, and that’s kind of a huge plus.
People who live in DC think, “Maryland, Virginia, what’s the difference? They both suck.” I don’t have time to suffer fools, people. Virginia sucks, Maryland sucks slightly less. It’s official. I’ll get back to you with some data on that one of these days.
Anyway, the main reason I don’t want to live in Virginia, other than that it is even more sucktacular than Maryland, is that the commute to DC is so miserable (I assure you, there is some logic to the way I think). When connected to the city only by a few bridges and tunnels and a couple of overstuffed Metro lines, there’s really no good way for two million people to get there in snarl-free fashion. Maryland, by no means a model of great infrastructure, at least has geography on its side.
Special Someone generally thinks my complaints about Virginia are bollocks. He is one of those rare native Marylanders (okay, since I know he will point this out: he was born in Alexandria — happy now, SS?? — but grew up in Rockville) who defected to the dark side and seems content with that misguided decision. Luckily, he is willing to return to his Old Line roots for my sake.
Seems easy enough – why doesn’t he just move in with me? You must not know my fiance very well. The man is a collector, not a hoarder — there’s an important distinction — but a collector of very large objects. Items in the Large Object Collection include but are not limited to: three antique automobiles each approximating twenty feet in length; six pinball machines; a jukebox; a pool table; a number of antique televisions; and one extremely gigantic wall poster. Of course it’s great that Special Someone has these hobbies and interests (I mean, what do most other guys do for fun besides play Xbox and fart?), but unfortunately the little 1940s two-bedroom, basement-less rambler that I rent from my parents cannot accommodate them (these hobbies and interests also eliminate the possibility of finding anything affordable in DC). Meanwhile, Special Someone owns his house, which also has a garage big enough to fit two of his three large automobiles, so rented cohabitation at my place is kind of a tough sell.
Our wedding is just over four months away now, and we have no idea where we are going to live. If we don’t find a place we can agree on between now and then, I will move in with him, but only on the condition that I can be a stay-in-bed-housewife until we find something in Maryland, since I refuse to make the 90-minute drive to and from my office every day. Of the houses we’ve looked at in Maryland that are (just barely) in our price range, 2+ car garage-equipped, and reasonably close to the areas of Virginia that Special Someone sometimes needs to go to for work, most of them look exactly like this:
Minus the mountain views and cheerful live-in maid, of course. I’m not complaining and I hope I don’t sound spoiled. In fact, I rather like vinyl and formica; they are durable and easy to clean. The tough question is, do I want to be house-poor all for the sake of some ugly suburban split-level that’s so dated-looking we might not be able to resell it? If it means not having to live anywhere in the vicinity of I-66, the answer is a resounding “More Astroturf, please!”