I Miss The City, Roach Friend

movingA funny thing happens, when you fall in love. You start spending as much time as possible together—cooking lovely meals, educating your beloved on Mean Girls because he’s somehow never seen it, and gazing happily into each other’s corneas. It’s delightful. It is also the first step on the path to that great relationship milestone: living together.

Professor McGregor and I, much to the scandal of his grandmothers, have reached this sinful destination. We are living together. Since his job is tied to being at a certain university, I made the move. Armed with boxes of books and novelty fabrics, I trekked the 90 miles up Interstate 35 and into Professor McGregor’s delightful 1950s bungalow. This also meant leaving the wonderful, eclectic city I grew up in for a blue collar crossroads town of about 80,000 people. Cue the cultural shellshock. I quite like our little town, but it has been a change.

Readers, I miss Persian food.

That may actually be an understatement. Readers, I would sell my soul and half of my pre-censorship Nancy Drew collection for some sour cherry rice and properly made flat bread. When the dear professor and I go out to eat, we have three options: Mexican food (because this is Texas, not the hinterlands), Italian food, or American food. That’s it! If it’s from an Eastern continent, forget about it. Only heathens would want to eat curry! Saffron is the spice of the very, very delicious devil!  I’m now one of those people who, when traveling, insists on eating things I can’t get at home. Upon visiting Kate last weekend, I even turned down my beloved Dallas street taco place, because surely there was something more exotic. Namely: German food, French sandwiches, and my weight in pastries.

That’s alright, though, really. The professor is a pretty wonderful cook and has promised to make foreign foods for me. At least, my new town has good grocery stores and other places to pick up things on a whim. Except, of course, anything that looks like an upscale beauty store. You know all that fancy makeup we’ve waxed poetic about on Spinsters? I have to order it online. Along with my shampoo and detangler and cardigans and pants and thread, because even the JoAnn Fabrics here is small and terrifying. I’m pretty sure it’s staffed by quilted gargoyles, not humans. When I asked for Swedish tracing paper last week, one of them growled at me. The days of fashion emergencies—”This outfit will only work with a ribbon-trimmed puce skirt!”—are gone. If Target or Loft doesn’t have it, I’m out of luck.

You know what we do have, instead? Giant effing roaches, like the one that just now crawled in our house from the back porch, when I opened the sliding door. Sure, the city has roaches, but they aren’t allowed to get chihuahua sized! I swear to God this one is five inches long and wearing fingers. As I am sitting here, boarded into my office, it’s out there in the living room waiting for me. It’s because I bought that bug throw pillow, isn’t it? The roach is punishing me for cultural misappropriation.

If Professor McGregor doesn’t get home soon, I’m either going to die of thirst or brave the walk to the kitchen, be surprised by the mutant roach, scream, and have it fly into my mouth. Upon whence, I will die of a terror-induced heart attack. This is life away from the big city.

This is love.

– Grace

13 thoughts on “I Miss The City, Roach Friend

  1. I can soooo relate. I moved from Tampa, Florida to Thief River Falls, Minnesota when I got married. I was like, where’s KFC? Where’s Walmart? Places I never went to and didn’t care about, all of the sudden made it feel like I was living in a space station. Town of 8,000. We didn’t stay there long. I needed curry.

  2. The country isn’t that bad. My hometown only has 50,000 people, although we’re very diverse because of the college in our town. If we want something, we go get it. Sure, not everything is there for us – it’s far from the lap of instant gratification luxury that is the city, where you can go and get anything if you want it the day that you want it – but it comes with other benefits. Once you get past the culture shock, maybe you’ll see what the other 79,999 people in your town do.

  3. I feel for you. I moved for my Dude. I went from living fairly close to Chicago all my life (Cubs Bears Bulls and Blackhawks, yo), to Madison, WI. Now, I only moved about 110 miles. But Illinois and Wisconsin? They border each other but have some serious, serious cultural differences. Namely, dairy and a fierce, fierce rivalry. I became lactose intolerant while still in IL, but not until I moved here did I receive pity for my inability to digest milk sugar. Also, football and baseball. They drink slightly more here, too, but it isn’t that much of a shift- most of the Midwest are drunkards. Madison is incredibly diverse, but I miss being able to just *go to the city*. Like, with a train, and not worry about parking. I miss Chicago news. I miss the deep dish pizza, real Italian Beef. Ugh. I like it here, until everyone finds out I’m a Bears fan. But I miss home.

  4. So THAT’S where our monster roaches went. Don’t show weakness; instead run towards them screaming and waving a sneaker. At least, it made me feel less scared.

    Man, now you are making me crave Indian food after using curry and saffron in the same sentence. Thanks, Grace. The things we do for love. 🙂

  5. I almost moved to Idaho for a boy. IDAHO!!! Believe me there is NOTHING going on there, not even cockroaches. Just a lot of cold, a lot of fashion that is about 8 years behind, and Mormons. I have nothing against any of this, but I would have never survived. I really dodged a bullet there. Hope you and the cockroach can come to a truce soon!

  6. The Captain and I will come visit more often! And we’ll bring take-out! And also, we will all be in NOLA in about 30 hours and it’s almost your birthday and I love you. That is all.

  7. I have that too, only I’m 90-100 miles the other direction. Coming from the Northeast originally, I was surprised to find that in our town, we live in “the old section” of town. Which is to say that our house was built in the mid-1990s.
    Oh brother.

  8. Yeah, I hear you. I moved from Berlin (as in Berlin, Germany) to a 100.000 souls town in England for love. A lovely little town, to be sure, except there is no sushi to be had in a 50 mile radius (other than at ASDA which for obvious reasons is not an option).

    Don’t ask what on earth got into me when I decided to move to a remote Atlantic island.

  9. ” It’s because I bought that bug throw pillow, isn’t it? The roach is punishing me for cultural misappropriation.” <– I LOL'd.

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