Monday, May 25, 2009

My heart will go on...well, kind of

It's been four years since we moved here. Most days I like it, but there are weeks like last week when I want to get as far from the Emerald City as possible. It's kind of like I'm dating this city. I've broken up with the love of my life, aka San Francisco, and I'm back out there looking for the next big one. So I'm deeply in like with Seattle. We make each other laugh, we like the same restaurants, we both like dogs, you know, it's looking promising. Then one day he shows up for a date wearing a Celine Dion concert t-shirt and tells me he's a giant fan. In other words, with one small act, I see we are completely incompatible. Seattle and I are a lot like that. Why? What's the city's secret Celine Dion obsession? Let me tell you.

1. the rain. Predictable, right? But it's not that I hate the rain in general, it's really more the way we get rain. Instead of giving us a lot of rain on a few days, Seattle pisses it out a tiny bit at a time ensuring that we rarely if ever see the sun. I mean, New York and Chicago get more rain than we do in pure inches, we just get the extra gray drizzly day to sap our will to live.

2. the public schools. Listen, don't call it free choice if it isn't free choice. It makes us crazy. We put in hours touring and analyzing and work up to the big application day. When we get our results it's like you threw away the application and just stuck us in where ever you felt like it. Not happy? Tough shit, you get to stew a couple of weeks before you can even change what waitlist you are on. Gee thanks. Assholes.

3. the street signs. It is generally considered useful to place street signs in a location that is visible to drivers. Not behind a tree. Not just past the last possible point you could have gotten over to make the exit. Not inexplicably far ahead of that point either. They are intended to be helpful, not taunting, not confusing and certainly not some kind of game.

4. the friendly surface, chilly interior. Everyone in Seattle is so nice. Really. Polite, friendly, helpful. As long as you are a stranger on the street, they smile and make you feel like Seattle is a really nice place to live. So why is it, after four years of living here, I still feel like a fucking outsider? I've invited your kids for playdates, suggested meet ups, extended an attempt at friendship. All to no avail. It's like long term Seattle residents have no need for anyone else and pretty much let you know it. I'm not kidding. Of my friends in Seattle, only one of them is not a more recent transplant to the city.

5. snow in April. Ok, maybe it only happens once in a blue moon, but once is enough. And even if it isn't snow, how about this constant prank you play when you give me a warm sunny day then follow it up with a miserable cold week or two. Yeah, it sucks.

6. giant fucking spiders. How the hell can anyone love a city that is host to spiders the size of my head that lurk inside my house? Think that's not so bad, how about the giant black ones that lurk about outside my house? It's like a horror movie here.

7. spring. That's right, I said Spring. Not just because you spend the entire season messing with me by randomly switching between warm and lovely days and those miserable bone chilling hell days. But also because the first sign of Spring in Seattle are the fucking ants. Everywhere. And I can't figure out how to kill them.

It isn't enough to make me leave. Well, I can't leave, but even if I could, this wouldn't tip the balance, but it keeps me from feeling settled, at home and in love with Seattle. So there we go, I'm settled down and settling. And still feeling homesick for San Francisco after all these years.


geekymummy said...

San Francisco misses you too. It does have its own issues, not least being the school issue, but I have to admit it is a pretty great place to live.

Come see us, we have a lovely guest room (I'll clean out the spiders!)

Beth said...

Rain I can deal with. I can even deal with gray skies. But spiders?! No f-ing way!

My husband and I spent a week in San Francisco a couple of years ago. It is our favorite city!

Gregg said...

We have venomous spiders in St. Louis - Brown Recluses. If they were the size of my head, I'd leave!

We DO get something I call an "eave" spider, but they don't come in the house, ever. They build nests under the edge of the siding, or in eaves (hence the name). You never seem them they are so shy. However, once I surprised one and when it ran off across the siding, I COULD HEAR IT'S LITTLE SPIDER LEGS!!!!

That. That. That was spooky.

followthatdog said...

We have those brown recluse spiders here too. As my husband likes to remind me, the GIANT European house spiders have killed most of them in Seattle. While that is reassuring on the one hand, it also means we have this uber race of GIANT spiders lurking about in my house wishing to be praised as our saviors.

chihuahua5 said...

let me ask the parental units about your ant situation. they too used to get them big time and finally stopped the buggers....for good.

hang in there red, i feel your pain.

mamamilkers said...

I know alot of people have been lamenting the school "choice" thing. We got in to the school we wanted (apparently not a very popular school!), but sadly are moving out of this cluster so we are changing schools anyways.

I hope it all works out for your family!

Kaza said...

It took me two years living there to even begin to adjust. And then I moved back to California. (And had to lose 20 pounds and get some color on my skin to fit back in. I was scaring everyone with my pasty, doughy appearance.) Anyway... I would have to add the bicyclists we nearly killed on the streets of Seattle daily, and the mold that grew on the inside of the apartment wall by the window.

I love SF too. It and San Diego are tied for my favorite cities of all time.

Michelle said...

I have lived in Seattle my entire life... I can deal with most of those things BECAUSE when the sun is out, it is BEAUTIFUL! Although, I must say, our first choice of places to move to would be the San Fransisco area... with my hubby's job search, we may just land there!

However, the people here are awful... you're right, they smile and act nicey, nicey, but it's fake nicey! Drives me crazy! I've actually read articles with studies that show Seattle is one of the most difficult cities to befriend people.

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