Four months in Chicago today, and in some ways it's been weirder for me than some of my past big moves because I'm not used to the continuity. New York and Boston came with changing axes and ethnicities and orientations, meant catching up on who my new identity's friends and family were, and otherwise just jumping into a situation that required a lot of catch-up.
This didn't. Marybeth was here waiting for me, I still know who everyone in my phone is, and I came here at lose ends rather than trying to catch up. It doesn't leave me with that much free time - I still needed to find a job, help get everything settled in place after the move, all that - but a different question. In New York and Boston, I was trying to figure out how to adapt myself to Ravi's and Benny's lives, and here in trying to figure out how to adapt my life to new circumstances. I wonder if it would be easier if I'd done this before, like if Mom and I had moved when I was old enough to remember it or if I'd been able to move into a dorm room as myself three years ago.
It's getting easier, though, and I may have it better than a lot of guys moving halfway across the country for their girlfriends' jobs. I don't think anybody consists me particularly feminine, but I'm pretty cool with a living room that isn't built around the big TV and video game system, decoration that involves a lot of plants, that sort of thing. My shifts at an office-supply store are just offset enough from Marybeth's hours that were not fighting over the bathroom or always on our own.
I'm missing Cary already, though. Even though he doesn't look old enough to grump about Millennials as Elaine, I can always tell from talking to him that were part of the same secret club, and on top of that, both of us being Mainers, and, beyond that, both spending a fair amount of non-Inn time in Old Orchard over the past few years (mostly brief visits to Benny's family for me). It's also really fun to watch him and Elaine together; it looks like a kid who has her patents well-trained, even though her demeanor in no way matches her form. She also knows all the best places to eat.
Marybeth is, understandably, a little uncertain about my first non-her friendship here being with an attractive woman with whom I don't have very much in common with, if you go by cover story. It's even weirder to her, when we met up with "Elaine" without "Mackenzie", that they don't get along that all. They've got a lot of the same taste in clothes, Marybeth loves the song that serves as ringtone on Elaine's phone, and they even go to the same gym on occasion. That they seem to have so much in common, but "Elaine" gets on so much better than me, gets her a bit nervous, especially since I still keep in touch with Missy.
I'm making guy friends slowly but surely, though; there's a couple folks at work who figure we're bros because the same general manager got both our baseball teams World Series championships, which seems like the dumbest thing to bond over, but it's something. One of Marybeth's co-workers has a boyfriend who seems like he'd be a really fun trivia-team member. And who knows, maybe when Elaine comes back herself, she and Marybeth will click, Elaine will find a boyfriend who can make it not weird if we do couples stuff together.