Looking For Mr. Goodtown
I am searching for a home the way many women search for a man.
I live in Los Angeles. I moved here from Atlanta and before that I lived in NY. Before that was Birmingham, Al, a month stint in Lindstrom, Minnesota and 2 months in Toronto where I went after being in Providence, RI (where I'm from) for eight months after coming back from a year and a half in Prague.
I go through cities the way some women go through boyfriends.
When my single friends talk about dating and lament their failed relationships, I am right there with them – except that I am happily married.
I hear a friend moan about the man they dated who was a total jerk - but so sexy, and then tell me about the nice guy they're dating now who treats them great but is...well... boring, and I think “I know exactly what you mean! NY and LA, right?”
A girlfriend talks about her confusion over whether to buckle down and try to catch a good husband or to have a hot affair with the 22 year old intern at her office and I go “ I feel the same way – Move to the country or stay in the city?!”
Women are all alike, I guess.
I never went through the years and years of dating and then finding a guy who is almost perfect but who just has a few flaws that need to be, you know, corrected. Or, maybe I did – maybe I am going through just that right now... just, not with a man ( I already have a perfect man).
No. Instead, I am neurotically looking for Mr. Goodtown.
I don't need the perfect man, but I do want to live in the perfect place. The place I want to live is an exciting, culture rich, cosmopolitan city – where I have 10 acres, horses and a rambling, gorgeous house- that feels like a turn of the century brownstone transplanted there from NYC or Brooklyn.
I want to grow my own food and have a compost heap. I want to keep bees. But, I also want to go to a gritty nightclub and watch live music on the evenings when I am not sewing or painting in my creative office. I want ago be part of an active, interested community. I want friends to drop by for coffee and hang out for impromptu parties on the sleeping porch and then, I want to get up and take the subway to my favorite diner and catch an independent film.
I want to walk to the beach for a swim in the summer and hike in the mountains in the spring and fall. I want to ice skate in the park during (temperate) winter weather and have snow for one week every year so I can have a white Christmas. I want a European sensibility, cafes, beautiful architecture, theater and IKEA. I want perfection. Is that too much to ask?
My Single friends wouldn't think so. They understand what it's like to know exactly what you want, but to fear it doesn't actually exist – except in movies. Women have known for ages that if they could combine the attributes of several different men they would get the one man they have been waiting for their whole lives. Well, I know if I could combine the wild, lovely beaches of Newport RI with the glorious warm and blue waters of the Caribbean and add the charm of Paris, the energy and edginess of NYC, the haunted melancholy of Prague, the spookiness and hedonism of New Orleans and the natural majestic glory of Big Sur I could at last rest.
But, maybe that's the thing. I am describing heaven here. To get there I would probably have to rest in peace. At least that gives me something to look forward to – a place I have not yet traveled to. I just hope my single friends don't have to wait that long for their perfect counterpart. But then, the vows say til death do us part. Maybe they'll all be waiting there in the afterlife for my husband and I to arrive so they can try to get their hands on the only perfect man. Well, tough luck, ladies. We had different vows, and what we have forged may no woman put asunder. Get your own!