Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today's fortune: March 9, 2011

Today's fortune: You are admired for your adventurous ways.

When I think of the word "adventurous," I can't help but think of the earliest years of my marriage to Jamie. In the first four years of our marriage, we moved five times, not counting the time we moved in together on our wedding day.

I'll give you the brief version.

Three months after we got married, I was fired from the editor job I had. This was 2003, and we were living in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in the West Plaza neighborhood of Kansas City (sounds much more glamorous than it really is). Jamie was working, and for eight months I was unemployed. Not a great way financially to start off a marriage. Finally, in the summer of 2004, I found a full-time newspaper job - but it was eight hours away in the town of Wynne, Arkansas.

Wynne, by the way, is a two-syllable word in Arkansas. Jamie and I rented a duplex down there, she enrolled in classes at a local community college, and I worked. The job was terrible and the boss was even worse. It didn't work out. After only a few months, the boss and I mutually decided it wasn't the right fit. I was glad to be done with the experience. I'm sure I'll be writing more about the whole thing at some point on this blog.

All of a sudden I was a hot commodity. I interviewed for and was offered three editor jobs, two in Missouri and one in Iowa. The closest to Kansas City was in Maryville, Mo., so that's the one I took. We moved half our stuff to Maryville and I began to work there while Jamie stayed in Arkansas with the other half of our stuff to finish her semester of school.

That was horrible. I can't bear the thought of being away from Jamie for even one night now, much less several weeks.

Our first apartment in Maryville was a two-bedroom monstrosity above an auto parts store. The kitchen was carpeted. Enough said. We tired of the place after six months and moved into a nice, ground-level apartment with a washing machine and a patio.

But we weren't very happy in Maryville. It's a university town, see, and we were roughly the same age as the university students, although neither of us attended classes while we were there, and most of our interactions were with the townsfolk. But since we fell in that age group, we were treated like university students, which is to say shitty.

Finally I got a job back in Kansas City, and we moved into a two-bedroom apartment in KCK. We lived there for over a year until the apartment's management company said, "We're planning to remodel this building, so we're going to break your lease and make you move out. In 30 days. Sorry for the inconvenience."

It was a kick in the teeth, and in my opinion borderline illegal, but the good news is it motivated us to buy a house.

We've been here now for three years.

Although we've been married for nearly seven and a half years, this house is where we've lived the longest. And, except for the house I grew up in, I've never lived anywhere longer in my whole life.

I wouldn't want to repeat those frequent moves of our early years together, but I'm glad we had those adventures. It takes grit to get through times like that. And I hope our children, if we ever have any, will be able to look up to us for those experiences. And hopefully they won't have to go through what we went through.


  1. I'm rather impressed at the way you embrace the whole " life is an adventure, let's live it!" idea. Kudos!