The Jeffersons, Anthony, and Me


I’ve been away for a while, but it’s been for a good reason: My Not So Humble Wife and I have finally gotten a place of our own. Yes, after seven years with Our Not So Humble Roommates (great guys, I swear), we finally decided it was time to strike out and get a little slice of the American Dream for ourselves. Or rent a piece of it at any rate.

The thing is, I had a vision in mind of what it would be like. Maybe it’s because I was raised by television as much as by my parents, but I was expecting it to be something akin to the Jeffersons. “Moving on up” and all of that. Turns out it’s had more in common with “Anthony’s Song“. Which is not to say I don’t love the place we’ve moved to; it’s a great neighborhood, the people are nice, and the townhouse we’re in is quite lovely. I certainly didn’t have to do much if anything for the move, as My Not So Humble Wife did all the heavy lifting on the preparations, and we hired movers to do the literal heavy lifting.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact I’m basically back in the neighborhood I grew up in (the strip mall I had my first real job in is right around the corner), but I just feel like a bit of a phony. My wife nailed it the other night when she commented, half-jokingly, that she’s waiting for someone to kick open the door and say something to the effect of “you don’t belong here!” It almost feels like we’re just pretending at being adults, playing house until the real adults show up. Given that we’ve been out on our own for quite some time that seems rather silly, especially for a man staring down the barrel of The Big Four Oh, but there it is.

It kind of brings me back to a thought I’ve had more than once since I (first) left school and started working to support myself: when do you become a grown-up? More importantly, when do you start feeling like a grown-up? When does that strange sensation that you’re just faking it go away, and you get comfortable in the life you’ve built for yourself? And do I want it to? In some ways I’m not sure I do, because I’m afraid if I get comfortable I’ll get complacent, but sometimes I long for complacency. It certainly seems like it would be better than feeling like I’m living in a Talking Heads song.

The fact is, I have found myself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, and when I look back on the improbable sequence of events that have brought me to this point I realize there’s no way I could have anticipated any of it, let alone planned for it. In some ways that seems wonderful, but in other ways it’s terrifying. Maybe when I finally learn to accept that as “life” is the moment when I’ll finally be a grown-up after all.



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