Today I got some exciting news. An old, dear friend of mine will be coming to Chicago next month to interview for a job.
I’ve been in this situation before. I have two friends, in particular, who have more than once gotten me excited about their potential moves to Chicago. I was sure my friending problems were over. “You can stay in my second bedroom until you find a place,” I told them. “And then you should rent an apartment in my building, so we can watch Chelsea Lately/Drop Dead Diva/The Office/Whatever together.” I started to plan our new life, only to soon be disappointed.
For whatever reason, Chicago is often a second choice.
When I first moved here, I spent plenty of time trying to recruit old friends to Chicago. The rents alone should lure a NYC dweller. Once you’ve lived in a six-floor walk-up with bed bugs and mites and a mouse-rat (I still choose to believe it was a mouse, but I know deep down….) and paid about $1200 a month for the privilege, Chicago prices are pretty appealing. (It’s all relative, I know.)
I’ve since moved on. I don’t get my hopes up anymore. This friend with the interview, her sister applied to business school out here, but chose to go to Boston instead. Like I said, always a bridesmaid…
Still, I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if one of my high school besties moved into my zip code. I picture many Friday night drinks and Saturday afternoon shopping trips and Sunday morning brunches. My vision also includes late nights on the phone and finally being the go-to for a friend who needs a wing-woman. She’d meet all my new friends, and we’d be like one of those fearsome twosomes, a la Kate and Allie or Thelma and Louise.
Matt says I romanticize this fantasy. Even if one of my best friends moved here, he says, we’ll still have jobs and lives and commitments. It’s not like we’d be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice. My friend and I still might see each other only once a month.
That’s one of the greatest dangers of friend-searching. You spend so much time envisioning the perfect end result that even a really awesome reality has a hard time living up to it.
I’m crossing my fingers, of course. If my pal were to move to Chicago, it would certainly be a game changer. A happy one. But I’m not going to hold by breath, given my luck with friends’ moves in the past.
What do you think? Do I romanticize what could happen if a friend moves to Chicago? Have any of your old friends ever moved to your adopted hometown? How’d it go?