When Friends Move Closer

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?


Filed under The Search

12 responses to “When Friends Move Closer

  1. My BFF and I totally do this. We lived together here, then she moved back to Ohio for nursing school. She’s said for years now that she wants to move back here, and is trying to convince her boyfriend that they should move. I’m sure we romanticize it a lot. We lived together several years ago, while we were both single, broke and in our early 20’s, and our lives have changed a lot. Obviously we wouldn’t live together, maybe we wouldn’t make as much time for drinking wine, cooking and watching Lifetime movies together all the time like we used to. But still, it’d be fun to have her around.

  2. My college roomie and I do this a lot…she lives in Nashville, and we often dream of how it would be to live in the same city again. (Bliss, right?) But I know the reality would probably look different – we both have husbands and jobs and other stuff going on.

    One of my best friends from Texas moved here with her husband at the same time I moved here with mine – and though I could NOT have survived this year without her, we don’t always get to see each other as much as we want. C’est la vie, I suppose. But I’m still so thankful she’s here.

  3. Suzannah

    I do this exact thing..about any upcoming situation in my life! I romantize events, and for the most point I don’t feel disappointment when things fail to live up to my expectations. But I have questioned myself if these expectations are fair for new friends. I recognize raising a family & working, my life is not really structured for a spontaneous spur of the moment friendship anymore. The sorts of ladies, my types, tend also be people with lots of responsibilities. So I have to believe friendships now need to be based on how feel when I spend time with my friend and the support we give each other.

  4. I’m still trying to talk friends from Atlanta into moving to Boston but I do know the few acquaintances I had here before moving are people I rarely see.

    But they weren’t close to begin with

  5. San

    I’d be over the moon if one of my friends would move to California! However, given that I am from Germany, this is even more unlikely than one of your buddies moving to Chicago. It sure would be nice though.
    Although I could never imagine moving back to my hometown, I sometimes envy the people who never left and have a group of highschool friends around all the time.

  6. San

    I’d love for one of my friends to move out to California. However, given that I am from Germany, I think that is even more unlikely than one of your buddies moving to Chicago.
    Although I could never imagine moving back to my hometown, I sometimes envy the people, who never left, and still have highschool buddies around all the time.

  7. Kate

    One of my closest friends from college is moving to town and I’m so excited. In fact, she’s moving this weekend. While we’ll definitely spend time together (we have managed to meet up every time she’s visited the city), I recognize that it’s not the same as the college dorm days. I’m married. She’s single, and very focused on guy hunting. There will be times when she’ll choose ladies’ night over movie marathon with me. But I’m okay with that. 🙂

  8. Morgan

    After their visit last November, my best friend of 25 years and her husband made some noises about coming up here to live, being unhappy in the rural place they had been forced to stay. Her husband was the one I thought would be a hard sell but he seemed to love the idea. So I did the same thing and planned it all out, buying a 2-flat and renting the other apt to them and always being able to hang out. Of course it never happened, but how could you not get excited at the prospect of something like that?

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