As we drove into Rhode Island on Saturday morning (Z was held up at work Friday night, so our plans were pushed back a bit) I simply felt happy. I moved to RI kicking and screaming in a last ditch effort to save my marriage. The choice was between two loves of my life, and much to my surprise New York City lost. If it was up to me we never would have left. But Z was miserable there, with work, with my mental illness, with the city itself. Grad school in RI was the chance for a fresh start for him. At first it wasn’t clear if I was going to accompany him. I begged him to consider the idea of me staying and him coming home on weekends. He said he didn’t want to do long distance, we were either in the marriage full time or it was over. I chose the marriage, and I’m glad I did, but boy did I ever resent Rhode Island for a long time.
While I was so busy resenting it for not being Brooklyn a bunch of things were happening. My marriage became stronger than it ever was before, Z and I started to like each other again, really and truly enjoy each other’s company. We had fun, we were silly, it was wonderful. I also was emotionally healthier than I’d been in years, and I found a job that I did well enough in to get promoted several times. And I started to fall in love with Providence. It might not ever be one of the big loves of my life, but it is still real love.
If you haven’t had the good fortune to travel in the Ocean State it really is a delight. The good people of RI are very proud to from the smallest state in the union; they are also quirky as hell. New Englanders are sort of mean in general and suspicious of outsiders on principle. They talk funny, they are loud, they are resistant to change. There is something honest about them that I find refreshing. Most of my family lives in the south, so we visit often. The saccharin treatment one is inundated with in the south makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I just don’t buy it. No one actually feels like being that nice all of the time. I prefer the straightforward gruffness of the north.
And we made some amazing friends during our three years there. A co-worker of mine was horrified when he found out we didn’t have any family nearby, and he and his wife basically adopted us. We were invited to spend every major holiday with them and their extended families. I made another friend at work who has become one of those women that will always be in my life. She has been to visit us in Syracuse and we stay with her when we go back to Providence. And Z met so many wonderful people at RISD. One of his former classmates was the groom at the wedding we attended. The bride and I hit it off whenever we hung out. The spouses of the RISD grad students tended to bond over all the annoyances of being spouses to RISD grad students, but beyond that we both are voracious readers and we both accidently got knocked up a few months apart.
So on Saturday morning we drive into RI, and I’m thinking about all this stuff and really feeling happy and actually homesick. Not five minutes later I was literally shaken out of my reverie by pothole after pothole. I thought, “God, I forgot how bad the roads are in Rhode Island.” Fifteen seconds later the bouncing around woke Z from his nap in the back seat and he called up to me, “God, I forgot how bad the roads are in Rhode Island.”
Other than T fighting a fever all weekend we did have a wonderful time. I got to visit the first Whole Foods I worked at, which always makes me tear up. We had dinner at our favorite Providence restaurant before we discovered T’s fever had spiked to 103.1. And the wedding was a blast. Naturally no one was looking at my tubby belly, so my ridiculous obsessing was a waste of time. Here is my pathetic moment of vanity-at the last minute I ran to CVS to get pantyhose because the ceremony was outside and it was really chilly. I found what I was looking for and checked out the size information on the back. The sizes are A, B, and Q for Queen. I guess Queen is supposed to make one feel better than say, Fat Ass. I was borderline B/Q so vanity won and I bought the B. When I put them on I almost immediately got a run (because that’s what happens when the hose are too small), and my stomach was killing me from the too tight control top. We got to the venue in plenty of time, so I begged Z to find a drugstore so I could swallow my pride and buy a nice roomy Queen pair. He complied. I changed hose and my midsection actually felt comfortable for the rest of the event. My back, not so much. Lesson of the day (I mean besides the “don’t be a vain idiot and buy the right size pantyhose” one) was it hurts to carry a 21lb baby while wearing heals.
The wedding was T’s first. Corralling him was a full time job, and we were so disappointed when we realized we didn’t take the camera out once. So here’s the little man on the way home. He isn’t a fan of the car to begin with, so five hour trips are just about his least favorite things ever.
And much love and many congratulations to the bride and groom! You guys sure know how to throw a great party!