Drew and I have been kicking around the idea of moving after our lease is up. It’s fairly indisputable that we need more space, our apartment is small and we have too much stuff for it. What we’re trying to figure out is whether we should go for a bigger one bedroom, or a two bedroom. A two bedroom is more expensive, but it would let friends come and visit. It depends on the price point, though, because Drew is concerned that it might not be worth it. And after listening to him talk about why, I tend to agree.
Drew’s parents moved to Reno from North Dakota with him when he was five and they were in their mid/late 30s. They left behind family and lifelong friends. Drew lived in North Dakota for six years while he was in college, and made a lot of good friends. For both Drew and his parents, though, they’ve found that while everyone wants to see them if they happen to be back in ND, very few people have made it out to Reno to come see them. I have some experience in this myself from my days in Alabama. Granted, I was telling anyone who would listen back home how miserable I was and going back every chance I got, but not a soul came to visit me while I was in law school. I never really “invited” anyone to come to Tuscaloosa per se, but no one ever gave the slightest hint of being interested in coming down. I would have blamed it on the almost 1000 mile distance but for the fact that Patrick’s pack of high school buddies came down usually twice a year. I know full well that it’s hard to make travel plans work out…time is money, and both can be hard to come by, especially when you’re young and in school or just starting out professionally. Budgets and schedules kill a lot of would-be travel plans. If the likelihood of my friends coming out to visit even if invited is low, it’s not really worth investing in a two-bedroom place to have room for guests, especially given that rooms at the casinos are reasonably priced.
In a more general sense, being gone has a way of attenuating friendships. While many of my friendships with people from Michigan are long-standing, they did take a hit during my three years in Alabama. In the year and a half I’ve been living in Reno, I’ve seen it again. When I was home, I’d see Crystal at least once a week. Now, we talk about once a month, if that. I used to see my sister all the time and now we talk about once every other week or so (to be fair here, she’s very busy as a newbie nurse). I used to spend every Sunday night at Beverly’s house and that’s turned into a long phone chat every few months. And both sides make the effort to pick up the phone, it’s not all one-sided, but still. You get busy with work and life and then it’s been a few months and you hardly even realize it.
I did talk to Kailey last week and she and Crystal are thinking about coming out to Reno at the end of the summer, which would be amazing. We can go up to Lake Tahoe, to Virginia City, hang out by the Truckee River, eat Basque food. And while I hope against hope that this works out, I know there’s a decent chance it might not. It means coordinating Kailey’s and Crystal’s schedule, as well as my own (and Drew’s). Tickets from Detroit to Reno are expensive. Work situations could pop up. Life situations could pop up. But still, it would be wonderful to introduce my friends to my world out here. I hope it works out.