My exceptionally talented supervisor (yes, she’ll probably read this) routinely accuses me of burying my lead. So without further ado…
I’m leaving North Carolina. I’m moving to Texas. I’m doing it because of a woman.
If you’re not sure how to react, you’re not alone. I’m a little surprised myself. I’ve certainly enjoyed the freedom of being a bachelor and have made no secret about my love of Durham, NC. The Bull City has been my home for more than 13 years. I had an exciting career here. I met and married my first wife here, bought my first home and had some of the best friendships I could ever imagine.
I also got divorced here. I burned out of my exciting career. I’ve sunk thousands of dollars into my house just to get it ready to sell and friends, while wonderful and important to any happy life, can only provide so much.
It’s time to move on.
Since my first trip to Texas more than 20 years ago I’ve been a big (Texas-sized) fan. Austin is as a cool as you’ve heard. San Antonio is up and coming and Dallas is one of the best big cities in America. I look forward to enjoying all of these places on road trips from the little town of Montgomery, TX, a suburb (I guess) of the sprawling Houston area where I will be living.
If you’ve never been to Houston, well, there’s a lot of it. A fellow Houstonian may be a half-day’s drive away. The strip malls and Tex-Mex restaurants are endless and the heat, MY GOD, THE HEAT! Oh, and the Sugarland baseball team wasn’t named the Skeeters by coincidence.
It’s also a boom town. Energy is king and the standard of living is terrific. Whataburger (pronounced Waterburger by locals) is the Texas version of In-N-Out, and a worthy rival. There is no state income tax. The people are extremely friendly. And that heat is really only a problem for three months. In exchange you get nine beautiful, cycling friendly months and I will take full advantage.
None of this is terribly important. I’m moving there for one reason. Well, two really.
Those would be Misti, and her son, Ethan.
19th century drama critic George Jean Nathan once said, “A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.”
Not exactly the stuff that Hollywood ever made a pile of money from, but nevertheless, true.
Make no mistake: Misti and Ethan will provide plenty of electricity in my new life. She loves to join me in whatever adventures I can conjure up. He is almost six years old and a ball of energy. Our lives will never be dull.
However, I love her because she makes me feel good about myself the way that I am. I never feel pressure to be anything more than me. And at the end of the day, she lets me clear my mind of whatever troubles found their way in there so I can fall asleep. In short, she makes “tenderly drowsy” seem pretty perfect.
Ethan likes having me around to play baseball, or xbox, or look at baseball cards or watch Scooby-Doo. He loves to wrestle when I’m around and send me silly pictures of himself when I’m not. That’s enough, for now. We’ll build up from there.
For now, we’re excited about what’s to come. I’m moving to Texas during the first weekend of May. Before I leave I’ll take in a few final Durham Bulls games and meals downtown, but mostly I’ll be preparing for life in the Lone Star State.
It’s not entirely a good-bye to North Carolina because Misti and I both have ties here, but it is definitely hello to a life I’ve always wanted, even if I didn’t always realize it.
I’m a lucky guy.
Thanks for reading.