Below is a little blurb I started and saved as a draft probably in early May of 2015. Just visiting this here retired blog and thought I’d post as-is.
Now that we live in Texas, we’re dealing with assholes of a different kind, a lot less honking, no basements, but no blizzards, and I still miss JP.
As we pack up and enjoy these first and last days of spring that finally showed up, I’ve been writing down just a few of my thoughts on this place I’ve lived the last four years (almost to the day).
First, the ugly. And as you probably could guess, it starts with the drivers.
Who is the guy who drives down the street at 5:50 am honking for a good several seconds? I don’t think this person exists outside of Boston. But they suuuuuuure do exist here. WHY?
And while we’re on the subject of honking, it’s a given if you’ve spent more than two days here, but if you just arrived, you’re like, what’s with all the honking? The second the light turns green, usually a cab but also frequently a beige minivan from 1998 with a large dent in its door will honk from five cars back. I get honked at for not speeding off the starting line to make a left turn at an intersection before the oncoming traffic wakes up. Hi, my blinker is on. Do you see it? I’m sorry my life isn’t worth risking, asshole, but please, do me a favor and you turn first. Waiting. It’s part of driving. Get to know it.
And then, on the opposite side of honking, and on the opposite side of the intersection, is the Very Nice Idiot who waits, signals for you, takes off their coat and lays it over a puddle, all so you can turn left WHEN YOU DONT HAVE A GREEN ARROW before the line of cars comes at you.
Well thanks Mister, but perhaps you don’t realize that lane to your right also has oncoming traffic and I’m not going to just turn and hope they too see their green light and think “Oh, I better come to a full stop, there’s probably someone who really needs to turn.” Actually, they do, because they stop randomly to let pedestrians walk across busy intersections when they don’t have the right of way, only furthering the horrible pedestrian behavior here.
I was having a conversation with someone who was talking about how these jay walking pedestrians (Is it still jay walking if you do it in the crosswalk but on the red hand? Probably not.) were “okay” if they did either of the following when crossing in front of you: 1. Gave a “thank you” wave, like they realize “oh, you did in fact stop for me instead of turning me into red asphalt.” and/or 2. Hustled (this is super rare, I feel like I may be the only one who does this?). But don’t hold your breath. I actually think many people slow down once they see you’re going to stop for them. “Oh good, they’re doing something nice for me (LETTING ME LIVE), I think I’ll take my sweet ass time.” This mentality is what’s wrong with our country right now.
It’s all so mind bogglingly backwards and actually incredibly risky and yet, some of the only niceness I see repeatedly here. Which leads me to believe they’re really just trying to get non-natives killed by being fake nice. IT’S A TRICK!
Now, the things I will miss:
(You’re expecting this to be blank, aren’t you? Hahahahahaha!)
Being light out at 5 am once late April rolls around. I am a morning person, and sipping my coffee (or in a past life, going for runs) when the city is still sleeping but there’s light in the sky is one of my favorite things ever. Here, at the higher latitude, we get a little more time in the morning to do this.
Basements. They’re as common as the honking masshole. And if you know me, you know tornados are pretty much the most terrifying thing in the world. And in Texas, they don’t really make basements, although if Lou and I build a house there, it will have some kind of tornado-proof structure so I’m not crying in the bathtub with a wine bottle when the category 5 comes over us.
Jamaica Plain, aka JP. I won’t get into what this ‘hood used to be like “before Whole Foods,” how I wouldn’t have wanted to walk down the sidewalk, and all that jazz, and I do feel like if I ever come back, it will only be more gentrified with old homes razed for new, stupid expensive condos. But right here, right now, I love this little neighborhood and its victorian-esque homes, Subaru-lined streets with stickers like “eARTh” and “coexist” and “Dogs for Obama.” Its little stores and restaurants (scroll down to #11). It’s wacky summer festivals that celebrate all people, cultures, deities, and things.