Sunday, April 24, 2011

Home and Man Play Dates

Given the recent events that have taken place over the last few months have really got me thinking about life and everything in between. Going to therapy has taught me that I need to do a better job of understanding and expressing my emotions. I'm hoping that writing in this blog can be one avenue for my expression.

Something that has been on my mind a lot recently is home and what it means to different people, but more specifically what it means to me. I think this meaning of home is why I wanted to buy my condo. Having had 2 very big moves in my life, my definition of home has changed many times. When I was 15 we moved from Texas, where I had grown up and where all my childhood friends are, and moved to the burbs of Chicago. I immediately had a new place I would be calling home and I remember it being both sad and exciting. Then a year before I finished college my Dad got a new job and my parent moved to Florida. Obviously I stayed in Chicago finished school and ended up getting a job in the city. It was from this point on I think I always struggled with finding my "home" as a young adult. Living in my various apartments never felt like home for me, it was just where I lived. Visiting my parents in Florida never felt like home since I never actually lived in that house and I knew no one else in the area but my parents. So when it came time to think about buying a place I got excited because I thought I would finally be getting a place I could truly call home. My condo was and has been a home for me now for almost 3 years, but in the last few months it has started to feel more like my residence than my home. It has to do with our desire be closer to our family. So far in life I think that is what my definition of home is. A place where you can feel comfortable with all your friends and family. Chicago has the friends aspect, but there are no other Bernardi's or Breda's here. Florida has the family, but there are no friends there. For me many of my friends have become like family to me, so having good friends near is a very big part of the equation for me. Texas is the only place where we have both friends and family.

Now on to something a bit more light hearted. This weekend one of Jen's college friends was in Chicago for the weekend with her husband and the 4 of us went to the cubs game and dinner. We ended up spending the whole day together and had a great time. Before I met her husband, we'll call him Joe for the purposes here, a buddy of mine and I were talking about this very common situation. The situation where you are going to be hanging out with a friend of your wife's and you know you are going to be left to hang out with the husband (aka a Man Play Date). I have been very luck in these situations so far as all of Jen's friends (that I have met anyway) have married great guys that I now consider friends of mine. The experience this weekend was no different. Joe is a great guy and we had a blast hanging out. However, I have heard horror stories of these encounters not going so well, or being very awkward. I am very thankful that Jen and I seem to get along with a lot of different people, and that our friends have married people who we enjoy spending time with. I guess I wanted to mention this because when we move back to Texas I see a lot of situations like this in our future. Depending on which city we end up in one of us will probably already have a network of friends there, and the other will be at the mercy of the "Play Date". Most likely it will be me at the mercy of the "Man Play Date" so again I am thankful that so far all of Jen's girlfriends have found guys that I get along with and could spend time with if the girls were not around. This is pretty important since I know it is going to be very hard leaving all the great friends we have made here in Chicago, and I know having a good network of friends is important to us.

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