Instead of focusing on how much I miss D.C. - namely, the people in it - I'm trying my darndest to focus on the things I like about Ohio. Luckily, there are a lot of them, though I've found that, for now, I'm finding the most happiness in things that are distinctly different from the District, little things I lived without for three years & am pleased to have returned to. Here's a smattering:
Leaving things in the car
In the city, life went like this: Want to go to the gym after work? Carry your duffel bag around with you all day. Want to work from a coffeeshop? You'll also have to haul your laptop to the bar afterward. Here in the OH, I plan for the day & load up my car accordingly, stashing all kinds of things in my trunk, including my gym bag, my new laptop bag, & about four garbage bags full of stuff to take to Goodwill. Why my trunk? Well, because I'm always afraid my car will be broken into if it's within plain view. But the point is that no longer have to shlep everything around all day like some urban Sherpa. For this reason alone, my shoulders are thrilled to be back in the Midwest.
This may also be the right time to tell you that last month, the owner of Simply-Bags.com sent me a monogrammed laptop bag. When I moved back home, it was waiting for me - brown & turquoise with my initials emblazoned across the front, all pretty & convenient. It's been attached to my hip - er, shoulder - every day since then, as I haul my many technologies from coffee shop to library to home & back again.
Cheap stuff, especially clothing
Yesterday, I bought a pair of shoes for $2. And yes, I'm unemployed & should thus be clinging desperately to my hard-earned duckets, but could you pass up a $2 pair of shoes? And OK, fine, they might be sort of ugly, I haven't decided yet. But they were $2, didn't you hear me? In the 'burbs, inexpensive shopping abounds - there're the old standbys a la Target & TJ Maxx, but there are also a bevy of thrift stores (the one in my town is not for the faint of heart), WalMarts (if your conscience can handle it), Gabriel Brothers (thanks for the shoes!), etc., etc. If they're cheap, they're here. And I, in turn, am there. And based on the last bullet point, I have plenty of trunk space to temporarily store any shoes & other cheap things I may acquire.
The Starbucks in my hometown has a drive-thru, open until 10pm; this is a beautiful new addition to my life, allowing me to pick up chai lattes & pumpkin scones on my way through town. The truth is that, for now, I'm spending a lot of time inside the Starbucks, applying for jobs & catching up on blogs, so I'm not making much use of this feature - but the drive-thru is, in theory, a total suburban gem.
*FTC Compliance: I was given a free laptop bag from Simply-Bags.com. I was not, however, required to say nice things about the bag - or to review it at all. As such, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own. As always!