Thursday, February 9, 2012

"I'm the King of New Jersey" Doesn't Have Quite the Same Ring to It

Nathan & I have been waiting since October to learn where he'll be stationed come June. All we knew was that the orders would come sometime between October & February, so with no word yet, we were getting down to the wire. This week, we began to assume that the orders would come while I'm abroad in Israel for the next two weeks, & we'd given up on hoping to hear before then.

Surprise, surprise! Yesterday, the orders came in: Come June, Nathan will be stationed at a land unit based in Staten Island, N.Y. Sounds great, right? We'll be living in NYC! Upon learning the news, I started planning to create a fun video to reveal the news to you, complete with me holding an apple & a 30 Rock boxed set while doing a Newsies impression in the lead-up to the big location announcement.

Except.

In the last 36 hours or so, we've learned more about his new assignment. While the unit itself is based on Staten Island, the unit's engineering department is located elsewhere - in Sandy Hook, N.J., a remote vacation island off the coast of New Jersey. Observe:


Technically, Sandy Hook is where the Jersey Shore begins - but hold your Snooki jokes, please. No, seriously, I don't want to hear them. Yesterday I blocked a friend on Twitter for doing so.

The Staten Island base was our second-choice pick, behind only Boston. But you know what wasn't second on our list? Sandy Hook, N.J. We never would've put it on our list had we known it would place us in the same situation we're in now - sort of close to a really awesome city, but too far away to actually live in that really awesome city. Sandy Hook is about an hour & a half from New York City without traffic, & we all know that statement is a joke. In other words, it's our current live all over again, but possibly more depressing.

Everyone's got something optimistic to tell me about the news. "You can take a ferry into Manhattan!" (The ferry drops off miles from Nathan's base, so that won't work. Also, I'm terrified of boats.) "There are some really nice places in New Jersey!" (Well, damn How I Met Your Mother for teaching me otherwise.) "You won't be that far from New York City!" (Just like I'm not that far from Boston right now - & what a rockin' social life I currently have.) "I'm sure you can take public transportation into Sandy Hook!" (You can't, actually, as there's no public transportation to the island.)

My office is located near Grand Central Station, meaning that if Nathan had been stationed on Staten Island itself, we could live in Brooklyn & all would be well, two normal people with two normal jobs with two normal-length commutes. As it stands now, we're likely to have hour-plus commutes each, with him leaving around 4am to get to work.

I'm sure we'll eventually figure out how to make Sandy Hook, N.J. & its surrounding areas home... for the next four years. With a long-term sentence like that, we'll have to. For now, though, I'm wallowing, reeling in the surprise of not moving to my beloved Boston & the concern that we're going to end up with some miserable, suburban New Jersey life, just close enough to see the NYC skyline but not close enough to touch it.

You'll forgive me if I'm not excited yet, right?

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