Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Change of Pace

I just got messages from several of my college friends. One is living in beautiful Charleston, SC to do her Master's while going back and forth to Nashville to see her boyfriend. Another is spending time in Washington DC listening to reports in the State Department. It made me think back to the semester I lived in DC and worked for the Naval History Museum. (If I'm going to be a stickler, as my boss always used to be, then it's the National Museum of the United States Navy.) My roommate, Severine, and I would go out some nights to an awesome Thai restaurant I had found, or out with the guys from a few floors up to Georgetown, or one night wandering Barracks Row when we made friends with an entire art gallery of people - mostly I was a home-body and stayed in.

It's just made me think what a change of pace married life has brought. I'm not taking the Metro out to PG County to do my grocery shopping or hopping the Tube down to Strand before I'm late to class. I'm not out at frat parties or walking to the Lincoln Memorial because it's 1am and I can't sleep or wandering Trafalgar Square and Soho at 10:30 for a friend's birthday celebrations. Much though I'm still a graduate student, my life is very different.

I live in what can legitimately be called a village. There's a village notice board on the street where I go to the chemist's; where we found the store that we bought our bed from. I drive to do the grocery shopping instead of walking down Edgware Road to Waitrose or waiting for my lovely roomie to come back from band rehearsal to go to Lowes Foods. No more living off Pit food and Subway sandwiches - I actually cook dinner every night (with varying degrees of laziness) and eat, not in front of the TV with my plate on my lap, not at my desk writing a paper, but at a table! At my own dining room table with my husband and about 5 empty chairs. I spent all of yesterday writing my dissertation, vacuuming, doing laundry, and tidying our bedroom.

I have turned a corner. I no longer live in a college town or a face-paced capitol city, but in a slightly urbanised English village. No one comes into my dorm or flat to do the cleaning - I tidy the house myself. Instead of going to the Pit or getting take away, I cook decent-looking meals in all the shiny new cookware I got from generous friends and family from the registries and eat off dishes of the same pattern that my mother has, and that I remember from my childhood. I'm still a student, but I'm also a housewife. Weird to put it that way, I must confess, but as I'm not trying to be employed until these 16,000 words are out of my hands and being marked by my professor, I spend my days in the home. It drives me crazy sometimes, but mostly it's nice. At least when it's time to job hunt in earnest, I'll be ready and willing to find something to do that gets me out of the house!

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