There is this strange phenomenon in Rhode Island among the folks who were born here where people will not drive further than 10 minutes. When I told people I was planning on moving to my present location (20 miles away from the city), they thought I was insane. “You’re moving where?” they’d say, dumbfounded that anyone in their right mind would actually live there, as if it’s Antarctica or something. I cannot get used to this. In any other city, driving 20 minutes to get anywhere is part of life. In New York, it takes at least an hour and a half to go anywhere in the city, whether you choose train or taxi. And folks, this is the smallest state in the country we’re talking about here…not Texas or California. We should be willing to drive 3 states over, let alone 3 blocks. This weekend I was told of a person whose family used to live in the same town and has since moved 2 towns over, and they now only see one another twice a year at holiday gatherings. I cannot for the life of me understand this. I’ve had a relationship end as a result of me moving 30 minutes away. He started to say he missed me and didn’t know how we were going to make it, having a long-distance relationship and all. We’d have to stay at each other’s houses every other weekend just to see one another. And during the week? Forget it. It would be impossible! We’d have to pack snacks for the drive! (Yeah…there was a lot more wrong with him than this.)
But this weekend I may have had my faith restored. My new friend, born in the Ocean State, showed up to my house with a truck full of wood for my wood stove. I didn’t ask him to come, nor did I ask him to chop the wood for me (Well, ok, I did…but I requested it be shirtless and in my presence. But I wasn’t seriously expecting him to chop wood for me. Not so soon, anyway…I mean a girl’s got to stay warm!). I’m in the middle of Shakespeare in Love, right after the scene where the incredibly hot Will (which we all know is not realistic…both that he was hot and that Shakespeare was called “Will”) unravels Viola’s garments to fall passionately onto the bed, and I hear a knock on the door. Thinking it was my brother-n-law, I didn’t bother to cover my un-showered head with my hat. I open the door and it’s my new friend and a truckload of firewood he had just chopped for me and preceded to drive 30 minutes to leave on my porch, without even expecting me to be home. Does it get any sweeter than that, people? No, it doesn’t. And I am in fact having his babies next week, after I inform him we are indeed getting married tomorrow when he can chop wood shirtless for me every day.
I do need to point out, however, that this very sweet man did in fact leave the state for over 5 years where he lived in Utah, an area of land that probably 200 Rhode Islands could fit in. So, I believe, the phenomenon continues to thrive and I will keep commuting daily from Antarctica with a change of clothing and a snack all the way to the city.