You live in Queens, NY and you use grits to dust your gourmet pizza crust instead of cornmeal.
This was done recently by my friend Mel (not his real name) while he was cooking up some homemade pie in his NYC hipster flat. Those of you who are familiar with Mel (Once again, not his real name) should take this opportunity to encourage him to exercise the 1 year plan, which has him back in Tally with a new Moots FS by February 06. The 2 year plan, which is ridiculous, involves staying in the city, saving more money, completing some sort of “schooling” and then returning to Tally, at which point we will have completely forgotten him and both of his plans. I mean, I appreciate his pragmatic approach to work, education, and a panic-free retirement, but really, who has a plan that lasts a whole 2 years into the future? I hesitate to commit to a weekend outing. What if something else comes up? (Not that anything ever does).
I would like to hear from some of you who may have a better vantage point than a single 35 y/o Man (with a capital M fuckin’ A right!) who has no savings plan, still rides a hardtail, and plans on working at a bait shop during “retirement”.
Dr. Detroit? Mrs. Dr. Detroit? Squatch? Squawtch? Hi-Tops? Sascha?(You can relate to the “first day of the rest of my life” dilemma), All the rest of you lurkers, shirkers, and overpaid office workers?
The choices for Mel (Not his real name) are clear.
NYC, a fat salary, and no bike vs. Tallahassee, ?(definitely less) salary, a sweet Moots, and some friends who appreciate him more than they let on.
I’m trying to use this site responsibly, so you be the judge.
1 year plan or 2 year (dumb) plan.
Juancho (Not his real name)
The last time I saw Mel (not his real name) he wasn’t the poor slob who left town, no siree. In his stead was a handsome, sophisticated, nattily dressed urbanite. A move back to T-Town may be upsetting to this new Mel. The last thing we want is backsliding. You also failed to mention what his New York life is like. Is it all fast cars and fashion models? These sorts of pertinent details are needed in order to make a rational decision. On the flip side, maybe it’s a sausage-fest and ramen noodles. This makes the choice all the easier. Of course, we can’t discount the allure of Tallahassee (summer weather notwithstanding) and this has nothing to do with a Moots FS (whatever that is). Tallahassee may offer what isn’t available in the big city: old friends, Thursday poker, the kind, backporch darts etc. All in all, it’s a tough choice. If was faced with this decision, though, I would pull up stakes in a flash and not even look back. Really, what choice does he have. He’s seen the world, now it’s time to figure out what he truly values and pounce on it. Dr. D out!
People pay good money for words like that.
Spontaneity can be a scary thing. I found that out recently. And Dr Detroit is right. You may find out that he’s not the same country boy who left you. But really, you don’t list anything here that he can’t be doing in Tally unless the job market is really suckass down there. I fail to see how anyone can save money in New York. It’s hard enough in Minneapolis.
But really, Just cuz the boy’s living in NYC doesn’t mean he can’t get on a bike! I know a chick in Chicago who is a suit-wearin’ briefcase totin’ lawyer and she doesn’t even own a car. She rides to work every single day.
Really though, it’s all about where your heart is. I’m still struggling with my decision and I feel like someone else is working my job and living in the house I should have bought—in some ways. In other ways, I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue the love affair I’m having with my house. And join the bike team that has an awesome women’s team and build out a new bike, learn to swim for triathlons this winter and get a bike coach. None of those things could have happened if I’d made the other decision, although I’d probably be too busy to care.
The struggle between money and spiritual fulfillment is a hard one. Sometimes the money makes things possible that otherwise would not be and those things can be awfully satisfying.
I wish I could speak more about his particular slant on living in the city, but being such a country mouse myself, when I went to see him all I did was gawk, drink, and walk my ass off. Hopefully he is reading and appreciating your thoughts.
So how much are you willing to pay for a bike coach? I do a great Burgess Meredith.
I dunno…I was hoping for a sexy, motivating coach. Not the Burgess Meredith type 😀
I’d rather be coached by Gene Wilder (BIG crush on his Willy Wonka to this day) or, um, hey, Andy Garcia. Yeah baby. How are you at one of those?
I’ve been told I have a lovely Willy Wonka.
You are so naughty!
What are you talking about? My Willie Wonka is a classic. I’ve had him since I was a kid.
Mel (not his real name) just called from the train. He has no idea yet that I have offered his life up for debate.
uh-oh, this ain’t good.
I meant the spam, which I eradicated.
Greetings to y’all -joke intended- and thanks for the honest points of view. I must admit Gotham is weighing heavily on me lately. Being a nature boy at heart I must admit to strong daydreams of breathless single-track riding on a sweet bike, sitting in a wet, sandy bathing suit on the leading edge of the gulf tide at St. George Island in the late afternoon when everything slowly turns blue and gold as the sun that warms your legs and back starts to dip and the moon starts to slowly rise in the sky with the sound and of the surf filling your ears. I think of laying on my back looking up at trees and the way when the wind is just right in their leaves it almost sounds like they may be trying to tell you something secret and divine if you just listen closer to them for a while longer and be still. Actually seeing stars at night, ambitions of having a garden – tomatoes, root vegetables and maybe even some orchids. Get a dog! I think of the good feeling of standing barefoot in grass with a cold beer in hand and old friends laughing close by. I think of a relatively laid back life style in a southern city, where a job is something you do to pursue your lifestyle and not where your lifestyle is a job.
Finally discovering ambition late in life ”31” and also discovering a sudden affinity for computers and needing a change had brought me to this dirty city close to five years ago. I have accomplished what I had set out to do, which was some fuzzy small town notion that to work for Wall Street firms would be cool, in particular ones that specialize in NASD and NYSE trading. Now a senior engineer “at least that’s what my business card says – but I’d be the first one to dispute that title and ability” at one of the big investment banks in Midtown those ambitions have been satisfied and I look for the next change.
But really, what is the next change?
I recall walking home on a brilliantly beautiful warm day for over two hours through Manhattan and over the East river back to Brooklyn and wound up sitting on the roof of my first apartment in Brooklyn watching lower Manhattan covered in smoke, dust and fire and two very audible F-14s pulling wide figure eights over head till long after the sun went down. Then walking to the nearby bar and just being grateful to see your friends show up in pairs or walk in alone and look at each other in disbelief. I think that day and the days following everyone made a pact with themselves to live differently. To do things like they had been meaning to do. That could of easily of been THEM. My new aspirations were relatively easy things, simple things, like to walk up to that ridiculously attractive girl and introduce myself, to not waste time worrying any more, to realize that merely living was pretty great in itself. After time though, actual working, commuting, and other things dulled those aspirations and were forgotten by years end. Almost embarrassed by the earnestness of them to a degree.
I have no allusions about moving. I have traveled enough to realize that no matter where you go – there you are. And a new city, job, girlfriend, nor more or less money can ever really make real change happen for you. That said moving back to Tallahassee in no way would make those changes happen inside me – but it would be a lot easier if I could try surrounded by things that hold real value.
I think about the difference between choice and destiny. I know some of you are chortling at my use of the word destiny, but chortle away… I’m a believer. Tallahassee seems to have a magnetic force that pulls people back to her fold. Maybe that force is really destiny. Maybe that force isn’t from Tallahassee, but from the people there. I think about the day that Dr. Detroit and I drove away from Tallahassee on our way to Detroit. I cried and cried and wondered why on earth he would be willing to pull up his roots, leave his friends and comfort zone, and go to DETROIT! with me. Destiny? Choice? I just don’t know. I think about a couple of brothers we know who blow in and out of Tallahassee like the wind, not quite sure where (or if for that matter!) they want to put down roots. Funny how they always seem to find their way back to Tally, though, isn’t it? Destiny? Choice? Again, I just don’t know. As for Mel (not his real name), I guess I don’t have any sound advice to offer. Maybe just one final thought: maybe our choices are really an enactment of our destiny.
You have a way with words Professor. Whether or not it was choice or destiny: I like to think it was both. It was destiny we met and my choice to follow you wherever you led. I would have followed you to the gates of hell if only you asked me. Instead you chose Detroit.
The BRC has never experienced such quality dialogue.
Free peanuts for everyone!
I’m from Michigan and have spent some time in Detroit. I’ve been to shows at St Andrews shopped at Noir Leather and danced till 4am at City Club. I’ve also been through Highland Park at night where you roll through the red lights because stopping is too scary and the edges of Grosse Point Park with boarded up houses all around.
Dr Detroit–you might have been better off if she’d asked you to hell.
All this talk about Willy’s wonka or Wonka’s willy and romance to and through the gates of hell is scaring me.
Mel, I think you should move to Detroit and see how many bikes you can get stolen in one year. It would serve two purposes — Dr. Detroit and professorslaw would have some hometown company and you could put your theory that happiness is an internal issue to the ultimate test. What do you say?
I think that is a capital idea. Mel, you would be treated to the royal welcome. Mostly because the summer is almost over and not one of our friends has visited. If you came it would be the return of the prodigal son! And Sascha, Detroit may be no Shangri-La but you make it sound like downtown Tikrit. It’s not that bad.
This could be big…
I’ll quit work this week and start to travel the country putting folks to the question of are they are happy or not. I’ll have a weekly column in some slightly left leaning paper “are there any still out there?” And eventually write a best selling book about it all. The public will love my x-ray keen insight tempered with a good ole boy perspective. Think Mike Wallace meets Uncle Jesse. My book will both define and usher in the new Post-Consumerism “PO-ISM for short” mood sweeping the country as everyone has started to bike to work since gas is seven dollars a gallon and no one can afford anything besides food and shelter.
And you know my first stop will be Detroit and then Tallahassee.
Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on this.
Don’t forget Minneapolis Mel! But you’d better make it your first stop as it could freeze here any day. The weather guys tell us that the only months to have never seen snow are June, July and August.
And Dr. Detroit, I remember Detroit fondly. Some of my favorite concerts were there, although I had to go to Kzoo for the Dead Milkmen. And I especially remember fondly the New Year’s Eve party of many gunshots. Although I’m a little more blase about gunshots now in my current urban neighborhood 🙂
Brilliant. I get my customary 3.5%.
what are you? His real estate agent?
Nooooo, I’m a general talent agent. I have managed two bands, a travel photographer, and a number of artists, all poorly. I would like to offer Mel(not his real name) the same misguided leadership.