After two eleven-hour drives, split by one day at my brother's house in Columbus, OH, I arrived into Virginia Beach last night just after 8PM to Walt's house (my old friend/roommate from optometry school in Oregon). Having friends and family dispersed around the world carries its advantages, as it seems I'm never too far from a friendly face.
Walt has a lovely wife, twin boys, and one more on the way. Quite the departure from the single guy with whom I shared a house, along with three other optometry student males, back in the spring of 2001. I ran into Walt at the Academy of Optometry conference in Boston this fall and he mentioned his friend needed maternity leave coverage, and that I should apply. So here I am.
Today I spent the day touring Virginia Beach. By touring, I mean inspecting places posted on Craig's list as living possibilities. I further investigated by phone and email, ruling out quite a few including one who stated, "I've got two dogs and four cats." Sounds like hell to me! The second house I visited, a toothless navy retiree answered and said he was one of the other roommates and showed me around the dark house. I knew right off I'd never eat if I lived there, which may be a great diet plan, but was not what I was looking for. Another woman showed me the room she had for rent in her house, leading me up three flights of stairs to a room where the previous tenant lived, which included a dorm fridge and microwave. I have no intention of hiding in my room.
The finale was 41 year old woman from Seattle, who was nice but seemed old for her age, a bit stodgy and jaded, and lived down an alley, which made for a quiet area, but wasn't so good for parking or lighting. I am big into lighting, and purchased both of my houses, and selected most all of my rentals based on lighting. I've been told I have a color fixation (which I do not deny), and one cannot properly nurture this without good lighting!
In the end I chose a the first place I visited- a girl who I clicked with right off the bat- who had a dual master suite condo 3.3 miles from my work, with a dedicated parking spot, bedrooms upstairs, good lighting, a spare bike she'd bought herself and never used (and said I could take it to work and whatnot). She has two tiny dogs about 10-15 lbs each who go to daycare when she is working. Both were casual and I felt affinity for them.
After seven months of visiting people's homes and living in hostels and loving the company, I wanted to stay in a roommate situation. I also think it is important to stay tolerant of other people, something that can get away from me when I've been on my own too long.
As we were parting ways, she said, "We are the same age!" I said, "You look good!" She said, "You do too!" So it will be Sara and Sandy, high school class of 1994. She is from rural Michigan, and I from North Dakota. It's nice to have found a midwesterner. It is the first time in a long time that I've met someone who is exactly my age. I'm hopeful.
Tomorrow begins orientation for my first official day as a government employee. Perhaps the start of a very long career!