Fish out of water

Sometimes I get really tired of living in the city.

I love the culture, the opportunities, the awesome lack of homophobia, and the people – and I don’t really want to give up any of those things – but, dude.  I miss my jean shorts.  Where I grew up, as long as you paired them with flip flops and a tank top, jean shorts = fashion-forward night out on the town!

But here… no.  (I mean, it might be okay as long as you’re wearing them in an ironic way.  Not really clear on that point.)

I guess I realized I was in a totally different world last fall, when a couple of my friends were talking about how to dress up for an 80’s themed party and didn’t know where to go to buy jean jackets.  (“Er, two things..  1) Sears, and 2) Let’s all take a moment to remember that jean jackets are awesome and functional and definitely good for more than just 80s nights, right?

… Right, guys?”)

So I guess I’m stuck with the city fashion for now.  (Not that anyone here would call what I wear ‘fashion”, but… look, I’m wearing skinny jeans – with boots!  And the boots are not cowboy boots or anything, they have zippers.

… You gotta work with me here, Metropolis.)

So Boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years and have been long-distance since I started med school here.  He’s applying to pathology residencies this fall, so he’s trying to figure out where he should be applying so he can schedule audition rotations there.

Eventually, we both want to move back to the country.  He’s a “build my own house, hunt my own venison, fix my own car, and do it all with the same knife“*  kind of guy, but he loves theater and museums, so we’re both on the same page as far as wanting to live near a major city..

Just not… you know, in one.  Or indeed, anywhere close enough that we can see neighboring houses.

But now that he’s getting ready to apply to residencies,  we have to actually start looking at where we want to live for the next 6 years.  And since our residencies will overlap by 2 years, we really need to shoot for a city so we both have decent chances of matching together.

It’s sort of like couples matching, but without the convenient part.

So, since it’s a pretty residency-dense area, we’ve narrowed it down to the northeast.  (I know that’s a really questionable use of the phrase “narrowed down”.)  And despite the fact that “residency-dense” also means “people-dense”, so I doubt there’s countryside nearby – Philadelphia is looking like the best choice.

It’s sad to put off the idea of living in the country – at least, for another 6 years – but if anyone who’s lived in Philly wants to reassure me that it’s a great city, that’d be awesome.  I know next to nothing about the place, but really hope that people love it there.

If nothing else, I know it has tourists.  And the tourists frequently wear jean shorts, so who knows – I might fit right in.

And in the meantime,  I’m just going to be grateful that we’re both trying to match to not-so-competitive specialties.  Psychiatry and pathology are a great combination for trying to couples-match when you’re 2 years apart.

(Even if it is a less-useful combination for other little doctor-ly things like, you know, actual medical emergencies.)

*  Kidding.  He doesn’t knife-hunt.  And though he helped build his best friends houses, I think he used more than just a knife?  (Not sure.  As far as I know, carpentry is magic.)

10 thoughts on “Fish out of water

  1. You can TOTALLY wear jean shorts in Philly. I mean, I suppose that some people might frown upon it, but I would wear them. I was actually thinking of converting an old pair of jeans recently (plus, I was reading that jean cutoffs are back in style anyway).

    Depending on where you live in Philly, it can have a small city feel. I live in West Philly, and it feels more neighborhoody to me than Center City did, even though all the cool people live in CC. It’s also cheaper than CC. I used to not love it here, but now that I live in West Philly, have a dog, and have figured out what I like to do around here and have a community, I like it a lot better than I used to. Also, the country is shockingly close, given that Philly is a major city. You can get to Valley Forge in 40 minutes. I dare you to try that in any other major city.

    Plus Penn has the best Psychiatry program in the country.

    Other locales you might consider: Northhampton Mass (UMass area), Providence RI, Ann Arbor MI, Madison WI, Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati), Rochester NY.

    • Wow, that’s awesome info! Thanks!

      Okay, I’m pretty psyched about the country being that close. I commuted 90 minutes each way back in undergrad for awhile, so it sounds like if we found a place, the drive would be totally doable.

      Thanks for the other locations too, I’m going to throw those ideas to Boyfriend as he researches where to apply.

      • Just to warn you, I don’t know if I’d want to live out there if I was commuting to Penn every day as a resident. The traffic on 76 can be horrible, and while my husband does something equivalent, he doesn’t have to do 30 hour shifts. But yes. The country is close. You could totally live in Chestnut Hill or Manayunk and be even closer to it than I am. And you’d be near to Fairmont Park too, which is really beautiful and very wilderness-y for a city park.

  2. I grew up in a Philly ‘burb (19095), went to Penn Vet,& currently live in another ‘burb (19444 – very close to chestnut hill & manayunk & the valley green area of fair mount park :)) Philly is a great town! Don’t miss the Mutter Museum if you visit. As far as country/city goes – i have a client who lives in West Chester (rural) & commutes to CHOP no problem. Feel free to drop me a note for more info.

  3. Wait a second… can wear shorts this time of year?! I die every time I’ve tried so far! Then again, growing up in Phoenix hasn’t helped that a whole lot. Pretty much as soon as it drops below 80, I pull out the pants.

    Also, I’ve heard good things about Philly. I have a couple friends that went to school there and I’ve heard it’s got “something for everyone.”

    • Oh no – I wish I could! Haha. I was just looking at my facebook feed and one of my college friends had posted a bunch of pictures of us hanging out in jean shorts, drinking bud lite out in the country, and I got all nostalgic for midwestern life!

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