We are moving WHERE?
Is that in the South…like next to Ohio?
Do they have real things to do?
How about Jews, are there JEWS there?
Did you say Charlotte….omg, like the spider?
Show me a map, I need to see a fucking map, Mark. I have no idea where North Carolina is…for the love of all things holy! I didn’t even know that Washington, DC was different from Washington, until I watched the Miss America Pageant! I’m kidding. Okay, maybe I’m not. Just get out the map. Is it hot there? Fuck. Mark. Have you looked at me? Do you see this woman standing in front of you? Please, do not put me in the South. I can’t breathe in that type of air. It’s humid, and my Jewish-locks just won’t do well in that wet-heat. I, umm…I just, can’t…well… I feel faint. Do they have Jews below Chicago…..omg…..
WE ARE MOVING WHERE!?!
Mark got the most amazing job offer. He did. And who was I to say no? He was the breadwinner, the man of the house. The Head Honcho. The Big Cheese. And I was just the bitch who took care of his kids so he could do this thing, right? I mean, wouldn’t all supportive wives move to Charlotte, North Carolina for their hard working husbands? Ya. I’m so sure. Not Jewish ones, born and raised in the D! But I was going to be different. I respected him, and when he said we needed to go… I went. I took one for the team! And anyways, he said it was ONLY FOR A YEAR. Hmmm. A year. I could do anything for a year! It’s an adventure! A long-ass vacation. Don’t worry, you guys…I’ll be back! Save my standing appointment at Diva Nails, I’ll be home in a year….
“Listen you little bitch, you find me the Jews!” Not my best moment, I admit. Whatever. The real estate agent should be prepared for women like me. She obviously had never met a Jewish girl from Detroit. And yes, I said I was sorry. I didn’t mean to lunge at her. It was an honest mistake. I was overwhelmed with emotion, and out of my mind. I mean, I came from a place where there were 9 Temples on one road! And my kid’s first grade, public school class had 17 kids…all Jewish! Oy Vey. Mark apologized for me, again. I excused myself, took a Xanax…and ordered another Martini. I wanted to die. I cried so hard when we got back to the hotel, and it was raining. It doesn’t really rain at home, it snows. What is this heated wet shiz pouring from the sky? Get it together, Jen. I could do anything for a year. It was only for a year….Mark promised. We bought the first house we looked at, stupid. I put on my “orange jumpsuit”, and left the D. Basically in shackles. They were shiny, and blinged-out, but hell…I went kicking and screaming.
Charlotte didn’t even stand a chance.
After the move, my life became focused on how to keep my connection to home. Thank goddess for Facebook. I sat on it all day, and all night. I updated like 200 times an hour. I chatted with anyone that would talk to me. I posted when I pissed. I told the world when I took a crap. I “friended” everyone that I “knew”, even if I didn’t know them. And I talked to anyone that would pay attention to me. I ignored the happiest, prettiest, most amazing place on Earth….and locked myself in my house. I didn’t want to make new friends with the lady bringing us brownies. Or the man with the weed-whacker that just wanted to “do me a favor” by getting the excess overgrowth in the front yard. I had never seen anything like the friendliness that was taking place in my new neighborhood. It was likeDesperate Housewives on crack. I wanted to put a sign on my front door, “I AM JEWISH AND NORTHERN PLEASE FUCK OFF”. What, too much? Mark would come home from work every night, and find me in my sweats. Unshowered, and smelling like month old cheese. Oh, and with like 10 casserole dishes on the front porch. I ate the brownies. Thanks, Mrs. Smith. Sooo dang good!
And my poor kids. I dropped them off at school, and picked them up, I think. And I never came up for Southern air. I even flew home every six weeks to get my hair done. How convenient. I just couldn’t find a stylist good enough in the entire city of Charlotte. Really? Ummm, have you seen the South? There’s not one brunette in the place. Blond is all they do. lol. But Mark just let me go. I think he was done trying to make me like our new “home”. And he was probably thrilled to get rid of my whiny ass. I resented him, and he hated me. We slowly started to grow a part. He loved his new job, and I hated him for loving it. And hated him for loving Charlotte.
It was the beginning of the end.
But come on, give a girl a break! I missed my HOME!! I missed FUCKING PITA BREAD! And where does a girl find a decent Greek Salad around here? And I missed ordering my food “DRY”, and the waiter actually knowing what that meant! Not staring at me like I asked for penis on a stick! It’s dryyyyyyy, no butter!! Ugh. I missed Deli. And bagels. REAL bagels. And I missed walking into Sunny’s and seeing every person I knew. Or going to Target, and it being an all day event, because I would have to talk to 200 friends. I missed going Saturday nights to Cameron’s Steak House, and sitting at MY bar stool…and knowing that I’d see the same, exact people that I see every, other Saturday night. I missed my “normal”. The every day things that I used to do. The things I had done for the past 20 years, with my friends and family. My family. I missed my SISTER. And her kids. And my Mom. I hated Mark for taking me away from them. I felt like someone cut off my air supply. But it was only for a year, right?
Mark loved Charlotte. The boys loved Charlotte. Shit, everyone loves Charlotte. Have all y’all ever been to Charlotte? It is seriously one of the best cities in the world. Everyone is happy. I actually thought it was fake at first. not kidding. At the grocery store, they tried to walk my shit out to my car, and I was like, are you nuts? What are you gonna charge me?! But they are just being nice. Nice. And everyone says hello, and smiles. It’s because it’s so fucking sunny! Who can be upset when it’s so dang sunny all the time? I wanted to smack the smiles off their faces….but then, I realized, I better just give this place a chance. I ventured out of my house. I stopped driving up and down Providence Road, smoking a pack a day. I started eating real food, and taking care of myself. I got a job at my kid’s school teaching dance, and I got off of Facebook. I made some good friends. And realized, that these girls here were more accepting of me, and less judgmental than most of the women I had known for a lifetime in West Bloomfield. I also learned who my real friends were, and fast.
I was feeling guilty for starting to like Charlotte. I pretend to still be miserable when I talked to my sister and mom, so they wouldn’t be sad… I was scared to tell them I wasn’t coming home. That I actually liked it here. And the kids were so happy. I loved my job at school, and PDS was the best thing that ever happened to J&Z. I missed everything about Detroit, but realized I could still get it all in small doses, when I went home for a weekend. And then, I could come back here, and live in this ridiculously, amazing place. With a booming economy. And new restaurants, and a kick-ass Uptown. And the most supportive friends a girl could have. And yes… they might look at me a little funny when I walk into the school wearing my Moto-boots and leather jacket. And flashing my Hebrew tattoo…but they accept me for who I am. I think. ha. And the ones who don’t, smile anyways. That’s how they roll in the South. Gotta love it!
I told Mark it was “entrapment”, the way he got me to Charlotte. Ya know, how he told me it was only going to be a year, then it was 2… then 3. He just laughed, and said, “You’ll thank me one day.” I resented him for a long time. I was so angry. And now, I’m here…and divorced. Alone, with no family. And my custody agreement will keep me in Charlotte forever. You would think, I’d be furious. And fighting to leave. But you know what? I’m not. I might have started as a fish out of water. Shit. More like a Dorothy dropped on her ass in OZ. Without any ruby slippers. Or a dog. Totally fucked. Poor girl. Can’t click shit. ha. But I am ok, now. I am still struggling to find that perfect Greek Salad, and a good Coney Dog. And it’s not easy without my family. But I’m a fighter. I got this thing in the bag! And some people just can’t fathom why I speak with my hands, and talk SO damn fast! But after 5 years, I am happily calling Charlotte, North Carolina my home. So…thank you, Mark. You little shit.
And all y’all are just stuck with me…so, bless your little hearts! For some reason, that just doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth. ha. But ya know what they say, there’s no place like home! Wait, or is it, when in Rome? Whatever. ;)
xo j aka Dorothy