Not only are my kids moving out, but those who are on their own, are now considering moving away. I waited for years to get them the hell out of my house, but I am having mixed feelings about their relocating to different cities.
My wife informed me that my eldest son and his new wife are moving to Hamilton, on June 1. While it is not that far away, a mere 45 minutes down the QEW, I have reservations about this decision.
“Are you kidding me?”, I asked her.
“No.”, she answered. “They’re going to Hamilton. Houses are much cheaper there.”
“Well of course they are”, I advised. “Its freakin’ Hamilton.” This was very disturbing to me. “Hamilton?”, I asked again, hoping that I had misunderstood. Just hearing myself say it, sent shivers down my spine.
I called my son. “What the hell are you doing moving to Hamilton?”, I demanded an explanation.
“Ya.”, he said, “We just can’t afford to live here anymore. Its killing us. We have to find somewhere that’s more affordable.”
“There’s nothing in Hamilton.”, I inform him.
“I have friends there.”, he said. “There’s a bunch of stuff to do, if you live downtown. So we’re going to see some places this weekend that are right downtown. Near the clubs, and stuff.”
“And don’t forget the drug dealers, crack addicts, prostitutes, homeless, and runaways”, I told him.
“We’ll be alright.”, he told me.
“Hamilton?”, I questioned again. “Its like Canada’s version Buffalo & Pittsburgh, only worse!”
And now, my other son is planning on moving to Belleville. That’s right, Belleville, Ontario. population 50,000. Situated in the beautiful middle of nowhere, halfway between Where The Hell Is That?, & Can You Even Get There By Car?. “Houses are really cheap in Belleville.”, he advises me.
“I’m sure.”, I agree. “They’re even cheaper in Iroquois Falls, but I wouldn’t recommend that you live there either.”
He informs me that his live in girlfriend is having a difficult time securing a position as a teacher, and has applied to The Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board. I ask him where he plans on working, and he begins his ADHD laden dissertation.
“Well”, he said, “I could find work cooking in a golf club, but I don’t want to turn 50 years old and still be on my feet all day, cooking. I’m going to get a job at a gym, and take a training course to become a personal trainer. The course is short, so I can start working on building up a clientele right away.”
“How many gyms are there in a town of 50,000 people?”, I ask.
“I don’t know.”, he tells me.
“How many personal trainers are there in Belleville?”, I continue to probe.
“I don’t know.”, he responds.
“Well”, I said, “Sounds like you’ve thought this through.”
“I don’t know why I even tell you things.”, he states.
“Because I’m the only one who tells you what you need to hear. There’s no reason for you to move to Belleville to buy a house. You don’t need a house. And you certainly don’t need to follow Cruella Deville around the province while she looks for a job. Let her go to Belleville. Tell her to send you a postcard. Go visit on weekends. I don’t give a shit. But I think its time you took your balls back from her, and made a decision that works for you.”
My wife had been standing in the doorway, listening in, as usual, to my conversation with the boy. “I think that you’re being a little hard on him.”, she said as she walked into the room.
“You told me to talk to him.”, I reminded her.
“Yes, I did.”, she replied, “but I didn’t want you to yell at him.”
“I wasn’t yelling.”, I corrected her.
“I heard you.”, she said as she rubbed the boys back.
“You realize that he’s 32 years old, right?”, I asked.
“Yes.”, she replied. “What does that have to do with anything? What do you want to do?”, she asks him.
“Go to Belleville.”, he tells her.
“Listen to your mother.”, she begins. “That girl doesn’t know what’s best for you. If you move to Belleville you’ll be too far away. We’ll never see you.You need to stay here. If you need help, we can help you out.”
“Do you understand what your mother is telling you?”, I asked the boy.
“Ya.”, he said, somewhat dejectedly.
“Well.”, I tell him. “My advice is to go and pack. I’ll drive you to Belleville myself.”
Later that evening, when we were alone, my wife reminded me that I have 3 daughters who, one day, may decide to move away.
“Its okay.”, I tell her. “I may finally have a chance to use a bathroom around here.”
“You an joke about it all you want,’, she stated, “but it will drive you crazy.”
“That’s okay.”, I said, “I’ve had an enormous amount of practice living with you. I’m pretty sure I’ll get through it.”
“Keep it up”, she advised me, “and you might not make it through the night.”