When my husband and I got together, it was clear that for most people in his company, and indeed, many in his line of work, all roads lead, eventually, to Houston. The idea was horrifying to both of us. Louisiana, fine, but Houston? We had to draw the line somewhere. Houston represented (in our minds) everything that we found abhorrent and disappointing about American culture. The Bush debacle. Urban sprawl. Outrageous heat. Gun-loving Bible people. Big hair and country club life. We laughed at our little private joke. Houston, the very idea. So when we got engaged, and he continued working in oil, my general message was, "I'm so thrilled for our life together, our partnership, and I love you very much, but I just want you to know that I'm never moving to Houston."
So what's crazy is that we're moving to Houston next month, and I'm not drawing up the divorce papers, or even having a meltdown. To be honest, I'm even a little bit excited. It was hard to let go of the Africa fantasy, but in my heart, I know that going to Houston gets us closer to home on multiple levels. Africa was "adventure", but Houston allows us a real life. I think.
In the last few weeks, as the news of this move has unfolded, I have been developing an arsenal of bright-side-of-moving-to-Houston notions. Here are some reasons that I have to look forward to Houston:
1.) The food is probably outstanding.
2.) The people are warm, passionate, and refreshingly direct, compared to Minnesotans.
3.) A few of our friends already live in Houston, or within a manageable roadtrip.
4.) There is likely to be great music around.
5.) Heat is not all bad, and I actually like humidity.
6.) The food should be out of this world, and much more affordable than food in Luanda.
7.) Did I mention that I have high hopes for the food?
One of the best things is that several of our friends have been transferred there over the last couple of years, so there will be a reunion of sorts, and so won't have to start over completely in the friend-making department. Also, see above list; with regard to food. Mexican, barbeque, avocados everywhere, I can hardly concentrate right now thinking about it. Austin, one of our favorite cities, is only a few hours from Houston, making it a fun and easy weekend getaway. And, Houston is the 4th largest city in country (!!!), so there has to be some creative stuff going on, right?
named Houston city of the year this year, so my fingers are crossed. Also, now I can develop a much healthier attitude to the month of February, since it is possible that that is when the best weather of the year will occur.
So, we're headed to Houston, and while it wouldn't have been my first choice, it was also not even close to my last choice anymore. Don't tell me that people can't change.