March 21, 2011


I called a couple mortgage lenders today to start the pre-approval process. We're heading to Dallas in April for a four-day house hunt and will need to make an offer while we're there.

Each lender asked me a bunch of follow-up questions in order to give me an estimate. With each, it felt more like a chat than a business transaction and after asking where I live now and how long I've been here, "California, almost five years," they followed up with, "Oh, so where is your home?"

Pause. Confusion on my part. I've been here five years, it's here. Then the lightbulb, "Oh! Do you mean where did I grow up? I grew up in Cincinnati and my husband grew up in Staten Island, NY."

"Cincinnati! That's great. You'll be closer to home now."

Hmm... first of all, at this stage of life, home is wherever Jrex and I are together. Home can be a tent or a motel room, but I haven't had a 'home' in the sense they mean since my mother died. With my Dad now in Seattle, Cincinnati is where I grew up, but definitely not home.

The other thing that constantly amuses me is how each Dallas person latches onto Cincinnati in excitement. The places I've lived on the coasts are greeted with a blank nod or shrug, but when I mention growing up in Cincinnati, I have an instant 'in'. They tell me who they know there, trips they've taken to visit or ask me about sports (I know nothing about the current state of the Reds, the Bengals or UC basketball). On both the east and west coast, it's been the opposite. Cincinnati is treated as part of the great empty mystery in the middle of the country where nothing really exists except maybe Chicago.

I get nervous for Jrex. He's only lived on the coasts so even without being Asian, he'll be a foreigner. We'll be together though, so at least we'll know where home is.


Aimee said...

haha. I get all excited about anything RE: Cincinnati, and especially Cincinnati Children's Hospital, like when Nick Lachey donated prize money from a show (can't remember which) to the CCH NICU. I *love* Police Women of Cincinnati.

And I don't even know Cincinnati *that* well, but it was the city where my baby was born, and it will always hold a place in my heart. As Abbie grows older, we can explore the city more during her yearly visits for appointments. It's starting to be a lot more fun.

FWIW, when I was in Tulsa, people would ask where home was, and I'd answer West Virginia, then they'd look at me funny and say how WV isn't southern, so why did I have a southern accent? :-) At least there's something exciting or noteworthy about being from Cincinnati. Not only for the sports, but it was the birth place of the polio vaccination. How's that for geekery? :-)

NGS said...

I'd just like to give a shout out to the Twin Cities as a place that the coastie folk enjoy talking about. Go Mpls!!

Anonymous said...

It's like Robert Frost said, "Home is the place that when you go there, they've gotta take you in."

So, know that you've always got a home.