Decisions, Decisions

26 Jan

I flew home from my last interview on Monday, and I have been gleefully soaking in the reality of sleeping in my own bed and talking about things other than An Ethical Dilemma I Once Experienced with a Client.

Don’t get me wrong. I got to spend time with several friends along the way, and there were parts of the trip that were really fun, including but not limited to getting lost in D.C., making Nutella Brownie Bricks, drinking the best milkshake in North Carolina/possibly the universe, snorgling kittens, watching horseback acrobatics, and reading trashy vampire urban fantasy novels (TVUFNs, as they’re known in the biz). And by trashy, I mean trashy. Twilight, please.

That said, I’m incredibly grateful that I get to hang up my suit and move on. Ranking lists are due on February 8, so Ted and I have been poring over weighted spreadsheets and working on an order of preference. I went into this process knowing that I had no interest in living apart from Ted for a year and that his opinions about where he’d like to live would have just as much weight as my own. I imagined that this might entail passing up an excellent site in a less-preferred area in favor of a more mediocre site in a location that would be a better fit for us as a couple. But throughout my interviews, I didn’t find any sites that didn’t have excellent training opportunities. Every site also seemed to have a class of happy interns, a friendly staff, and a positive work environment. There are some sites I liked slightly better than others, but overall, choosing favorites feels like trying to pick a favorite cupcake: maybe a red velvet cupcake would make you a tiny bit happier at a given moment than a vanilla bean cupcake, but they’re all cupcakes, you like cupcakes, and the amount of extra happiness the red velvet cupcake would give you probably isn’t all that meaningful.

That leaves location as the big deciding factor. My sites are all located in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, or Virginia. After much thought, I’ve determined that the pros and cons of living in each of these states are as follows:



  • Delicious tacos
  • I already own a Texas-shaped cookie cutter
  • Everything is bigger. Probably including my pants, because of all the delicious tacos
  • Close friends live there, eliminating need for perusal of shady Craigslist “platonic” section
  • Dude ranches?
  • When driving, tumbleweeds may obstruct view of road in a dangerous fashion
  • Armadillos? Texas has a lot of armadillos, right? Did you know that armadillos can transmit leprosy?
  • State looks like a giant tomato in political maps
  • Would sweat extra during scorching summers. Would probably have to spend more $$$ on deodorant



  • Biscuits!
  • Everything seems to have a picture of a peach on it
  • Friends and family in area
  • Large lightning bug population
  • Might run into Paula Deen and become friends and she would invite me over to eat peanut butter pie and I could gently tell her to stop wearing so much eyeliner because her magazine covers are creeping people out


  • If living in the vicinity of Atlanta, would need to purchase a helicopter to evade hideous traffic. Used helicopters difficult to find on Craigslist
  • People might call me “hun”
  • Pollen
  • Traffic. I’m going to list traffic twice for emphasis



  • Home of the Woolly Worm Festival
  • Small colony of friends established here
  • Seasons do what they’re supposed to do
  • Could have a banana pudding Cook-Out milkshake whenever I felt like it
  • Access to beach AND mountains


  • Somebody might make me go to a NASCAR race
  • NASCAR is the official state sport
  • Of the states on my list, “North Carolina” takes the longest time to write
  • Having a banana pudding Cook-Out milkshake whenever I felt like it might take a serious toll on my health



  • Easy access to Baltimore (and a close friend who lives there), D.C., beaches
  • Chincoteague ponies
  • Seasons do what they’re supposed to do, and they do it even better than North Carolinan seasons
  • Could grandly tell people that I live in “Old Dominion”


  • State slogan is “Virginia is for lovers.” Gross
  • Someone might make me go watch people “bring history to life” (e.g., play a fife in a sweaty wool waistcoat) in Colonial Williamsburg
  • Would always have vague concerns about likelihood of nuclear attack if living anywhere in the vicinity of D.C.
  • Dangerous environment for my friend Laurie due to ubiquitous presence of the beloved Virginia peanut

Ted and I have a lot to ponder. Obviously I hit the highlights in my pros/cons section, but for those of you who live in the states in question, are there any other factors we should be considering?


One Response to “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. Melinda January 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Dont forget Emily, who knows all the best persian restaurants in dc metro and her cousin Araz, the white house connection!

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