Friday, April 25, 2008

A homebody torn between two homes

Anxious father week continues here at Second Effort.

Older Daughter has an away message on her gmail chat status congratulating her boyfriend. You've read about Older Daughter's Boyfriend here before. Recently, they marked a fifth anniversary as a "couple" -- but there was no announcement. I think Older Daughter was thinking there would be one; I think she was disappointed that no ring was proffered.

She's in that bridesmaid stage now -- tapped to be a bridesmaid in a number of weddings in the next year or so -- and she's starting to think about her own wedding....

Older Daughter's Boyfriend has apparently broached the topic -- I think if you asked him he'd say they have an understanding -- but the discussions have so far been theoretical. No hall has been rented. No church has been reserved.

I've written before how I think Older Daughter has tried, her whole life, to rearrange the universe to fit her wants and needs. Sometimes what Older Daughter wants is contradictory -- impossible under the laws of nature.

I fear this is one of those times.

Older Daughter is a homebody. She's happy to come back to the nest; frankly, we've had to push her out the door on occasion because she was obligated to be somewhere else. If the Boyfriend is waiting for her at his parents' home in Indianapolis, or at school in Champaign, he'll invariably have to call her cell phone once or twice to prod her into moving.

She's happier in Champaign now than she was in Indianapolis last year -- she likes nursing school so far and she didn't like her job in Indianapolis. But she still seems happiest at home. And the Boyfriend, who's getting a Masters degree in architecture from the University of Illinois could certainly find work in Chicago if he wants to.

It's pretty obvious that this is what Older Daughter wants.

But the Boyfriend is an only child. His family is well established in Indianapolis and he had a good job there last year before returning to school -- and that job is waiting for him when he returns.

And now we tie in the congratulatory note on Older Daughter's away message: It is for two things. First, he's received a fellowship that will allow him to finish his degree without financial embarrassment. He may actually pocket a few coins. Second, the head of the company for which the Boyfriend had worked in Indianapolis -- not an immediate supervisor mind you, but the head guy himself -- has taken a personal interest in the Boyfriend's budding career. And the head guy has political aspirations, too, apparently -- in Indiana of course -- and hopeful prospects at that, according to Older Daughter. And this man has indicated that the Boyfriend can hope for involvement in this arena as well... and the Boyfriend is definitely interested.

He's not moving to Chicago any time soon.

He's probably never moving to Chicago.

And Older Daughter, who wants the Boyfriend but wants Chicago too, is running headfirst into a hard reality: She's going to have to make a choice.

I think the choice is simple -- and I'll be most of you do, too: If Older Daughter wants a life with the Boyfriend, she had better get used to the idea of being a Hoosier. It's not like she would drop out of our lives entirely -- Indianapolis isn't that far away. And they have nursing jobs there, too.

But someone else's choices are always easier to make than our own. And an anxious father is sitting on the sidelines -- again -- able only to offer encouragement.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

have the same thing going on with number one granddaughter curmy, and he is in the navy so i don't think uncle sugar will station him in north georgia... sooo? don't know what will happen but sure do like the young man alot!

smiles, bee

sari said...

You know, I moved away from my family because that's what I thought I wanted and it's been fifteen years and *&%@ if I don't still miss them terribly and every day.

I originally moved away to be with a boyfriend and soon realized the mistake of that. Then, to get out of that, I moved to Arizona (where my mom & a sister were) and while I'm very happy here and I met my husband and we're raising our family here, I do miss my father, stepmother and my other sisters horribly.

Patti said...

I can certainly understand your daughter wanting to stay in familiar surroundings. I've always lived in southern Connecticut.

On the other hand, if she wants a life with The Boyfriend, she will have to relocate. It sounds like he isn't going to leave Indianapolis.

Love will win out, I predict.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Time for a few less than subtle hints from older Daughter to the boyfriend.

landgirl said...

As you say Indy is not that far from Chicago. It is easier when hard choices don't involve great distances.

I wish you and all your family good luck in the upcoming changes.

Kacey said...

Sounds like your daughter is going to have to ask the young man if his intentions are honorable. After five years, I think she has a right to expect a ring or she should be planning to live is Chicago without him. On the other hand, if he springs for the ring and pops the question --- she will love Indy. Our son and his family lived in Carmel for eight years and they still miss it --- even though they have lived back in the Toledo area with the four kidlets. The whole family wears "Colts" tee shirts. Indy is a very progressive place to be and not very far from Chicago.