As an avid wanderlust, I am a full believer that sometimes I feel certain vibes with a city that almost personifies it. Sydney is comforting, friendly, and makes me feel at home. Naples has a rough exterior, but once I spent some time getting to know it, it was really a diamond in the rough with a lot of hidden gems. Venice was my clandestine love, touristy and commercial (everything I hate), a romance doomed to fail from the beginning, but somehow I couldn’t resist its charms and fell head over heels with it the week I was there. Paris was my first love, and while I have moved on to other cities, it will always hold a special place in my heart. But Seattle? Seattle is the definitive love/hate relationship.
I have a lot that I love about the city. The food is wonderful, and going on a foodie adventure is as easy as turning the next corner and popping into a place you’ve never been to before. Any kind of food you would want is at your fingertips, and to be completely honest, it is rare to have a bad meal here. One of my favorite past times is exploring restaurants I’ve never been to, whether it is a crab shack in West Seattle that outfits me with a bib, cutlery, and a bucket before dumping a bag of crab soaked in butter and spices in front of me, or the Indian restaurant that is about a mile from my house that has a menu the size of a novel and gave me some free dessert.
The bar scene also keeps my interest. Between going to pinball themed bars to dive bars, I am always entertained and fascinated when I walk into a new place. There are bars around every corner, and I can get a completely different experience depending on which neighborhood I’m in on any given night. In fact, my mission the past few weekends has been to find all of the Seattle “speakeasies” which has been a blast. But that will be a post of its own in the near future…
I’m even having a love affair with my own neighborhood. Wallingford has enough going on to keep me occupied on its own but also provides me with easy access to other neighborhoods. I am used to my routine of walking to the grocery store to pick up whatever microwavable dinner and pint of ice cream I will be silently judged for at the checkout line. I am now on a first name basis with the guy at the coffee shop who I am overly chummy with because he reminds me of a friend of mine back in Indianapolis. He greets me with a big smile and “The usual today, Lovely?” every time I walk through the door, and I’m not going to lie, it makes my day. I reached the point where I wanted something different one day and wouldn’t change it because I’ve put in some effort to get a “usual” status and I feel I have to live up to it now.
But sometimes Seattle drives me crazy. It’s melodramatic. And as a person who personally feels most people should push down their emotions a bit, the oversharing tends to get on my nerves from time to time. I have, with my own eyes, witnessed a man run straight into a street sign, oblivious to its existence, and walk away like nothing happened while it shook in the distance. I laughed out loud, perhaps because I’m a heartless asshole by Seattle standards, and received dirty looks from all the bystanders gasping and covering their mouths. If I ran into a sign (which isn’t a far cry from something that my klutz self would do), I would expect laughter, and to be fair, he did keep running after he ran into the sign. If that wasn’t weird enough, I’ve watched this anomaly happen three times since I’ve been here which does leave me wondering if there is something in the water.
My out of place laughter is usually what triggers the bad blood between Seattle and me. I was walking through the park the other morning, and through my headphones, I heard a man yelling, so quickly whipped around as I was certain he had been stabbed or shot and I needed to duck and run to save my own life. But no, it was simply a stereotypical hipster couple in black hoodies and black jeans mid fight. I stopped to fake tie my shoe so there would be no more scaring the Bejeezus out of me from behind, but surely enough they kept stopping to have a dramatic fight, causing me to pass them and be forced to eavesdrop on the argument against my will.
My personal favorite part of the fight was when the guy screamed, “What have you done with the years of my life?!?” hands balled in fists, waving them at the sky as if he were cursing God himself for whatever this woman had done to him. I figured she probably told him that there were anchovies in Worcestershire sauce and she had been putting it in his food for the past three years so he technically hadn’t really been a vegetarian since birth. It was an easy mistake to make, so I felt for her.
That said, it was so over the top dramatic, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It’s a problem I have. I’m willing to admit it. I thought he should probably be having this fight in the privacy of his own home rather than in the middle of a public park causing a scene, otherwise, wasn’t he basically asking for my judgment? As I laughed, they both turned to face me, as if I was clearly interrupting their private argument by laughing at something so serious. It caught me off-guard, so I pulled the classic Carly turn your laughter into an awkward fake coughing attack to try and look like less of an asshole than you really are.
Things like that drive me absolutely nuts though. Come on Seattle. Keep your dirty laundry to yourself. A little privacy never hurt anyone. I guess no relationship is perfect. There is a little love/hate to everything. But because Seattle and I are in a long term commitment for at least another 9 months, we have to suck it up and deal with each others shortcomings. After all, we have a lot of good stuff going for us as well. Even though we are different as they come, I think, at the end of the day, we will be a good influence on each other when we decide to part ways.