When I was 25 I worked for a very uncool company. They sold magazine subscriptions to club members who were interested in hunting and tools. There was a stuffed water buffalo in our front lobby and the staff was comprised of bland suburbanites who delighted in "hotdish" at our company potlucks. In order to assimilate, I began to dress the part. I bought a sweater from Talbot's that was decorated with embroidered cats. I looked like I was 65 years old. I got fat. I was a Minnesotan.
Today, at 35 I went to work at a very hip office in downtown San Francisco. There is a foosball table in the middle of the "open" cubicles. Everything is sleek and sterile. The staff is young, ambitious, bright and dressed in clothing I cannot afford on a mommy budget. They go out to lunch every day. I am sure there are many happy hours, that even if I were invited to, I could not attend. I have to catch the BART to get home to relieve the nanny by 6pm. No cocktails for this working gal. So I am thinking, why the hell didn't I do this when I was 25? Why did I wait until I was a truly responsible adult to make the move to the big city? If I were ten years younger I could be a glamorous rising start at a hip PR agency. I could buy designer shoes and work late, climbing the ladder, getting promotions. I could sip cosmopolitans with my colleagues at a posh martini bar on Market Street and get my clothes washed and folded at a downtown dry cleaners. I could live in a little San Francisco apartment and go jogging in Golden Gate Park every weekend.
But instead now the trip into the city is a hassle. I look at my watch and remember that the nanny's clock is ticking and the commute is costing me more than the BART ticket. My boys are at home, and waiting for their mommy. And every day when I am in the big city I'll think to myself, I left my heart in Berkeley.