In honor of my first Thanksgiving out West, I've been musing about other "firsts" that I've gotten under my belt since moving to Ashland, Oregon after 12 years in NYC. New Yorkers live in their own world--separate from the rest of the country in so many ways. I've travelled to several countries and done many interesting things in my life--even hiked the Himalayas and done a camel trek in the Pakistani desert--but somehow I had managed to go 33 years without ever owning a car, dining room table and chairs, dishwasher or even a full-size refrigerator and oven. I had never changed a flat tire. I had never paid rent on an apartment with more than one room (not counting the bathroom!). I'm thankful for these conveniences, now that I have them, but they also make me feel somehow like less of a New Yorker.
I still have a NY license plate and driver's license because I am trying to hold out as long as I can, I guess, before becoming an Oregonian. It hasn't been purposeful, but somehow I always seem to be too busy to get these mundane things done. I get driven to work and picked up every day because we only have 1 car (and because real New Yorkers don't drive unless they have to...duh). I suppose these are the pitiful ways I cling to my old identity. When someone asks me where I'm from, I still say, "Manhattan, but I just moved here" even though I've been in Ashland for 8 months. At some point soon I will have to face reality, but for now, I'm just thankful I'm able to keep my delusion alive.