Saturday, January 14, 2012

Virgin Territory

Now, now, don't get excited. This post has nothing to do with anyone's V Card. I know I am not the only perverted person out there, so I figured I'd establish that right off the bat.

I figured I'd summarize my first month or so of living in Richmond. It's kind of a surreal experience, moving back to a town you haven't lived in since you were 12. My hometown is only an hour and a half away from Richmond, so I've visited many many times since then, but as a visitor, I have never actually driven in Richmond. So although the street names are familiar, navigating them is something else. But that's the fun part. What I forgot about were the toll highways. You don't really see them down south. And people don't let you in when you need to change lanes. Guess I'm not deep in Southern Hospitality anymore. Although I will say that men here do open doors for ladies, something I've always appreciated. A guy actually apologized to me the other day for not getting the door for me. *sigh* Southern Gentlemen are the best.

So far, overall, I love Richmond. It's bigger, so there are more shopping, cultural, recreational and dating opportunities. Hooray for that. Richmond is also a pretty classy town, I have to say. Savannah and even Columbia were both a little raggedy, with litter everywhere, poorly maintained streets and just a general air of poverty and sadness. Richmond is clean and neat and well-maintained, from what I have seen so far. Gone are the hipsters of Savannah and the Good Ol' Boys of Columbia. People here seem to be more genteel, as cheesy as that sounds. Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my best friends are hipsters and Good Ol' Boys. But I will never really be part of either of those groups. I just feel like I fit in here better. People here are less pretentious than hipsters and more cultured than Good Ol' Boys. It's a good balance, in my opinion.

The city has a lot going for it, and I can't wait to explore everything it has to offer. There's all kinds of parks and activities on the James River, which cuts right through town. There's a neat old part of town called Shockoe Slip, full of bars and restaurants and shops. I live near Carytown, which is a great boutique/cafe area of town. The state capital and all the state agencies are here, as well as a major university (VCU). One of the things I always liked about Columbia was that due to the state government and the major university being there, it always made the city full of life and activity. It's the same here. There are several museums and tons of historical things here, like the church where Patrick Henry gave his "Give Me Liberty" speech -- pretty cool! There's lots of Colonial America and Civil War history around here. Today I am going to visit the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. One of my friends from Savannah is doing a reading there today, so I told her I'd stop by and see her.

It's a good thing my family is so close by, because otherwise, I'd be super lonely. I don't really work with anyone who's in my demographic, unlike my job in Savannah. And I haven't met too many of my neighbors yet -- it's not fun to strike up conversations when it's 30 degrees outside. So I spend most of my time alone. I know it's only temporary, and I have ideas for how to meet people, but it still stinks for the time being! I guess I had it easy in Savannah -- there were tons of young professionals to hang out with. It's just going to take time. I'm going to join the gym and also this organization (looks like so much fun, but they don't really do much until March). I also need to find a church (I've been church-shopping with no luck so far). There's also a roller derby team here, but I would have to psych myself up for that. It looks like fun, and a great way to meet girlfriends, but I am such a wuss when it comes to pain and haven't been on rollerskates since I was about 10.

Speaking of being 10 years old, on Monday, I am going to have lunch with my best friend from 4th grade. How's that for crazy? She and I have been facebook friends for a while, but I don't think I've seen her since then. She now lives in Richmond, too, so I suggested we meet up.

Next weekend, The Czarina is getting married, so she's all in a tizzy. It should be fun, though. If there's one thing my mom is good at, it's throwing parties. I'll see pretty much every friend of my family. (Is it a sign that I'm getting older when I say that I like hanging out with my parents' friends as much as I like hanging out with my own?) I'm really happy for my mom. And my stepdad is great.

I absolutely love my new place. It's like it was designed to hold my stuff -- everything fits perfectly. As soon as I get most of the decorating done, I will share pics. The only thing I wish it had was a fireplace. Then it would be perfect.

It's totally freezing here, and my wardrobe is not equipped for it. I've been hunting for sweaters like a fiend. From what I've been told, I won't be able to get out my flip-flops until April. Aw, man!

I'll blog more about my new job and my dating life soon. Thanks, as always, for reading! Please leave comments so I can feel connected to human beings and not continue to have full conversations with my dog! I am so lonely!