Print Story A farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs
Diary
By lm (Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:52:24 AM EST) (all tags)
Of all the friends I met in grade school and high school, Mrs. Upstairs is the only one I've really stayed in contact with. Now that she and her husband are preparing to move away, I feel the need to do them justice.


I first met Mrs. Upstairs when I was a senior in high school. Her mother and my father lived on the same street in a smallish suburban city in Ohio. The junior high school being directly behind the high school, sometimes our paths would cross while walking home. Our friendship at this time was never very deep, but we knew each other by name and would always smile and wave. Sometimes we'd walk together and talk about the silly things that high school and junior high school aged kids talk about.

Then I graduated high school, and to be honest, never gave her a second thought. I started taking courses in mathematics at the local state university. The following spring (or was it summer) a friend of mine that I didn't like very much convinced me to start attending the youth bible study at his non-denominational, evangelical congregation. There I ran into the future Mrs. Upstairs once again. For the next two years, she and I would talk and laugh as we met each other here and there at the sorts of social events that youth groups do. But the relationship remained mostly shallow.

Then I got married. (A story for another time.) Somehow the future Mrs. Upstairs ended up running with the same crowd my wife and I did far more extensively once we were hitched. She'd come over to our house for dinner. We'd go to music festivals together. Bit by bit, I started to get to know her as a person rather than as a friendly but static face in a crowd.

When I started my first real job, we paid her to be our nanny for a bit. She went to Seattle for school and then came back from Seattle. She shared our spare bedroom with two other young single women for six months to a year or so. Then we lost track of her again. Either our nuclear family or her moved down to Cincinnati first. (I can't remember which.) But contact was rather limited to non-existent.

And somehow, I don't recall exactly, we found each other again right when she was going through a very rough time. The family that we'd been sharing out house with had just moved out so we had a bedroom with an attached room for an office that we could offer her for a nominal rent. Once again we began sharing dinner with her, hearing her stories, telling her ours. Over time she began attending Church services with us and there it was that she met the future Mr. Upstairs.

When we bought a duplex, she took over the entire 2 bedroom upstairs unit. (Hence the nickname.) We watched her as she returned to school part time and struggled most of the way through a degree in fine arts while working full time. We shared her worries. We shared her triumphs. We watched her relationship with the future Mr. Upstairs blossom from that awkward `he likes me, he doesn't like me' stage into their wedding day and they became Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs.

From that point on we didn't see Mrs. Upstairs so much. It seems that newlyweds tend to do, uh, newlywed things. Every now and then, we'd manage to get them downstairs to eat dinner dinner with us, but they were both exceedingly busy. Mr. Upstairs was working part-time and working on his MS in bioinformatics while she was working full time and going to school part-time. Between the two, there wasn't a whole lot of time left over.

But that Mrs. Upstairs quit her job. The stress levels at working at a completely dysfunctional organization had finally stretched her to the point where she quit for her own sanity. This, of course, motivated Mr. Upstairs to look for full time work in the IT field a bit sooner than he had planned. (He'd finished his coursework, but not his master's thesis.) And so it came that he started to bring in job offers from all over the US. The one he settled on is in Northern Virginia.

And so, Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs will be moving at the tail end of this week. They are embarking on a grand adventure and, like most sane people, will be happy to escape from Ohio. While Mrs. Upstairs does plan to return in September to finish her last quarter of school, things won't be the same ever again. I wish them well on their journey and I hope that we can stay in touch for although the miles may separate us, Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs will always remain close to our hearts. They are good friends, indeed.

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A farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Sorry they are leaving by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 05:21:45 AM EST
and more sorry they are going to the meat-grinder that is NoVA. Whatever her situation was beforehand with stressful jobs etc, I can almost say with certainty that NoVA will be worse. Maybe not the job, but pace of live, peacefulness etc.

Regardless, sorry for the loss of such friends.

I've not lived in NoVa by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 05:44:55 AM EST
But I do have an aunt that lives out that way. Between visiting her and talking with her, I think I'd take the portion of NoVa that is part of the DC metro area over just about anywhere in Ohio any day of the week.

Of course, now (if I can sell Ye Olde House of Doome) I'm thinking about putting Georgetown on my shortlist of schools to apply to.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
There are nice parts to DC by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:04:45 AM EST
I will admit that. If you can live very close in. Which means you either have several $mill to spare, or live in the "up and coming" (read:still crack houses) areas. Living in the burbs is just a bad idea. Saturday rushhour is usually as bad as weekday, and lasts all day long. So anywhere you can walk to is good. There's so much "good" stuff (culture, sports, parks etc) but getting there and back would give me an ulcer.

[ Parent ]
Where in NoVa? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 05:27:46 AM EST
Cam and I could probably give him some pointers.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I think Mr. Upstairs' job is near Herndon by lm (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 05:49:41 AM EST
For the first year at least, they'll be living in an apartment a scant four miles away from his job while they get their bearings around town.

We've got vaguely formulated plans to visit them come the second full week in August. (And also check out the the neighborhoods surrounding Georgetown and Catholic U. just in case I do manage to unload Ye Olde House of Doome.) I've got the vacation time approved. Now its just a matter of working out accommodations, etc.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
When you come out, let us know. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:01:45 AM EST
Tell your friend that an apartment 4 miles from the job results in a commute to die (or kill) for around here. He could walk to work faster than many people around here drive it.

The radio station to listen to for traffic is WTOP, 103.5 FM.

Unless you sell Ye Olde House of Doome for a million or more, forget about moving into a place near Catholic or Georgetown.

For more DC driving tips, look at this.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
That's what he said after apartment scouting by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:05:35 AM EST
He also mentioned that those four miles can take forty minutes to an hour to drive during rush hour.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
four miles by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:23:28 AM EST
This is true, but ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 09:44:09 AM EST
Four miles on the narrow shoulder of a busy road without a sidewalk might not be the best option with regards to personal health and well being.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
true that. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:30:52 PM EST
but it's worth using satellite pictures, etc, to see if there's an alternate trail or something.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Catholic U? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:08:17 AM EST
I've seen thinner bulletproof glass at banks than at the gas station I went to near Catholic U. Georgetown is very nice, and very pricey I'm sure.


[ Parent ]
/IF/ I get into grad school ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:24:10 AM EST
... I would really like to be able to walk to class for the next four years of my life.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
George Town Area by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:37:00 AM EST
I'm currently working and living in DC.

When I first got here, my company had me up in a hotel in Arlington. It was 6.5 miles from where I work.

By cab, in the morning and after work it usually took me between 45 minutes (usually) to 1 and a half hours (very rarely) to go 6.5 miles.

Housing prices in the part of the DC where I'm at, which is just up Wisconsin from Georgetown, are $1,000,000+.  For the Studio apartments go for 2000+/month and a 3 bedroom (what I'm currently in) is ~$4,500 month. (Thank god work pays for that and not me). But it's a short bus ride/walking distance from work.

[ Parent ]
A farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback