City Mouse/Country Mouse

13 Mar

I’ll spare you the details of how we made the decision, but the move to Richmond was something Alan and I landed on together. And in keeping with the deal we brokered 13+ years ago, the vision wasn’t for us to buy a place and live together down here. We had very different ideas of what would make us happy…

For me: a place “in the city” that was walkable/bike-able for my daily errands, where I could leave my car for a weeks at a time without needing it, and where I could get to know my neighbors.

For Alan: a place in the country with enough land to hunt, grow fruit and vegetables, and stick a bee hive. And where his closest neighbors would be far enough away that he could walk around naked if he chose.

And so now we’re here – me in a row house in The Fan and Alan in a TinyHouse™ on some acres about 45 minutes outside the city. We explain it to people by referencing Country Mouse/City Mouse, which is a Disney book from my childhood.

Alan might be rethinking this reference after the last week, when he texted me with some alarm:

“I had a packet of emergency rations in my emergency kit in the truck. Went out there for batteries this afternoon, and something has gnawed it open and eaten about a quarter of the pack. Could I have a f*cking mouse in my truck?”

Reader, the answer – as you likely suspected – was apparently yes, based on the text I received from Alan the next morning:

My response? “Aww. Poor little guy, just wanted some peanut butter…” Which I could say with full sympathy for the mouse because he was NOT EATING MY FOOD AND POOPING IN MY CAR.

It seems Alan was NOT sympathetic to the mouse, because he responded, “…and probably some seat cushion and electrical wiring and a perfectly good pack of survival rations…”

“He was an Adventure Mouse,” I texted. “Chasing the dream of a Ranger.”


The lesson here: It is ok to BE the Country Mouse, but not ok to HAVE a Country Mouse. Which makes me wonder if maybe we need to rename our situation after something that isn’t inspired by rodents?

Just a thought.

PS: I was going to propose Green Acres, but then I watched the show opener and – I did NOT remember the possessive yank and declaration of “my wife” that ripped Eva Gabor out of her happy habitat and into the muck of farm-living. I am glad to be living in the year 2023 and not treated as some man’s chattel in 1965.

2 Responses to “City Mouse/Country Mouse”

  1. emphasisonjoy March 15, 2023 at 9:45 am #

    How about just calling it the Odd Couple who don’t live together. Or maybe The Importance of Being Earnest (google it, lots of fitting examples). Oh, and clearly he needs some outdoor cats.

    • Alison March 15, 2023 at 5:11 pm #

      Wait… do you think I’ve fabricated Alan? Is that supposed to be my takeaway from the Earnest example?

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