Have Fiancée, Will Travel?

Would you leave your home, your family and friends, your job and possibly your line of work for an indefinite period of time for the sake of your woman?

I think I just agreed to all of that.

My fiancée was born and raised in St. John’s, N.L., and moved to Toronto in 2004. She has talked for years about returning “home” (and I hate it when she calls it that, since as far as I’m concerned “home” ought to be wherever her future husband is), but all of a sudden she’s desperately homesick and wants out of Toronto imminently. Not that she hates the city, she just misses her family and friends.

This is probably happening because my fiancée missed going to St. John’s for Christmas this year. We couldn’t afford the plane ticket with the wedding coming up. The trip usually reminds her that her family tends to bicker and her friends aren’t as fun as they used to be (whose are, after 25?). This year she didn’t get reminded, so “home” gets to look rather nice indeed in her head.

Ironically, then, the financial demands of the wedding have created what is likely to be the first big test of the marriage: How to make the decision of where to live.

My position is that, sure, I could live in St. John’s for a few years if the conditions were right. I’m usually up for an adventure. But since we just bought a condo last year I don’t even want to think about moving for another two. I think that’s reasonable. Also, I’m a newspaper reporter, and as bad as my industry is in Toronto, there is no way I will find a steady, well-paying job in St. John’s without changing careers. Finally, they don’t know what a roti is over there.

So yes, she’s asking a lot of me.

And I am willing to go, just not yet. Overall, I like St. John’s. As a Toronto kid I’m usually disappointed at the food and the shopping (Newfoundlanders have neither H&M or Ikea, for example, despite the decidedly Scandinavian landscape). On the other hand, moose is available pretty much whenever you like, the people are sensible enough to favour rum over vodka, and real estate is a hell of a lot cheaper.

And I can see why my fiancée misses the people she left behind in Newfoundland; in particular, my future father-in-law is a cool guy and getting to see more of him would be a pleasure.

It seems inevitable we will go, but also that we will probably come back to Toronto after a fashion. My fiancée resents it when I say she’s a grass-is-greener kind of person but it is undeniable that as soon as she gets what she wants, she finds something else to want. As of now we have a (hard-won) deal: She will hold off for a couple of years on demanding that we move, meanwhile leaving me to enjoy married life, and we’ll revisit the issue circa 2012. And we only move if it makes sense financially.

I’m optimistic about the plan, and I don’t intend to spoil that by asking any long-married men what they think my chances are of getting my way.

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