On the Road Again

Embarking on a long-distance relationship.

Those of you who have been following my ongoing misadventures as the resident single guy at Crunchable may be surprised to find out that I’ve met someone. (It will probably be less shocking to learn that I did not meet her on match.com.)

I was originally introduced to Barbara by fellow Crunchable staffer Molly a few years ago, and we recently reconnected and really hit it off. She’s smart, funny, caring, and attractive, and is charitable enough to see many of those same qualities in me. Things are still in the early stages, but I’m incredibly happy.

But of course she lives in Calvert County, MD, some 83 miles and an hour-and-40-minute drive south of my home near Baltimore.

As anyone who has endured a long-distance relationship can attest, this sort of arrangement requires some creativity and a good deal of patience. We each work full-time, and she has a side job for a little extra income. So midweek visits are out of the question, and Friday or Saturday evening plans usually have to be carved in stone. We’re trying to vary our plans so that one or the other of us isn’t doing all of the traveling. For instance, last Friday we met in Annapolis for dinner and a movie — it was a mere hour’s drive for each of us.

You can call me crazy if you want, but I don’t even mind the extended car trips. My mom recently remarked that I must be fated to do this kind of travel, and she’s got a point:

  • For the first few years after I graduated from college in Chestertown, MD, I was
    making the hour-and-45-minute drive back to campus as often as twice a
    month to visit friends and escape the monotony of the so-called “real world.”
  • My last job entailed a daily commute from the Baltimore metro area to Georgetown, a laborious process involving cars, trains, subways, and foot traffic. That’s two hours, each way, five days a week, for nearly four and a half years.
  • This fall, I started a new job with a focus on recruiting new employees. Though my workplace is much closer, it still takes some effort to get to and fro each day (40 minutes to an hour each way, depending on traffic). Moreover, there’s a good chance that I’ll be seeing a lot of the country during job fair season: In recent years, our staff has attended fairs in Los Angeles, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico … and of course, Washington, D.C. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

So when I put it in perspective, hopping into my dinosaur of a sedan and cueing up a good iPod playlist for a few hours each weekend is really a pretty good use of my time — especially when I think about who’s waiting for me at the end of the trip.

Article © 2009 by Kevin Brotzman