Ask Amy: I want out of our California bubble, but my wife says no

DEAR AMY: I have been happily married for over
20 years. I love my wife and our son and daughter.

Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

My wife and I are on the same page on most things — except for
one big one: She wants to establish roots and stay in one place for
her entire life so that the kids have a place to come home to from
college and a place to bring our grandchildren (when they have

I am different. I want out of our homogenous bubble of a
California beach town. Our friends are mostly my wife’s friends,
because I have a Larry David kind of brain and oftentimes things
come out of my mouth that tend to rub people the wrong way.

Both of our kids will be attending college in Georgia. In my
mind, that creates a perfect opportunity for us to start a little
adventure and move there for a few years. You know — live in
Savannah, play some golf, do some fishing, play some tennis,

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My wife disagrees. She has her mother to take care of, but, Amy,
her mother could live for another five to eight years. And she
wants to have our home become the one our kids will bring their
children to.

I feel like I am stuck in a bubble-prison. My term keeps getting
extended. The things that I would have liked to do in my life seem
to be slipping away.

Is that just life? Do I have to give up on my dreams because
they don’t intersect with my wife’s?

When I try to push my agenda, my wife feels like she has to make
an impossible choice between her husband and her mom.

Of course, her guilt chooses her mom, so where does that leave

Georgia on My Mind

DEAR GEORGIA: Your self-identification as a
“Larry David†type makes me want to applaud your honesty —
and give your wife a medal.

I’ll be your (unofficial) adjudicator: Your wife’s
desire/need to take care of her mother is more important than your
desire/need to pull her away to hang on the golf course and play
some tennis, Larry.

And please don’t start the clock on your mother-in-law’s
life span.

You and your wife both seem to have unrealistic expectations for
your future. You want to be footloose, and she seems to believe
that your two children will quickly multiply and bring a passel of
grandchildren back to the homestead.

This grandchild-centered plan of hers might be well over a
decade off, or not happen at all.

You might be able to split the difference, however. If you have
the means (it sounds as if you do), perhaps you could decamp for a
few weeks to Georgia, rent a place, and see if your wife can join
you for a week or two while you are there. Getting out of the
bubble, even briefly, might inspire both of you to think about your
options in a new way.

DEAR AMY: Now that spring is here, with the
increased usage of our parks and trails, there is an issue
regarding noise.

When someone chooses to use their smartphone’s speakerphone
while walking, I’d like to ask them to please speak in a normal

It is irritating when we can hear your loud voice a block

Steve in Denver

DEAR STEVE: For some reason, the amplification
of a speakerphone seems to inspire the other person to also raise
their speaking volume. I agree that this is really annoying — and
a violation of the privacy of both parties.

And to you grandparents FaceTiming your grandkids while walking
around? Please stop.

However, for me, being irritated by this sort of thing harkens
back to another time, when it might have qualified as an annoyance

This relatively minor irritation would qualify as a comfort
right now, but I “hear†you, and I hope others will, too.

DEAR AMY: I appreciated your explanation of

how flawed the IQ test is

When I was a kid, apparently, I tested very high. My parents
used this high score (they never told me what it was) to basically
punish me whenever I didn’t get a perfect grade. They were all,
“You’re genius-level smart, but you’re not doing well
enough.†They assumed I was lazy.

Honestly, I was just a kid.

I’ve rejected the entire construct, because, as you pointed
out, scores do not predict how well you do in life.


DEAR SUCCESSFUL: Fortunately, parenting is
graded on a curve.

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You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a
letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also
follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
Ask Amy: I want out of our California bubble, but my wife
says no