Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go


  • I am married.
  • My husband wants to be a law clerk one level up in a District Court
  • District Court clerkships are incredibly hard to get, especially in popular locales such as Washington, DC, New York, NY, and San Francisco, CA, and their environs
  • I have no interest in leaving Brooklyn
  • But my husband has a dream

ME: How about when we’re 30? I thought we agreed that when I’m 30, you are allowed to take me from New York.
HIM: 30 is a long time from now. I would really love to apply for next year.
ME: Next year I will still be less than 30.
HIM: But now is when we are still young, still mobile, still flexible …
ME: 30.

HIM: How about we look at where I could go and you could say if one place or another would be more enticing to you? After all, it would only be for a year.
ME: Okay. Shoot.
HIM: Bridgeport, CT.
ME: My parents did not send me to Jewish Day School for 13 years so that I could wind up in Connecticut!
HIM: But I have roots there —
ME: Anyway it’s too cold. Next, please.

HIM: Concord, NH.
ME: Too cold.
HIM: Burlington, VT.
ME: Too cold.
HIM: New Haven, CT.
ME: Too cold.
HIM: Come on! We’re not talking about Alaska.
ME: Too cold.
HIM: Providence, RI.
ME: Maybe.
HIM: Maybe?
ME: Maybe. But probably too cold.

HIM: Okay, how about the South?
ME: Where are the clerkships there?
HIM: Nashville, TN.
ME: Too Christian. I’ve heard horror stories.
HIM: Shreveport, LA.
ME: The last Confederate command to surrender! Plus there’s a whole Wikipedia section labeled “Churches.”
HIM: Roanoke, VA.
ME: Are you crazy? People disappeared in Roanoke. It could have been aliens. They could come back. Plus there’s a whole Wikipedia section labeled “Crime” with a subsection on “Gangs.”
HIM: Yeah, but it’s gone from 2nd worst city in VA to 5th.
ME: Next, please.

ME: How about you wait a year to apply?
HIM: That’s fair. And in return, you’ll be fine with my applying to …
ME: Hawaii; San Juan; Columbia, SC; New Bern, NC; the Virgin Islands; Arlington, VA; Portland, OR; Jerusalem; and the Hague.
HIM: And maybe Memphis and New Orleans.
ME: Yes.
HIM: Thank you.

19 thoughts on “Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go”

  1. I object to this entire discussion. It is dead to me. (ps. I disagree with your inclusion of Columbia, SC. The only place one should ever consider living in SC is Charleston)

  2. really? columbia looked pretty cute online, and not too crazy.

    sadly there are no judges in charleston. i guess that city’s doyennes enforce the laws by withholding invitations to tea parties to malefactors.

  3. Too bad Charleston’s a no-go… it’s lovely!

    And perhaps I am biased (you know, moving there and all), but Raleigh, NC is also a good Southern pick if it works judge-wise… It’s a little less “country” than most of the alternatives — and it’s consistently rated as a top relocation spot. (Read: LOTS of transplants and progressive thinkers, and some great schools to boot.)

  4. Wikipedia on Bridgeport:

    “Like other northeastern cities suffering from the effects of Post World War II industrial decline, Bridgeport made numerous efforts at revitalization. In one proposal Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn was to build a large casino, but that project failed to materialize.”

    “Bridgeport has a landfill known as Mount Trashmore located on the north shore of the Seaside Park peninsula in the south end of the city. The landfill is visible, as is the Wheelbrator Resco Regional Trash to Energy incinerator plant, on the opposite side of the cove from the Black Rock neighborhood.”

    “Its more recent mayors, including Joseph Ganim, have been plagued with corruption scandals, reflecting a similar pattern found in other urban centers in Connecticut. In June 2006, Mayor John M. Fabrizi admitted that he had used cocaine since taking office, but had not used cocaine for over a year.”

  5. yeah, but think of all the horrible things people can (and do) say about NYC. every place has it’s ups and downs…

    (also, most of those places aren’t particularly much colder than new york.)

    and by the way, what about Philadelphia and environs? we’ve got all sorts of unobjectionable mid-sized communities in our vicinity. (closer to yr fam too.)

    do you think your objection is mainly to living in smaller cities? i know that would be the biggest stumbling block for me. (in terms of cultural/social opportunities, etc.)

    this was hilarious: “Yeah, but it’s gone from 2nd worst city in VA to 5th.”

  6. How could I not weigh in with thoughts on southern cities: Columbia is awful. I have a friend who’s really happy in Nashville (a Hampshire alum, so how bad could it be?) and people from the vicinity tend to like it more than Memphis. My sister likes Asheville but I hear that the triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) is a good place to be in NC, too. A friend who lived in Shreveport hated it. And yes, it’s a shame that Charleston is not a possibility.

    I’m moving out of New York soon! We should do something before that happens.

  7. Ross: yeah, Philly’s a possibility, though it seems a little silly to me. If we’re going for a year, why not somewhere further afield and potentially exciting?

    Angela: Thank you! Good advice — I’d love to hear more. Why is Columbia awful?

    Asheville is lovely. Ben’s mom actually lives there now and we had a good time visiting there. Sadly there are no options closer than Raleigh.

    Where are you headed to?

  8. oh, i totally agree that bridgeport is a crappy town. my point was more that it’s so close to nyc that that pretty much doesn’t matter. after all, you don’t actually have to live in bridgeport…

    on the other hand if the point is fodder for new exciting books, you should totally move south. (:

  9. As someone who has made many a daytrip to Memphis, I can tell you that you don’t actually want to live there. Nashville is more interesting and there’s more going on there culturally (unless all you want are tourist traps), and besides, it’s closer to Dollywood.

  10. Assuming your choice/ move isn’t happening like, tomorrow, I’ll be glad to share my reports once we head down to Raleigh-Durham. The move’s set for roughly the 20th of May…

  11. oh man, Cat and I have this conversation every other day. I think I brought up clerkship locations about fourteen seconds after accepting the marriage proposal.

    but revel in the straight-person bonus–you’ll get to be on your spouse’s health insurance!

  12. What about Louisville, Kentucky or Iowa City near the University of Iowa?
    Unfortunately, the most interesting legal matters arise in the Southern District of NY and DC and as a weak third, maybe Delaware because of corporate law and bankruptcy.

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