An answer in three parts
1) Because Utah is a big vortex of negative energy that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. Think of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone trying to go legit. Think of The Enterprise trying to shotgun around the sun and shoot themselves back into the past. Unfortunately I don’t have warp engines.
2) Because every time I leave bad, bad things happen to me.
3) Do you still need me to elucidate after having read about my family? You do? Well, ok, here’s an example of a telephone conversation* I had recently with my dad. (Notice how I don’t mention that we’re also looking at schools in D.C. or the Midwest)
Me – Oh yeah, Dad, before I go, there was one more thing I wanted to talk with you about. Kristin and I have decided that we are pretty certain that we will most likely be moving out of state in 2.5 years.
Dad – WHAT!!!!!
M- Well, you know how strongly we feel about being able to adopt our children. And how we can’t do that here. And I think I need to go get a degree in something that will lead to a more stable career. So we’re going to move so that I can get an MLIS while we adopt our kids.
D- And so you really called me so that I can break the news to your mother that she’s losing 2 grandchildren at such a tender age. You know that is going to break her heart, don’t you? Well, don’t you?
M- No Dad, I really did just call to chat. But I thought while I had you I would share our thought processes. And what do you mean lose TWO grandkids? That second grandkid is only hypothetical. You’re not allowed to mourn the hypothetical loss of a hypothetical kid.
D- I’m just saying that it’s going to be really hard on your mother for you to move away when her grandkids are so young and cute. And what about that hypothetical 2nd child? You’re over 30, you know. You don’t have much time left. It’s not like your eggs are getting any younger. And just look at C. She’s the result of old eggs, and just look at how her life turned out. Do you really want to be responsible for creating that kind of mess?
M- No, but, really, 30’s not that old –
D – 31 in less than two months. And besides, if you’re leaving in two and a half years the longer you put off getting pregnant the less time we’ll have with that child before you take it away from us. And THAT, on top of losing Julia, will just be too much. Will you ever even come visit? No, of course not, you'll be too poor what with you being a student and Kristin being a social worker. That means we'll have to come visit you if we ever want to see those kids again. This is just going to kill your mother. And after I just told you about her high blood pressure, too. Are you trying to kill your mother?
M- Look! You didn’t even let me finish the plan! Of course we’ll come visit. In fact, the idea is that we’ll move back here after I’ve got my degree. Since Utah doesn’t have a library school they need to hire their librarians from out of state. But I’ll have an edge, because I already know so many of the librarians and library administrators from working with them over the last several years. So we’ll only be gone like two years. And when we come back our family will be secure.
D – Humph. Well, where are you thinking of going? Where are these so called “library schools”?
M- Well, the three closest to Utah are in Denver, LA, and Seattle. But Kristin and I have already completely ruled out LA. We just couldn’t live there. We’re leaning toward Seattle since it’s so close to Portland. In fact, I’m going to look into whether or not I could get financial aid to do Seattle’s distance ed degree and then just live in Portland.
D- If there’s a distance ed degree why can’t you just do it while you’re here?
M- Because that doesn’t solve the adoption problem. Besides, I’d still have to be on campus one week out of every term, and it’ll be a lot easier to manage that from Portland than here.
D – Well, whatever you do, don’t do Denver.
M – Why? Denver’s closer?
D – Yeah, well there’re no wineries by Denver. If we have to drive all that way just to see our grandkids, we’re at least going to get to stock up on good wine while we’re at it.
Now, I tell you, how can I move away from that?
* This conversation has been modified from the original in that I combined it with a couple of other very similar conversations held with other members of the family in order to better make my point as well as to better illustrate the message behind the words he really said.