The Hot Zone

Source:  The Hot Zone    Tag:  in the hot zone
Everybody Loves Raymond became a lot funnier to me after I got married. All of the sudden Jon and I were having the same conversations: where to spend the holidays, how to divide up chores, and where to live in relation to our parents. Actually, the episode where Ray and Debra remember how they ended up so close to Ray's parents ( Why Are We Here?) is still one of my favorites.

"If my mother can make sauce and have it still hot when she gets here, it's too close! We'll call this the 'Hot Zone.'"
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This was seriously on my mind when we picked out our apartment. My parents and Jon's parents live in the same neighborhood. Let me be clear here - my in-laws are NOTHING like Marie and Frank. My mother-in-law is one of the most sincere, kindest people I know, and my father-in-law is very intelligent and visibly loves his wife. My parents are amazing, too, and I was happy - excited, even! - to live in the same city as them. But I didn't want to live TOO close. I wanted Jon and I to be able to build our own family, to learn to rely on each other instead of just being extensions of our original family units (Does that make sense?). So when our original apartment near school fell through, and a basement in the Parental neighborhood opened up, I was pretty apprehensive.

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Pink is Jon's parents, green is mine, and blue is the basement apartment. That's what I get for marrying a local boy!

I was wrong. I LOVE being so close to the family. Both side have been awesome at giving us our own space, and always calling before they come over (In fact, now we tell them they don't come over enough!). I think we've only eaten Sunday dinner on our own a few times, and that's usually something quick and easy like grilled cheese. It's especially wonderful now that we have Jesse. The grandmas and grandpas get to see him all the time! There was always someone around to help right after he was born - doing the dishes, making meals, folding laundry - but they didn't have to sleep on our floor. It also helps to keep me sane. If I need a little adult conversation while Jon is at work or school, I can just walk over to visit my mom, or my sisters-in-law. I'm at one house or another three or four times a week. I have a whole ready-made community right here, and I adore it.

Now we are talking about moving. We three fit fine in our tiny little apartment, but if there are ever four (this is not an announcement (AMBER), we're just planning ahead) we would be out of space. I told Jon, "If your mom can make sauce, and have it still hot when she gets here, that is JUST RIGHT. Let's call that the Hot Zone."

If you'll excuse me, I need to go take these cookies over to my mom. Ta!