But, of the few drawbacks I have encountered, one often happens when the conversation turns to politics -- specifically our two major political parties.
More than once during the 11 months that I have been back in this progressive metropolis, I have had to gingerly concede during a party or dinner gathering: "Yes, I'm a Republican."
"But, I nice one," I always hasten to add. "I don't hate anybody."
A particular glance invariably follows -- a glance that says, "Oh, you quaint middle-American. How could you be so stupid?"
Occasionally, after saying the dirty "R" word, I get this question: "But, you didn't vote for Bush did you?"
"Yes, I did ... twice," I concede honestly.
"WHAT? Even the second time? I can understand against Gore in 2000," the inquisitor continues, "But, the second time?"
"Yes," I say with resignation, realizing I am likely being blacklisted for future occasions.
From there, I am required to explain myself -- explain how even though I do not support the Iraq War or warrant-less domestic wire-tapping, that I found both Al Gore and John Kerry to be inadequate and uninspiring.
"A better, more moderate Democrat could have won my vote," I add.
And, if I don't think it will lead to being immediately shut-down by the enlightened Democrats with whom I am conversing, I will explain how my belief that human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection was a major reason for my vote for President Bush.
All of this brings me to a good column that appeared in last Sunday's New York Times by Ann Hood called "I Married a Republican: There, I Said It." She has some similar stories.
Hood explains how she has come to grips with the "R" word in her bipartisan marriage. And, interestingly, how a particular sign in her front yard may be a harbinger of peace in '08.
The image above is from the NYT Website and credited to David Chelsea.