Am I Really Living Like a Gypsy? And Why Moving Blows.

Yard Sale

Moving sucks. Period. Hence why I have not been able to write or post anything. I’ve been in the weeds man.

The amount of crazy and stress that accompanies moving your crap-ola from one location to the next is quite remarkable. I feel as though I’ve been working in an Armenian sweat shop while all of the trainers from the Biggest Loser yell at me. Also, I have a random amount of paper cuts all over my body.

If the world were to hand out trophies for most transitions in a short period of time, my family would clearly win the grand prize.

Let me lay it out for you: Within the last eight months, we moved from one state, to another; stayed with family and put our possessions in storage; then we took some of that crap out of storage and lived in a grody apartment so my daughter could finish school; then we packed up the grody apartment belongings and put them back into storage; then we moved in with my in-laws while our house is being gutted; the final phase will be when we move all of our stuff, and ourselves, into the shiny new house once it is completed. At this time I hope you will all come visit me at the Betty Ford clinic.

I think we are done.

My daughter asked me the other day, “Why are we moving again? When are we going to be done?” I informed her that people move frequently all the time. They are called the Circus or the Military. She reminded me that we are neither. Also, we do not own a tiger.

Touché.

As previously mentioned in an older post, I have moved my entire life (father’s job, my job, etc.). Therefore, I inherited a subsequent skill – the relocation process.

If you have moved, or are about to, this step by step guide may be of help:

1)      The Yard Sale.  One week prior to yard sale, you must run around the house collating things you no longer need, use, or care about. If you have children, this involves some ninja selling tactics. My daughter will all of a sudden develop a fondness for an item she has not played with or seen in years. It once happened with an old nose suction thing they give you when you leave the maternity ward at the hospital.

Day of Yard Sale – People show up at your house the day before (or three hours before go time) wanting to check out your wares ahead of the crowd. Then they ask to use your bathroom, want to know what’s inside your house, and to where you are moving. I always tell people we don’t have a bathroom and we are moving to Botswana to work on my knife sharpening skills. Yard sale people are funky and make me want to brush their knotted hair.

2)      Giving away stuff.  Whatever doesn’t sell must either go to consignment or be given away. I was so tired of lugging around dresses I didn’t wear anymore, I chucked them into one of those bins of, “Donate to help animals/whales/other children/addicts/nobody really but you won’t have to look at your crap anymore.”

3)      Packing.  There are so many ways this can go. One, you hire professionals to do it for you. This is expensive, but the least amount of headache. Two, you haphazardly pack up your stuff. If you are moving directly from one dwelling to the next, within the same city, then you can afford to put some crap in garbage bags when you run out of the boxes you ganked from behind CVS. Or three, you pack up your own stuff and put it in storage, or move it yourself.  All of the above suck. There are no winners here.

4)      You get there. Get ready, because even though you have arrived, you are not done yet. Break out the scissors because now you must unpack everything. Usually, this is accompanied by moments of clarity, (Oh look, we have three colanders, or, Why did I pack all of these burnt out candles?). Also, most of your old stuff does not work in your new location. Which leads to…

5)      …Buying new crap! Even after all that selling and giving away, you will somehow end up with more stuff than before. But you will love it and wonder how you survived without it for so long.

Once all settled in, breathe a sigh of relief, give yourself a pat on the back, and crack open a beer. You made it! Enjoy your new space.

Then invite me over for dinner because I have no idea where I put all of our spatulas.

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Am I Really Saying Goodbye…Again?

Today I found a hole in my favorite sweater. Crap.

While thinking of ways to disguise the rather large gap (hmm, maybe a decorative button), it dawned on me the appropriateness of this sweater/hole metaphor: I too have a bit of a tear, in my heart.

Yep, I’m moving…again.

My time in Massachusetts seemed to be one of an extended holiday. I went to the beach, a lot. I ate and drank, a lot. I took long walks, all the time. And of course, I made amazing connections and friendships that I will forever keep.

Wow, it sucks saying goodbye to them.

Growing up I moved around, a lot. I would say my farewells (some tearful, some thank-God-I-don’t-have-to-deal-with-your-banoney-anymore) to my friends, teachers, school, boyfriends, and neighborhoods. Then off my family went into the sunset like a band of gypsies to a new home, new adventure, and new school uniforms…because my dad was on the lamb. Just kidding, it was his job and the military that moved us around, but running from the law sounds better.

I used to play a little game with myself so I would not be so sad leaving my current location. I called it the, “Something new – it’s going to be so exciting” game. Instead of worrying about who I was going to sit with at lunch, I would think about how much cooler this cafeteria was going to be. Sadness about leaving a boyfriend behind was replaced by thoughts of, “Surely there is someone just as ‘fine’ out there who listens to Heavy Metal like me, instead of Milli Vanilli.” When worries crept in about all the laughter I would miss because I was leaving behind my best friend, I imagined all the new people I would meet, all the new places I would go, and the new person I could be.

Those cookie-peddling Girl Scouts had it right: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold. I could forever keep in my heart friends and experiences, while my head was wrapping itself around a new school schedule, locker, and climate.

Sometimes, before moving forward, it is fun to look back at where we’ve been. I thought I’d share with you some of the goodies I gathered during my past re-locations:

Move – Tulsa, OK.  I was into Duran Duran and jellies (ladies you remember those). There were lots of Tornados that allowed me to sit in my walk-in closet and listen to Thriller and Lionel Richie on my walk-man.  Friend Bonus – My friend Sascha and her family took me under their wings like a small bird – which I was compared to my BFF. Sascha was a foot taller than me so we often resembled a puppeteer and his marionette walking around the mall.

Move – Littleton, CO.   This move only lasted ten months, half of which was spent living at a Residence Inn while we waited to close on the house and my sister dealt with repetitive nose bleeds (altitude, not cocaine – she was eight people!). Somehow I bawled my eyes out and was NOT happy about leaving the mile high city. Friend Bonus – My friend Sarah’s family took me in so I could stay a few extra weeks there while we listened to Pyromania and prank called people. I left my boyfriend and his sweet center-parted hair. A sad day.

Move – Dallas, TX. It took me a year to adjust to all the bedazzled denim-ware and large hair. I know it was the eighties, but ain’t no hair like Texas-sized hair. Friend Bonus – My BFF Kris. Her family harbored and fed me like a refuge, letting me stay over during play practice b/c my family lived in North Dallas, which was like living in another state. Also, the Big D is in my blood now, along with a severe addiction to Tex-Mex.

Move – Arlington, VA. It was really Annandale, but nobody knows where that is. I made this moving during my senior year of HS – yeah, I know, and no, my parents are not sadists. This school took a while to accept me with my loud talking and purse matching my shoes and scrunchy ways. I finally broke them down. Friend Bonus – Friends to this day.

The list continues on from there, but those were the beginnings.

Growing up, and even sometimes in adulthood, I always envied those friends who grew up in one place, one home, and had friends from the first grade who always had their back. I’ve seen those friends get into fist fights just because their friend needed help – no explanation necessary.  I would think to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I had those kinds of rooted friendships? They are like family.”

Guess what. I do.

Somehow, throughout this life, I have gathered friends who would go to bat for me, donate a kidney if I needed it, or wipe snot off my child’s face. Sometimes I knew these people for years, others months, always the same result.

I have done some pretty stupid things in my life. Like: let-me-color-my-roots-with-this-last-box-of-hair-dye-left-at-CVS-how-pink-can-it-really-be? Stupid. But the one thing that I have been Mensa candidate smart about is choosing friends. And by choosing, I mean, I luckily got chosen.

I swear I have guardian angels looking out for me BIG TIME in this department. I’m pretty sure they drive Harleys with a giant colander weeding out all the bad eggs and leaving me with all the gold nuggets of friends.

Today, as I wipe away tears (trust me, there are a lot of them) and say goodbye to my wonderful friends on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I get to walk into the hugs of another set of amazing friends back in the Lone Star State.

I may have a hole in my sweater, but the fibers of my friendships are beyond strong.

So pony up, here I go on another adventure. Stick with me guardian angels, I’ll need it.

Especially travelling in a car with a dog, a child, my mother, and way too many Selena Gomez songs on repeat.

Seriously guardian angels, bring back up…and a bottle of Merlot.