I am so goddamned jealous of my kid right now. All his worldly possessions are packed into two (two!) heavy-duty storage totes, ready to follow him around the world.*
You know what else I’m crazy jealous of? Military movers. I’m surrounded by chaos and missing those guys so hard… All my mom ever had to do was make sure the house was clean and everything was in the correct room—because those boys work fast and it didn’t matter if I only ever colored on the back patio; if they weren’t in my room during the one-hour whirlwind of stuffing and taping, my crayons and coloring books were getting packed with the lawn mower. They carefully bubble wrapped ashtrays without emptying them, boxed up full trash bins… but by god they were in and out and had your shit neatly stacked in one hour.
Our last move was a Corporate Move. If you’ve never done one of these I cannot recommend it enough: you get a moving consultant (Jane! I miss you! CALL ME!!) whose only job is to make things go smoothly for you and is your point of contact if you have complaints about anything along the way. You pay for nothing, pack nothing, lift nothing. The only thing I did was buy donuts for the movers—my logic being they were less likely to break my shit if they liked me. I also bought a teddy bear for my surgeon, knowing she couldn’t let me die on the table with that damned bear sitting in her office judging her.
Gifts as manipulation tools. It’s only wrong when family does it.
All of this to say I’m hopelessly out of practice on this whole moving-as-an-adult-who-owns-things process. And from what I’ve seen, I don’t ever want to do it again.
Things I’m learning:
- Movers are expensive. Movers who will actually show up and probably won’t steal your shit are outrageously expensive.
- Property management companies are not set up—for reasons I cannot fathom—to deal with someone who is moving from out of the area. Everyone I’ve spoken with has expressed some shade of surprise or shock that I cannot make multiple trips to St Louis (to view rentals, for fuck’s sake. I’m not even buying a house yet, but I’m supposed to spend a few weekends and a couple thousand dollars making sure we rent exactly the most perfect place? Why? Last I checked, you can just not renew the lease and move after a year—did that become socially awkward or something? Will I be shunned by the village elders?) They are likewise perplexed that I do not have family in the area who can act on my behalf. Is this a midwestern thing? Do people around here only move closer to family? I’m strategically placing myself farther from all possible family contact—to that end, I will never stop applying to blog in Antarctica.**
- Movers want to know where you are moving to; properties want to know your move-in date. DO YOU SEE WHY I’M GOING INSANE?!?!
- There are people in the world who will remodel a kitchen to include a double wall oven and glass cook top but no dishwasher. These people will, against all reason, charge $400 per month more than a similar property with a non-insane kitchen.
- I have a lot of pets. I realize this isn’t shocking to most of you, but it came as a surprise to me because this (two greyhounds? Check—they walk nicely together and help me train fosters. Two cats? Of course! One for each human, duh) seems normal to me. But I’m calling around and these places say they’re pet friendly but I tell them about mine and they’re like, “Wait, you have four? Yeah, that’s too many. We’d allow maybe a cat or something.” And then they pause, like I’m gonna say “Okay, cool, just give me a day to list my family members on craigslist and I’ll fly down there to tour your weird-ass house with the wood-paneled every room and no dishwasher and make sure it’s where I want to spend the next exactly twelve months!”
- Renting, in general, is an annoyance and I had forgotten that I do not enjoy it.
But you’re not here for my stress!
You’re here because you want to know what happened to Beau.
Beau, being an Outdoor Plant, cannot come with us. We will not be able to plant him in a rented garden, and I’m not interested in buying until we know the city better. I’m picky like that. So we thought for almost a whole minute and realized that our geographically closest friends (who are also some of our favorite people in the whole goddamned world) have a garden where they actually grow shit. Like vegetables people can eat, and flowers that point up and can be identified by someone who isn’t looking at a tag or receipt.
Beau went to live with Betty and Bear and the three of them are so goddamned cute together I can’t stand it. They actually stood on the porch and debated the correct spot for him in their yard, because they know which areas get light and how much and when.
Is there a Top Chef but for gardening? Because they could do that.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to sort out what to do with the other three…
ME: So I’m thinking people had some really good points about Clara being an only—
ME: But then I think how sad it is that those other baby orchids might go home with less talented orchid growers.
ME: And I was thinking, if I had two more—
ME: —I could name them Laverne and Patty.
HIM: No. More.
HIM: Do you know how to move plants?***
ME: … No?
ME: We’re not leaving the girls behind!
HIM: Exactly. So no. More.
* I just checked the basement and this is inaccurate. There’s another tote full of books, but those are being stored because he doesn’t see any point hauling them around when he’s got a kindle and limited space. Ah, the life of a nomad.
** They hire people down there to do basically anything, but I still won’t get to go—I saw a documentary about it and they send you home if you save a dying penguin so I’d last maybe a week. South Africa is my backup.
*** I just googled it. It’s really fucking complicated, and there are laws in each state about what plants you’re not even allowed to bring. Missouri has a thing about walnut, apparently, and you’re not even allowed walnut furniture? That can’t be right… if it is, I’m sure everyone ignores it. I honestly don’t know what some of our wood is, and cannot be arsed to learn. Suck it, Missouri.