There are very few things in this world that truly make my blood boil, keep me awake all night, and cause me to bite my nails down to the quick quite a few things make me do one or the other of the aforementioned nervous habits, but very few things push me to suffer all three at once. Moving is one of those things. The thought of packing up all of my precious – and not so precious – possessions into boxes and carting them off to God-knows-where whilst I spend my sleepless nights relying on the mercy of strangers and the availability of the guest bedroom at my parents’ house just plain freaks me out. And that’s not even mentioning the actual act of moving. It’s strenuous, it’s messy, and it’s never as easy as I think it’s going to be. Things end up lost or broken, people with trucks end up falling through, and I end up exhausted and desperately in need of a manicure. Suffice it to say, moving is not the way I wanted to spend the first few weeks of summer.
Unfortunately, living in I.V. means that every June moving is pretty much inevitable. I thought I had outsmarted the system this year though, when I took the lazy girls’ way out and instead of finding a new place to live, just decided to stick with the house I was already peacefully inhabiting. Sure, my landlord planned to raise my rent by a totally unwarranted $15 a month, but I figured the convenience of not having to move and getting to keep my house with its beautiful backyard was definitely worth the $180 I was going to lose. After all, I’ve spent close to that much on a pair of jeans before.
Alas, that whole not having to move thing was nothing more than the proverbial pipe dream. Lo and behold, when June rolled around, my landlord made it more than clear that my stuff would not be welcome in the house for the slightly-less-than-a-week span in between the end of my old lease and the commencement of my new one. Suffice it to say, I was mad. Over the course of the move-out and move-in week, my emotions ran the gamut from mad, to sad, to surprisingly calm, and then back to freaked out again.
Sure, moving gave me the great opportunity to do some much- needed purging of my possessions – which, in turn, gave me the much-wanted opportunity to do some shopping to rebuild my post-purge wardrobe. And yes, it’s nice to have all new carpets and fresh paint on the walls, not to mention the brand new backyard light with an extra-cool daylight sensor on it, so it turns itself off if we get too drunk to remember to do it before bed. But then again, the cleaners did throw away my lovingly hand-painted beer pong table, so I kind of feel like I broke even.
I guess when all is said and done, moving is one of those experiences that kind of forces you to reevaluate your life, if only because methodically making your way through the massive piles of possessions you’ve managed to accumulate requires a certain amount of reevaluation in and of itself. There’s something to be said about knowing that there’s only so much space in your car, and having to trash whatever won’t fit in the name of necessity. I’m the first person to admit that a large portion of the emotional rollercoaster I went through during the moving process could easily be accredited to finally realizing that I am too old to wear those tiered miniskirts that were so perfect back when I was sixteen and then subsequently realizing that the wardrobe items I really needed to replace them were professional pantsuits and sensible shoes to wear to work. Forget about having to pay my own bills, fix my own car, or even move my own shit; nothing made me recognize my own adulthood like realizing that even if I wanted to keep on wearing those multi-hued minis, I would have no occasion in my current life where they would be even remotely appropriate attire. Sure, there are always theme parties, but woman cannot build a wardrobe around theme parties alone. Sad, but true.
So here I am. It’s Saturday night, and I’m typing this week’s column from the cushy chair at the desk of the gallery where I work. In a few weeks, I’ll be 21, and Saturday nights working downtown will merely segue into going out and partying with the wide array of adults that populate the post-college party scene down here. I’ve got everything moved in, and I’ve got one of my new work-ready outfits on with a pair of sensible ballet flats. Okay, so they’re sparkly, sequined ballet flats that I only bought because they kind of remind me of a more muted black version of Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” So, maybe I’m not ready to grow up entirely just yet. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on taking baby steps – one sparkly shoe at a time.