I wake from a deep sleep to the sound of celtic music. It’s my phone, downstairs, “ringing off the hook,” as we used to say. I drag myself out of bed, head straight for the bathroom, and try to shake the cotton from my still-kinda-dreaming head; I am not successful. Still, there’s the music again–and now the pounding on the front door–so I grab the sweats I’ve been wearing for three days, and the sweatshirt I bought down the shore but thought I’d lost (which would have been such a shame b/c it’s really nice and soft) and bungle my way down the stairs that I’ve fallen down twice in the eight years I’ve lived here.
I approach the door with an “I’m coming” while trying to zipper the stubborn zipper of my nice, soft sweatshirt because I don’t want to open the door half naked. Perhaps that is my first problem, my unwillingness to boldly be nude in front of strangers.
The woman–and I use the term lightly–is the ‘BUYERS’ REALTOR’ and she is NOT happy. “You don’t have a doorbell,” she snaps, in reply to my saying she didn’t have to keep banging on the door.
And that’s my fault?
Please. The house didn’t come with a bell. I hate the sound of a doorbell anyway, it shatters my inner peace.
Anyway, apparently I “knew all about” the morning appointment the fire department had to come check the alarms. The “woman” lugs in a big ole red fire extinguisher and puts it on my kitchen counter. I have a very cute little one about two feet to the right, but she doesn’t notice that one. I quietly move the red thing to the floor in a passive-aggressive move to let her know that this is still my house–for six more days anyway.
Now, I have spoken to many realtors during the past month or so and I can honestly say that for the most part, they are mean, ornery beings who want your money but don’t have time to call you back or be nice. I happen to have a lovely woman who tries her damnedest to be polite and kind and helpful. Yes, Beth Berry of Weichert Realtors in Moorestown, NJ, I appreciate everything about you and highly recommend your services. Thank you.
But I digress. So this other “woman” and I do not get along–to put it mildly–and my day gets off to a lousy start, which should have warned me of what was to come, but it didn’t. I hadn’t even had my coffee, how was I supposed to predict the future?
From here, I go to the bank to pick up a money-order for the new digs only to be told–five dollars later–that I could have gotten a certified check for free. Well, I hope you’re right Ms. “Never Tell me the Right Stuff During This Whole Process.” Seriously, does anyone do her job correctly besides Mrs. Berry? I doubt it.
At the new apartment complex, I sign on the dotted line to move into a place that offers no utilities, no bike rack for those of us on the third floor, no elavator to that third floor, no assigned parking and no other wall color than white.
Why, you must rightly be asking, would I take such a place? It was the best thing I found that I could get into quickly and without too much fuss. Oh, there was fuss, but at least we didn’t have to wait for a potential landlord to return our 15 calls.
Plus, it has a pool.
Not this pool, of course, but nice just the same. And I know it’s October but it’ll be summer again soon, right? Right? Arrrrrg.
Anyway, I’m not unhappy about moving. After all, I am leaving an old house with lots of problems. And of course, the demonic, nosy, scary-to-look-at neighbors, two women who only have each other b/c no one else will have them. “She says your ex-wife is a bitch.” That’s the second wife–the normal one, whose son is in a play I’m watching. We meet in the lobby during intermission. “Ya think?” replies the neighbor’s ex. Yeah, I think. Now believe me, I’m an ex-wife myself, and I’m usually on the woman’s side. But no, not this time. She’s a bitch and she brought in a second, even scarier bitch to live in sin with. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…except that these two are heterophobic, nosy, garden-obsessed tree gnomes. Yes, I am happy to be leaving.
But I’m also sad. Because this is the house I bought when I was a happily employed mother of a happy 14 year old with a happy, living father who helped me out. Now, everything is different, and I’m moving, solo, into an apartment for one old fart. Sure, there’s a bedroom for my son, who will come home for holidays and such, but it’s not the same. Eight years ago, I bought a single-family-cute-as-a-button Cape Cod with a yard for kids and the dog. On Tuesday next, I move into a place with a small deck without kid or dog. Yes, my son has finally taken the dog off my hands–for awhile anyway–so I can start my ‘new life’ as everyone calls it, without dog poop on the hardwood floor.
It’s the little things that make a house a home.
SO, you may be wondering, if she’s so busy with packing and everything, why is she blogging and not packing and everything? Well, I think you’ve answered your own question there, haven’t you?
Thank God one of my good friends came by this morning to help pack, because I’ve been sitting on the couch since she left. Seven boxes packed though, so that’s good, right? She even brought bagels. What a true friend you are, Pat Jenei. She even texted me awhile later…a friendly reminder to keep packing. Oh, she knows me too well.
I have no tidbits of advice for others who have to pack and move except that, if you can, do it all way before the closing date b/c then, at least, you won’t have a 24/7 stomach ache and clogged sinuses from all the dust. And when some guy shows up at your front door without ID and says he’s here for the estimate, he won’t leave and call his boss and say I wouldn’t let him in because of his tattoos.
Yep, that happened too.
Now, when I tell you that I hesitated to let him in as he had no ID for the moving company, I am telling you the whole story. He got mad and walked away, then his boss called to yell at me–YELL at me–b/c I didn’t let the guy in b/c of his tattoos. “What?” I ask, incredulously. I have a tat myself and to tell the truth, I didn’t even see tattoos on this guy, I was looking at the sparkling diamond–or something like it– in his left ear. The “boss” who I really now think was some kind of scammer, started calling me, in his Russian, I think, accent, “stupid,” and was continuing his tirade as I hung up.
All this before breakfast.
Sigh. Moving is hell, we all know that. The phone calls, the changes, the money, the time, the four tons of stuff in the basement that now has to be boxed and stored b/c you don’t have any storage room in your new–albeit sunny and sweet-apartment. “Do you really want to keep this?” asked Pat this morning, more than once.
Yes. Yes, I do. I want to keep it all, and I want someone else to catalog it, wrap it, store it within reach yet out of sight. I want them to do it all, and bring me a Starbucks b/c I’m wearing sweats and my hair’s still in the pony tail from last night and it’s already 5–FIVE???–pm and I can’t go out like this NOW.
When I first started this blog, I wrote about moving to Ireland to start my life’s “Chapter Two.” Now I’m moving to Cinnaminson, New Jersey, and have completely lost my page. I don’t know what the hell chapter I’m on, nor do I know the title of the book. “Someday My Prince Will Come,” sounds good, but I don’t want a book of fiction. “Learning to Live Happily on the $12 Million You Found Under the Sink in Your New Apartment,” sounds better, don’t you agree?