It's been almost a month since I moved, and it's taken me that long to work up the energy to write this post.
Casualties were few, no friends were lost, and I only broke four nails. But if I have to move again in a year I might lose my mind.
During a relatively short span of time in my childhood my family moved four times. Each time was a fun adventure -- my older sister had moved out so I got to pick the best room, my dad would always build me a new swing in the backyard, my mom would take out her sewing machine and make me a new bedspread and curtains, and our new neighbors always came over with some sort of baked good. While my parents did the heavy lifting I'd take off on my bike and explore the neighborhood. So much fun!
In college I suckered my male friends (and I had A LOT of them living right by Georgia Tech) to move me, from home to a house with eight girls, back to my parents' house because that was horrible, out of my parents' house because they kicked me out, into an apartment with an older lady and that didn't work out very well, back to my parents' house temporarily and under their rules, then to another apartment, and finally back to my parents' house to dump my stuff before I shipped off to California for a new adventure. What great friends I had!
Then I moved to DC (well, first stop was Old Town). My parents moved me, bless their hearts. We all ended up fighting and I got one of the worst migraines of my life and that's really all I remember. This was Moving Disaster 2007.
Two years later Margaret and I moved into the District. We had friends help us, and honestly it ended up being almost as expensive as hiring people due to renting the truck, buying packing supplies, and feeding six people a nice dinner. Plus Margaret and I weren't on speaking terms for about a week. Moving Disaster 2009.
So when we moved this time I insisted we hire someone. Craigslist is reliable, right? For finding a humidifier, yes. Looking for a karaoke machine? No problem. Want to sell your car? Sketchy but workable. But movers named Rick...that's another story.
I decided not to pack my stuff because I'll never unpack it and packing is such a colossal pain in my neck, and I was just moving upstairs so what's the point? Instead I had a wonderful system worked out in my head -- I'd fill laundry baskets and plastic bins with my junk and dump it in my miniature closet then make another load and dump that on top of the pile until I moved all the junk. Then a year later, after I'd bought all new stuff because I was too lazy to sort through all the stuff I already own but was in utter disarray, I'd donate it all to Goodwill. Kind to the environment and humanity. Genius!
Margaret took the traditional route and used boxes since she was putting her stuff in storage. Her parents were visiting so we needed to be all finished by 1 p.m. The movers were set to show up at 11 a.m., so it would be a piece of cake. I began making trips and Margaret finished packing and started cleaning. But at 11 the movers did not show.
"I don't get it, I confirmed with Rick yesterday," Margaret lamented after calling Rick for the 10th time. No call back. No email. No show. No man muscles to move the heavy stuff.
Margaret and I sat down on the sofa and began brainstorming.
"Well," Margaret said hopefully, "my brother-in-law just moved to Virginia, maybe he can help?" She called him, but he was working. However, he said a friend owed him a favor and he would have him drive over from Fairfax to help us. Okay, awkward but we'll take what we can get.
However, one pair of man muscles can't do it all. Where are computer engineer majors when you need them?!
Then I remembered, the night before a very muscly guy in my building chatted with me in the elevator and asked if I needed any help moving. OF COURSE he was just being nice. Yes I am aware of this, thanks. I was desperate! So I stalked him on Facebook, ripped off his phone number, and called him. Oh yes, I did. (And I thought having someone steal my bike after seeing my vacation status on Twitter was bad.)
"Hi, um, I am mortified that I'm calling you," I told him when he picked up. "I found your number on Facebook, so I'm also mortified that I'm stalking you." Then I explained what happened, and he came over soon after. And yes I know what you're thinking, but he has a girlfriend and she's very skinny and blonde, kind of the opposite of me.
So the two guys neither Margaret nor I really knew moved all my furniture upstairs and all of Margaret's boxes and furniture into storage across the street. (Well, that's somewhat of another story. Margaret had trouble finding a truck to rent and by the time she got one the storage facility was about to close, and she only got half of her stuff into the facility, so they had to move a load back into our apartment.)
As we carried on into the evening, the front desk called and asked for their hand truck back. We'd borrowed it but had it all day. I didn't know how we'd finish without it, but on the way back upstairs I chatted with another resident on the elevator and she offered up her personal hand truck. AND our building's management gave us an extra day to move and clean. Am I the only one getting chills here? I'm gonna tell you what, this was an awful experience, but it renewed my faith and appreciation for humankind.
And I must give mad props to Margaret's poor parents who came for a visit but ended up moving us and cleaning our apartment afterwards. Then my mother decided to jump in her car and come set up my apartment for me. Every day I came home to a hot meal and things organized until all of that horrendous, daunting closet pile was neatly put away.
In the end our parents are still the pros. But I ask, how many stinkin' times must one move to reach that status? I don't know if I can do this again!