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Moving Disaster 2011

Jul 26, 2011

"Anyone want to marry me?" I loudly propositioned my entire office. 

"I'll marry you!" a nearby cubemate answered.  I scooted my chair back to see him smiling at me, coffee in hand and mis-matched plaid shirt and striped tie -- not to mention wedding ring -- glaring at me. 

"Thanks, but you won't work.  You're too short." 

He snickered and asked why I was looking for a husband.

"Muscles," I explained.  You see, Moving Disaster 2011 was about to be in full swing, and my arms, already tired from simply packing and carrying boxes from trash bins to my apartment, were not going to last much longer.  I was quite put out by the whole event because, even though a Cupcakes and Shoes reader hooked me up with an ab fab apartment, there would be a two-day gap between moving out of my old one and into the new one, thus tripling my moving expenses.  Essentially I'd be paying for two moves plus two days of storage.  My options were: a) Use all my savings; b) Re-rack up credit card debt; or c) Ask for help.  The first two options were looking great.  As an independent woman, I was NOT going to ask male friends for help.  No way. 

But if I could find a husband in the next few days, now that would be ideal.  Boyfriends can get out of these sort of things (the last one was conveniently in Germany when I needed moving help), but husbands are required to help -- nay, lead, direct and execute the entire thing.  I usually am not sad about being single, but I was suddenly feeling very, very alone in the world. 

I was telling all this to my friend Sharon over pedis when I found myself crying.  The young girl pounding on my calf muscle stopped and handed me a tissue.  *Note to all of you: never cry during a pedicure because the pedicurist will speed through it to get away from you.

"Don't worry, my brother-in-law will help you, and you must have some guy friends who can pitch in," Sharon offered.

The idea was enticing, but honestly I don't really have that many guy friends because of my stupid principles (I believe I'm too old for male friends, and at this stage in life men and women can't be just friends, and really they never could, but in our youth we could at least pretend and then cry our eyes out when we had to stand at the altar on the groom's side supporting our "friend" who we've decided in that moment is not only "The One" but also "The One Who Got Away" and we will probably die sad and alone.) 

But somehow (somehow = Sharon's brother-in-law rounded up a couple of guys and a slew of my blogger friends came over and made a party of out of it) more than enough people showed up, and we knocked it out in time and then had a BBQ at A Single Girl's house.

Of course there were a few glitches.

Glitch No. 1: Picking up the U-Haul.  A Single Girl drove me to the U-Haul and dropped me off.  She was helping her roommate move a mattress right after, so she couldn't stick around.  I walked up to the counter and asked for the truck I had reserved online. 

"We don't have your reservation," the woman behind the desk told me.

I knew something would go wrong, I thought, my mind flashing back to Moving Disasters 2010 and 2009 respectively. (Hmm, I just noticed I didn't write about 2010 for a month and 2009 at all.  Now I don't feel so bad for waiting a month to write about this one.  I also now see that moving gives me serious writer's block.)

"But it's okay, we've got a truck you can use." I sighed and thanked her, and laughed at myself for expecting the worst.  "Just need to see your driver's license."

I'd just had it renewed -- thank goodness I got that done in time! -- and I was all ready to tell her, "Don't mind the scowl on my photo!  I think it's so unfair they won't let you smile anymore," when I realized I didn't have it.  And I knew exactly where I'd left it: in my wallet.  That's right, I didn't bring my wallet with me.  I had two colors of lip gloss but no wallet.  I had Tylenol and an emergency migraine pill but no wallet.  I even had a credit card...but no wallet.

I called A Single Girl -- because I had my phone AND phone charger but no wallet -- and she said she'd come back.  So not only did she miss helping her roommate, she had to drive the U-Haul, plus they wouldn't take my credit card without an ID, so she also paid for it.

Glitch No. 2: I wasn't finished packing and I had no more boxes.  Why why WHY must I wait until the last minute to get stuff done?  The Friday before the move I emptied all the paper boxes in the office, and a coworker collected other boxes from other offices in our hallway.  I lugged at least 20 of those things (broken down) home on the Metro during rush hour on a Friday, yes I did.  I had no idea boxes were so heavy.  Or could hold so little.  Or maybe I have too much stuff.

In the end we were wrapping furniture with my living room throws (picking off pieces of masking tape from Dry Clean Only blankets was a fun little task the following week) and dumping everything else into trash bags.  For all I know stuff that was not trash was thrown away in the midst of the chaos, but at this point it's a blessing.  I have GOT to downsize.

Somehow (and we've already established what "somehow" means) it all got packed.  Except...

Glitch No. 3: It wouldn't all fit in the U-Haul.  Sharon's brother-in-law found me frantically stuffing throw towels into a trash bag and gave me a sickly smile. 

"Do you have a back-up plan?"

"Back-up plan?  What?  I got the 'One Bedroom Apartment' truck!" I said, feeling faint. 

"Well, I don't know what to say, but it's almost full and you've still got a lot of stuff."

I peeked out in the hallway and my heart sank.  I'd been so busy finishing packing that I hadn't paid any attention to the actual moving of the furniture.  The long hallway leading to the elevators was lined with boxes, furniture, plastic bins and of course bags.  And let's not forget my Pretty Schwinn, which is so pretty. It could not be left behind. 

So I went downstairs to the truck, for some reason thinking I could fix the problem.  That's when I ran into Sassy Marmalade.  "Don't worry," she said, seeing the fear in my eyes.  "I'm awesome at Tetris." 

Apparently so were Dating DC and Noe (plus another non-blogger friend, Y).  Check it out, y'all:

Girl Power!

Everything but the bicycle fit, but one of the guys took it apart and shoved it in the front seat.  I was so impressed.  But we weren't done with glitches yet.

Glitch No. 4: It all fit, but the door wouldn't shut.  I had to drop off the U-Haul at my new landlord's house where it would sit for two days before I could move into my new apartment (with hired movers, thank goodness), and only Dating DC could drive a stick shift (my car), so she stayed behind while everyone else went home or to the BBQ.  Together we hoisted the ramp back into its slot, and then I pulled down the door, but it wouldn't go down all the way.  I rolled it back up and rearranged some items we'd stuffed on the top and tried again.  No success.  Dating DC tried to no avail.  We kept at it for at least 10 minutes, and then a man walked toward us, not to help us but to go into the building.  I looked lustfully at him -- his man muscles, his man brain, his sheer manliness that would surely be the answer to our problem, as it was the answer to all the world's problems, or so I felt at that moment.  Dating DC didn't say anything, but as my mouth opened to pull out the Southern accent secret weapon and ask for his man help, our woman ESP sixth sense thing kicked in, and my mouth shut.  I walked back over to the truck, and like magic I noticed the ramp wasn't in all the way, and that's what was causing the door to not shut. 

"That was a close one," she said, smiling at me.  "I really thought you were going to break down and ask him for help." 

As I drove that big truck down 14th Street, across the bridge and into Del Ray, I felt strong, powerful and capable of overcoming just about anything.  I highly recommend driving a U-Haul if you ever get the chance.  It's awesome.

And so are girlfriends. Back at A Single Girl's house, we chowed down on burgers and drank fruity drinkies, and with the sun setting behind us we all knew we'd accomplished something huge together that day.

But Moving Disaster 2011 wasn't over...

...and I'm not even going there because it was so awful. (It included movers peeing on my toilet seat and me throwing out the Comcast guy.) I'd really just like to forget it and remember the nice moments with my helpful friends.  The end.


  1. I have lived in the same apartment for 10 years - mainly because the thought of another move terrifies me. Sounds like a shitshow, but a fun one. Clearly, you've a lot of good friends who love you enough to actually move heavy objects on your behalf.

  2. Is that a FAN in that truck? It's like ten feet wide!

  3. No, that is a patio table turned sideways. "Tetris" awesome friends were the masters of making it work!

  4. I hate hate hate moving too! I living in the same apartment for four years during undergrad. I just moved out this past weekend in the 111 degree Oklahoma heat. Needless to say, it was awful! I am glad you have some friends to helpy you out!

  5. I don't think it's possible to move without one or two disasters. Happy that your friends and the guys they know were able to help you out. I'm betting that you'll have a moving company taking care of the next move ;).


    PS Love the Tetris analogy!

  6. Wow, a VHS/DVD/TV combo!

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