Apologies to readers for some delayed posts Saturday and Monday. I will be working to get those finished today and tomorrow, and to get back on my regular posting schedule. Even this short update post is a bit delayed.
I spent the entire weekend helping my girlfriend move to her new apartment, and while it was one of the easier moves I’ve done in terms of furniture heft, it was also a situation of Murphy’s Law: what could go wrong, did (well, not entirely—I suppose the U-Haul could have exploded en route). We made an initial run Friday morning to drop off a small load and to get the keys to her new place. It turns out there were several bits of documentation that the various utility providers had either not sent or did which my girlfriend did not realize she needed until the night before, but fortunately that all got sorted fairly quickly and headed back to South Carolina for the big load.
Unfortunately, when we arrived at the U-Haul pickup location, the place was totally dark—and this was at 3:30 PM. There was also a massive storm system rolling in, with lightning popping in the area as we waited despondently on the off-chance the proprietor of the fly-by-night used car lot where my girlfriend had made the reservation would show up.
When it became apparent this mystery proprietor was not going to materialize miraculously, I began calling every U-Haul location in the general vicinity. On the fourth attempt, I got through to a location. They did not have a twenty-foot truck, but were able to place a reservation for me at a location that was a mere half-mile away from the shuttered used car lot. As the storm began to shower its sky babies upon us, we booked it to a U-Haul Super Center and got the twenty-foot truck, which I drove gingerly through the downpour to my girlfriend’s apartment.
(An aside: I love U-Haul trucks, with their lower storage cabins and their easy-to-drive cabins. What I do not love is the willy-nilly fashion in which U-Haul hands out franchises to every Tom, Dick, and Skeletor out there. Virtually every move I’ve ever made has involved going to a seedy, dilapidated, remote location, and asking the surly gas station/hardware store/dirt-floor shack attendant to give me the keys to the truck. There’s always something unseemly about it—it’s like buying drugs, or purchasing an escort [I don’t know what those things are like, to be clear, but I’ve watched enough 70s movies to get the idea]. One time I picked up a U-Haul at a shack with a literal dirt floor and one bare light bulb burning overhead. I’m surprised I made it out of there alive, much less with a truck!)
Then began the big move. Two of her friends flaked out on us because there was a “flash food warning.” For the uninitiated, we have flash flood warnings in South Carolina on clear days with no chance of rain. They’re meaningless (well, except for when they aren’t). Recognizing this meteorological non-event as a flimsy pretext to avoid moving a couch, we set about loading up the truck with the two friends who did show up—God Bless them—and had it loaded in fairly short order. Despite our earlier load that morning, though, there was still a great deal of miscellaneous bric-a-brac and accumulated junk that we ultimately just tossed into the back of the U-Haul, leaving it to God and my girlfriend to sort out after the move.
Then my girlfriend and her friends began to clean, and I took her dog for a walk. I also placed the most expensive Little Caesar’s order of my life, clocking in at $23—which is still really cheap! We stuffed our faces on discount pizza and cheesy bread while her now-erstwhile landlord inspected the place and chit-chatted with us about rental properties.
That night we limped to my parents’ house in Aiken, South Carolina, and spent the night there, utterly exhausted. We made for Athens, Georgia in the morning to meet her father and brother, who helped us unload everything. We spent the rest of the day picking up various sundries and unpacking what boxes we could amid the chaos of storage containers.
From there, though, the hard part was finished. Unfortunately, after obtaining a new modem, we were unable to connect to the Internet, which—in this age of constant connectivity—made life a bit more difficult for the both of us, and accounts in part for the delayed blog posts. We did manage to hook up her XBox 360 and watch a DVD of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Sunday, by which point we were completely wiped out:
I had forgotten how grueling moving, especially across States, can be. I moved my younger brother and his wife and kids to their McMansion last summer, and that was one of the most brutal moves I’ve ever endured (and it seems to keep going—family members looking to unload furniture keep giving it to my brother, I suspect in part because they realize he has the space now for it, but also because he probably needs it with the kids). Both my girlfriend’s old and new apartments were a snap, with only the former having stairs. At the new place, we just walked the furniture right on in!
Even so, we were quite worn out. Aside from the physical demands of moving, there’s a certain mental strain as well, along with long days. Also, being surrounded by half-unpacked boxes strewn about creates a certain chaos that can be easily overwhelming: there’s so much to do, and so much of it is interconnected, that it’s easy to become paralyzed at the thought of what to do first. Fortunately, between the two of us, we were able to put a dent into that clutter, and she has been plugging away since then to bring order to her new home.
So it is that I am finally catching up on posts and returning to my own routine. I made it back Monday morning from Athens, but immediately had to get moving with various obligations. I also had a mountain of e-mail to catch up on after being gone for four days.
But soon that routine will be disrupted again, but this time in a happier way. Stay tuned tomorrow morning for a big announcement.
Until then, keep on moving!