No, those are not homicidal maniacs. The police were not called – and they surely don’t let you have weapons in mug shots. Even the paper towel “doo rag” is not very realistic, particularly on a 51 year old suburban engineer who is just trying to get through MOVING DAY! (I think he was actually going for the Ninja warrior look).
My fiancé, Jim, and I recently moved in together, along with my 19 year old son, Nick, and my little wiener dog, Daisy. The three of us moved into Jim’s house, and we are preparing to rent my house. You would probably look like Jim too if we were descending upon your home. But obviously the pictures were a joke, courtesy of my friend Betsy, who loves to record everything for posterity. Those are our “moving warrior faces”. Nick declined – I don’t know why.
Over the past few months that we have been working on our houses and getting ready for moving day, people have been saying things like – “oh, moving sucks”, “I just moved and I have 80 boxes to unpack”, “moving is one of life’s most stressful events”, etc. Now I know that other people have moved, but we are not just moving, we are COMBINING HOUSEHOLDS. This is the torture chamber of moving. The fork in the eye of relocation. The kick in the ass of cohabitation.
Why, you say? Can’t you just get rid of stuff? Put stuff in storage? Well sure, and we have done that non-stop for over 6 months. Easy, you say? Do you have enough kitchen stuff to fill 4 houses AND are you moving into a house that is 700 square feet smaller than your old one? So 4100 square feet and 33 years (13 years for me and 20 for Jim) of combined accumulation?
But the real kick in the ass is this – EVERY item we both own (and as previously mentioned, we have a LOT of crap) must go through this test:
4. Use at Jim’s house
Dear sweet Lord, this is a nightmare. I have wished for the entire yard to turn into a dumpster so I could just throw everything out the window. I reason with myself – I don’t need to sleep on a bed, I am never lighting a candle again, I laugh in the face of potholders – we’ll just eat out. Let’s all live in a cave….join a commune…
Not only does this process take FOREVER (and I am the hare in the tortoise and the hare story – slow drives me ape shit crazy!), but it is a constant source of potential conflict. Here are some excerpts:
What happened to that lampshade – did the cat eat it?
You say my stuff looks like crap, look at your ____
I am NOT eating on that table!
Those colors clash!
You never know when we might need these extra 45 assorted cords and cables.
What the hell is THIS?
We forgot about the hall closet (stomach turns).
Are there dead bodies in here?
You get the picture. I admit that most of the worst comments were made by me, but that is typical in any house decorating scenario between a man and a woman. We are pretty gender stereotypical.
And not only did Jim and I have to do this exercise, but my son had to do it with every single thing he owns, too. We cleaned out his closets and I swear I thought a couple of his old elementary school playmates were going to crawl out of the rubble, along with Lego pieces, Tech Deck Dudes, and Yu Gi Oh cards (if it wasn’t for the money spent on these items over those years I could have paid someone to move us). But after a LOOOONNNNGGG walk down memory lane, we got it all sorted out.
The truth is that even though I think we all have felt the way these pictures portray us at times, being one family in ONE place is pretty damn good. I know is has been hard for Nick to leave his home, but he will be off to VCU next year to study art, and living downtown. It was coming.
We are all being swept away by the changes right now, and it is stressful. But last week sitting in a chair in the living room with Daisy, watching Jim and Nick sing karaoke metal songs from both of their generations, my heart was warmed in a way that only Black Sabbath and Disturbed lyrics can inspire. Actually, they looked a little like the pictures…… yes, we’re home.