Friday, October 29, 2010

You Sold it for What?

Garage sale day! Here we are, purging are belongings by putting them out on the side of the road in the hopes someone will want to pay money for our junk. Initially, getting Chris to focus on finding things to sell seemed near impossible. But he got up early in the morning to help me lug all my things out to the road and drive me around to put up signs. Of course there were people arriving way before the posted time, I had placed ads, and we were still trying to set things up. Even before we begin, Chris is practically giving things away.

I have learned from my friend Dawn that it is best not to put prices on things but just come up with a price on the day. I did not realize this was going to mean my husband would try to sell everything I own for a quarter. I say that but it seems like he has two internal price points. It is either 20 dollars or 25 cents. I am not sure where the logic comes in with that, but it was how it was.

Things are going well, things are selling it is moving along. But as Chris watches things he thought would never sell make a bit of money, he suddenly decides to start going through his things, you know, the thing I asked him to do three weeks ago? Now instead of having someone outside to help me, he is constantly in the house digging for more things to sell. fine, I can handle it until I see him drag out the chair his grandfather carved by hand.

"You're bringing that out just to sit on, right?" I say as a leading question as to imply the appropriate response.

"I was just going to see what someone offered for it."

"Then take it back in."

"Why can't we see? It isn't very comfortable."

"We can get new cushions. I cannot get a new husband after your father kills you because we are supposed to be taking care of that chair. If you don't want it in our new place, then I suggest you give it back to you father, cause we aren't selling it." How am I more sentimental about a chair made by a man who died before I was in the picture?

"We can just try. You are selling the ornaments."

That's his defense? Seriously? The ornaments he was referring to were my ex-boyfriend's Christmas ornaments. We had stayed friends for quite awhile but then we lost touch. I had tried to contact the man a number of times to return his ornaments. A collection of Christmas Tree bobbles from the year of his birth onward. It wasn't my fault he wouldn't return phone calls. After many years of storing them, I decided I wasn't moving them so I put them out in the hopes they found a good home.

"Not the same. I no longer know Toby, you still know father, you like your father. You call your dad and get permission and then you can try." This is followed by an eye roll and the phone being whipped out to place the call. At which time he discovered I was correct and his father would rather have the chair back than have us sell it to some stranger. Like that took a rocket scientist to figure out! I have now been guilted into putting the ornaments back on our doorstep because I was feeling guilty about selling them. I still didn't want to move them! What a waste of space.

As the garage sale begins to wind down, I start selling everything for a quarter. We get rid of almost everything, or so I think. Most of the end things went to a guy who was shopping but driving a motorcycle. With a bit of help from lots of duct tape we managed to get everything attached to his saddlebags, frame, and back pack. I am not sure what he was going to do with all that junk, but as he drove off I found myself very concerned with whether or not he could even turn a corner.

We start loading the truck with everything to go to Goodwill and I realize I still have a ton of stuff left. If I had the energy I might have a second sale the next day, but it doesn't seem worth it. There is one wicker basket left out front that some lady is supposed to come back for, so we bring down the driveway and put it on our step. Needless to say, she doesn't come back, but surprisingly the next morning Chris walks out to find 2 women shoving it in their car. He confronts the offenders with the fact they are "stealing" and they claim to have thought it was "junk." I might believe that if it was still sitting on the street, but it was on our doorstep and we live in the back apartment. Do you go and take things off people's doorsteps? At that point I realized all the Christmas ornaments I was trying to figure out what to do with were gone. Someone had literally stolen Christmas from our front door. I ended up selling the wicker basket to the thieves and counting my blessings that the Christmas ornaments had sorted themselves out. If Toby ever calls I can honestly say they were stolen though I am not sure he would believe it even though it is true.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Traveling without your Husband (did I really just say that word?)

Shortly after my wedding, I needed to head out to North Carolina for one of my besties's wedding. We were doing the great bridesmaid swap and she was getting married exactly four weeks after me. This turned out to be an amazing experience, one because her wedding was just as gorgeous yet completely different than mine and two, between the two of us we were pretty much prepared for anything that could happen. Needless to say the day was an absolute success and everyone had a great time. I was the MacGuyver of bridesmaids as I picked a lock, removed a link from a bracelet, and kept the groom from losing it because people messed with his car. (I finally have an understanding about how protective some guys can be of their vehicles.)

Now going to weddings on my own is nothing new to me. I tend to have so much fun at them I don't mind getting to do as I please. And in this case, between our wedding, Chris's new job, and all I would need to do while I was out there, it made more sense to go it alone. I never thought I would find a face that I despised more than the "poor you, you're single at what age?" face that I had become so accustomed to. Then I found it. The "you didn't bring your husband, how could you possibly travel without him" face that seemed to be laced with even more pity than the whoa is you, single girl face.

As a grown-up (well semi-grown-up) I have never made apologies for things in my life and I am quite happy in my marriage but I am still an individual. As is my husband. So it never dawned on me people were going to feel sorry for me for something I have been doing since I was a child. My first plane flight was all by myself at 9, so some 26 years later, I don't find it tragic. The look on these faces was priceless and puzzling. Why is it so odd to be at a wedding by yourself? Why is it odd that with our busy schedules it wasn't possible for both of us to come? Why did I feel like a horrible wife for having left my husband to fend for himself for an ENTIRE week? Wouldn't I have been a worse friend for bailing on my one of my best friend's wedding cause some guy couldn't come? I mean, I know, he's my husband, but still.

I came to realize it is the hypocrisy of life. Because mere days later I am im'ing with my sister trying to explain how some girls are not so good at the balance thing and that she should be prepared that more of her friends were going to make less than stellar decisions when it comes to boys with each passing year. That even she might someday find her priorities out of whack when she was struck a little bit "boy crazy." That's when it hit me. These people pitied me because somehow I was suddenly supposed to be "husband crazy." Just as Mallory was living with a friend who suddenly didn't have time, seemed only to care about talking to boys, and was bailing on competition practice all to hang out with boys, I was being judged for NOT making my entire world, from the moment I put a ring on my finger, revolve around a guy. We spend our lives telling "teens" they should be careful, don't let your hormones rule your world so you forget about everything else. Yet when you get married somehow you are supposed to turn into everything you were NOT supposed to do?

Now every former single girl has lived it. There is always an adjustment period to finding the balance of being in a relationship and spending time with your friends. The "honeymoon" period and all of that. But how can people learn the importance of being good friends if we are going to feel sad for them when they do the right thing. Would part of me have rather been at home enjoying my newly married bliss? Hell, yes. But was I going to let that part of me rain on my parade? Hell, no! I applaud all singles and marrieds who do not let the judgement of the world stop them from living their lives...going on trips, buying houses, visiting friends, and just being you! No matter what you do (apparently) someone is going to pity you, so I have decided to turn the tables and pity them for being slaves to "rules" and "convention."

You can be free no matter what your status and I personally loved my anniversary dance with Carrie and Joe and my wonderful date for the rehearsal dinner, Sabrina. A new friend in south Florida and we never would have had the opportunity to have such a perfectly romantic date if my husband had been bogging us down. Of course, Sabrina is a bit of a hussy considering she had a different date every night. That might be Lisa's fault for putting her at another table, but I was a little offended...until we slow danced.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Box Maze

I thoroughly understand that planning ahead of time makes everything easier. By slowly packing up your home the move day will be much easier as a whole. For the first time ever, I had the time, no I MADE the time to be sure to pack at least one box every night in order to keep things simple during the great relocation. I am not sure I truly thought through my "plan." While on the outside it seems like the perfect scheme, by the 23rd of the month you are living in a box maze in which you cannot find anything. Literally everything I need seems to be in a box and not just any box but always the bottom box.

I think in the course of finding things I have used more tape than an entire moving company. I am also sure I have broken almost every toe in my foot. You never realize how ingrained your spacial relationship with your home is until you move something or entirely change the layout. You would think for how clumsy I have become I must have surely broken every bone in my body by now. How is it I can kick the same box 20 times? It's not like I don't see it but my foot refuses to acknowledge the box's presence. Instead it just slams right into it sending my writhing in pain. I am kind of amazed my shoes still fit at this point.

My husband is having a jolly old time living in the box maze. You see, he hasn't packed ANY of his things and kitchen supplies missing just means he gets to eat out. As long as I don't touch the TV, Wii, or cable box we are all good. He sees the boxes as extra surfaces to place his Big Gulp cups on despite the fact they do that fun rippling thing with the top of the box because of the moisture. Yet another punishment for being a planner. I know one thing, it is going to be way easier for me to unpack than for him. I can see the great dumping fiasco already, no rhyme or reason, everything just in boxes. My stuff will have a home. Of course that also means I will spend all my time finding his stuff for him but I'm the one who signed on the dotted line.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Couch

Women are crazy? Women are indecisive? I beg to disagree. Christopher (yes that is what I call him when he's annoying me) can not seem to keep the same idea from one hour to the next. He will sit in the living room telling you why you cannot possibly take the couch we have and use it in the den. We need someplace where people can sleep. A comfy place to actually have a guest room, we should get a futon.

Fine, logic is there, makes sense, the couch has served its purpose. I proceed to post it on Craigslist.

"You did what!?"

"Posted it on craigslist." I am mildly curious...did he already promise it to someone else?

"You can't get rid of your couch."

Literally one hour previous is when CHRISTOPHER was telling me why I needed to get rid of the couch. You see we are getting a very generous gift from his mother, a new couch, so if it isn't going in the "guest room" we have no place to put it.

"But we are getting a new couch."

"Can't we fit both of them in the living room?"

"Why do we need two couches?"

"I don't know, I just know how much you love it."

That's sweet, so I think for a moment about two couches and start to plan a seating arrangement in my head around the new idea. Now let's keep in mind my couch is a blue, microfiber couch with black piping. I put a pin in the craigslist ad and begin thinking about our options. I am still not working out how this all fits in the living room because Chris wants a sectional, but I am contemplating.

A mere few hours later. Chris comes to me with a list of printed out couches for our new purchase and I do the same. Everyone of my couch options is ruled out because they only come in neutral colors such as "mocha" or "brown." There will apparently not be a brown couch in our new home. Fine.

All of his couches come only in green and all have a recliner, but no chaise, my one requirement for a couch. When I ask why this is:

"No couches have both."

I frantically (cause now I'm getting angry) point at my postings, all of which come with BOTH. I didn't even print any that DIDN'T come with a recliner.

"But they're brown."

"So we can't compromise on the color but we can compromise on the chaise?"

"None have both."

This is when I begin banging my head against the wall because I feel like I am speaking to a dementia patient. What do you mean they don't have both? Here are 15 + examples of couches with BOTH, they just don't come in GREEN.

I understand the art of compromise is a complicated thing. It's a dance most marriages spend a lifetime figuring out and I am sure one person is always a bit more giving than the other. I also understand that Chris has a minimalistic style that I can embrace, but also has a childlike love of just one color and a irrational hatred of another color. As witnessed by our wedding, I love purple, but other than MY new bathroom you don't see me splashing purple all over the house. Purple has it's place as does green. Chris might be a bit spoiled in that realm because green happens to be my second favorite color, so I am not offended and can work within such decorating limitations. But when we can compromise comfort over color I draw the line. It is now that I point out to him he might want to consider what will be more comfortable to sleep on, a recliner or a chaise, because he's likely to spend quite a number of evenings there if this was how compromising works in his world.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So you think you know your new husband, right? So you've been told girls are crazy and indecisive, right? I challenge both those assertions as proven by trying to pack and move together for the first time. Packing is complicated enough with one person, but with two you have compounded the problem exponentially. Now, mathematically I know that sentence makes no sense, as 1 to the second power is actually less than 1 multiplied by 2, but I am thinking it is an exponent more in line with the number of years you have lived in the place you are moving out of as stuff seems to breed other stuff.

Not only are you likely to have different opinions about what is valuable or not, you also seem to be married to a man who at one point says, "throw it all out," and then flips out every time you are getting rid of something...I refer to a dolphin statue. The conversation goes a little something like this:
"But you love dolphins."

"Yes, I do. But it just sits around catching dust and I am not attached to it."

"You can't throw it out because of me."

"I'm not, I am giving it away because I don't care about it enough to move it."

"You have to keep it."

"I don't want to keep it."

"Why are you keeping the other one then?"

Now how does one tactfully answer this question? You see I have gotten myself in a bit of a pickle at this point. I no longer care about the other dolphin statue because it is from an ex-boyfriend who, while we stayed friends at first, is now married and no longer allowed to speak to other girls. He kind of ceased to be important in my life at that point, thereby neither is the product of his trip to the Mall of America. The other statue is from the family of my college roommate and I love them so I love the nick knack. It is worth the dusting time, bubble wrap time, and general moving.

BUT, in order to say this I have to admit, aloud, I kept the old boyfriend statue all the way through our dating, engagement, and wedding and I am only getting rid of it now. Now in my defense, that wasn't a choice I made, it was simply that it sat on the top shelf of the book shelf and I NEVER even thought about it. It was just proven by the dust so thick you had to use a chisel to chip it off. It was only because I was packing that I even took the time to think about the existence of the figurine and where it came from in the first place, making it of less value than the cost of the bubble wrap to secure it. So instead the conversation ends like this...

"Craig is having a hard time right now, he's likes the dolphins, will you just let him take it?"

That's right, I threw my friend under the bus. Thanks for taking the bullet, Craig.

Indecisive and crazy to be proven in the next post.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


When I first moved to California it seemed like no big deal there were not any Chick-Fil-As in the area. It's not like I needed to be eating fried chicken sandwiches often. Of course after a few years in Mammoth and relocation to the LA area it was time to find at least one store as I heard murmurings of such a place in the Del Amo mall. This is right around the time I had met Carrie, a fellow Chick-Fil-A lover and misser. We decided to take a pilgrimage down to the elusive "mall" to find our treat. I don't think either of us realized Del Amo was a fancy name for in the middle of Compton and Watts. Needless to say we were a tad bit concerned but we were already there. Other than passing through the Atlanta airport this was our only sandwich in a very long time.

Flash forward a few years to Chris and I dating. He lived in Orange County and I in LA. It was no secret I am not a huge fan of the OC but when I discovered a Chick-Fil-A on the freeway between our homes I couldn't help but be happy. I endured endless amounts of ridicule from my then boyfriend. How could this be so important and good? In need of defense I began to collect other Chick lovers. Ben Perry at one point found the crumpled bag of a secret stop on my way to set one morning. He ran in the building and shoved the bag in my face and simply said, "What part of I love Chick-Fil-A did you NOT understand!?" This began to scare Chris a little as I seemed to gather a gang of Chick-Fil-A followers. Mine and Carrie's pilgrimage began to expand to a large group of obsessed despite her relocation to Florida. Couple that with the incessant commercials playing during all SEC games our trips tended to become more frequent in the fall. The mocking continued.

I finally put an end to the teasing with a simple one-two punch. One...there was a group of over a hundred people who slept out in the cold waiting for the opening of a new store in Hollywood. See, at least I am not THAT crazy. Two...I found the video of the Christian comedian who wrote an entire ode to the lovely, wonderful sandwiches and waffle fries. I have finally managed to get Chris to taste one, but he was not as impressed as he should have been. I think it was the build up, he expected too much. But thanks to my fellow Chick-Fil-A worshippers he does allow me a stop whenever we are traveling somewhere that has the tasty treat. Did I mention the diet lemonade??? Yum!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Friends, the Packing, and the Football

I have found the perfect solution to packing dullness: be unable to say "no" to any of your friends when they want to drop by. Your living room becomes a wreck/disaster filled with people you enjoy drinking beer and helping you mock your own things. It makes it much easier to part with the random deck of cards you still have despite the fact you are pretty sure it is only three quarters full. You will inevitably find photos and papers to reminise over and they will keep you going when you would have long since given up.

Now I am on a bit of a schedule. While technically I have a month to pack, I am leaving for a week to go to a friend's wedding...well, I am in the wedding, and I would like to have a garage sale a week before we move. Thereby I have decided I have to pack at least one box a day between now and when I leave. Seems simple enough. First, I find my 1994 Acer laptop...yeah, that's right, I am cool, I had a laptop in 1994. It had a whopping 64MB of memory and 32 MB of RAM...and a FLOPPY drive! Why do I still have this? I don't know. Has it made it to the trash? Not yet.

The nice things about having friends is you start to hand out things that you don't really want to get rid of but if it goes to a home not far away it doesn't seem like you are getting rid of it. Win/win. So the dolphin statue has found a home and some books...and then Michael Vick ends up taken out of the game and cheering errupts. Ben shows up with food and we drink some beer....and it becomes increasingly easier to throw away files and papers and anything that I just don't feel like packing.

As if the computer was not enough to mock, then you find multiple rolls of undeveloped film. That's right, film. While I can't imagine I ever took any photos I would be terribly embarrassed by the thought of developing questionable film...what's on it? Who's on it? When's it from? When's the last time I used a FILM camera? I must admit I am curious and terrified all in the same breath.