Tomorrow is moving day. And as I sit here surrounded by boxes, using the last of my Internet before the Comcast Nazis shut it off at midnight tonight, I can't help but feel a little sad.
I'm used to moving. In the last five years I've lived at six -- yes, six -- different addresses including this one. Packing up and leaving is modus operandi for me though always a little bittersweet. But this time that sucrose savoriness lingers a bit more than usual and I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because this is where J and I started out as a married version of "us."
When we left the west coast with 16 boxes and the rings on our fingers we didn't know what would be in store over the next three years of our lives here. Would he survive law school? Would I survive law school? Would we get to take weekend jaunts over to Europe now that we lived on a closer coast and plane tickets had to be cheaper? (The answers to these questions, consecutively, are yes, yes, and no.) We still have four months left in the DC area, and I suppose this post would be better suited for when we leave for good, but we've lived at this address for two years and I think it deserves some accolades.
This apartment has been the setting for some pretty fabulous memories, including intimate fondue dinners and epic tickling wars, dinner parties, Friday movie nights (thanks, Netflix) and dancing with J to the Bee Gees after he'd get home late and exhausted from class and still make an effort to make me laugh, a testament to what a good man he is. Oh and it was also here where monumental arguments between us would take place, making Lola -- who's very sensitive to volume and tone -- cower under the dinner table in fear. (Don't worry, pup: You know as well as we do that these arguments always end in laughter over how ridiculous we're being.)
It was in this apartment where we first brought Moneypenny home after adopting her, where my sister (who stayed with us summer of 2008 for her internship) ended up sleeping on the floor of our bedroom for a month after barricading the doorway because she was terrified of cats. (Suffice to say, as obese as Moneypenny was she still cleared our tall cardboard box hurdle. Hilarity ensued.) This is where I was first introduced to the Wii (grr), the best Bordeaux I've ever tasted, and everything jurisprudence-related (whether I wanted to know it or not) as told to me by J. This is where I woke up on the morning of Obama's inauguration, when we walked from our front door down to and across the Memorial Bridge, so we could stand on the National Mall with thousands of others in freezing conditions to hear the man give his speech.
It was in this apartment where I first discovered what would become my overarching obsession: Mad Men. It was here where, when I'd finally had enough, I made a career decision that two years ago I never would have dreamed of taking. This is where I started my life over because I realized it was never too late to push the "reset" button. This is where I competed in (and won!) my first Nanowrimo. And this is where I finished my first novel:
Did I think we were going to stay here forever? Of course not. It's an Archstone for Christ's sake; the clientele is as variable as Madonna's next musical persona. And I know that everyone has sentimental, sappy memories woven within rental walls, but these are mine and they're worth noting before Comcast clips the end of an era.
Anyway, at this point in our marriage we are without a home, complete unknowns, like rolling stones -- which is all fine with me. J brought up a good point the other night: We've built our life to be completely mobile, to pack up and leave whenever we need to wherever our next destination is. I'm glad that I could happily agree.
I think I've mastered the art of never getting too comfortable in one place. You just never know when you'll have to leave. Some might find this sad or scary; others may find it exhilarating. I think of it more as the latter. Every time you move you're embarking on another adventure. Even though I'm married I'm still young, malleable and open to change, which is the way I've been for the last 27 years. I hope I stay open to forms of change for the rest of my life, because I think that's what rounds you out as a person. If I dug my heels in at every opportunity to remain status quo I wouldn't be as happy, and I'd miss out on things I never tried.
Take moving to DC. It was definitely not on my to-do list (I'd lived here before for a congressional internship and had had my fill then), but I came back because of J and though it isn't my favorite place in the world it also hasn't been altogether terrible. If I hadn't come back, for instance, I never would have realized that this is truly the land of the personalized license plate. If I didn't live here I would never get to be cut off by the pretentious Mister "MasGolf" in his navy blue BMW almost every morning on Constitution Ave. while taking J to school. Or, after getting cut off, inevitably find myself behind Mister "JoeBama" in the brand new yellow Beetle. Again, DC has not been horrible. It's just another place that's been filled with new experiences and new friends that have shaped who I am. Contrary to what J might think, I have no regrets.
(Well, okay, one teensy regret: I have yet to live in a foreign country. I mean really live, not study abroad or visit or anything like that. I hope this'll change later this year when, money and careers permitting, we take up living in Buenos Aires for August. Oh, how I want to be an ex-pat, even for short-term. *Crosses fingers.*)
Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier post, to save money our last four months here we decided to discontinue cable at our new apartment (funny social commentary that we own a 42'' plasma television but no cable). Luckily I've found a few places online that stream the shows (probably illegally) I watch but it's not my fault that laws in Malaysia and India aren't as strict as ours. We'll have Internet, but only God knows when since J just contacted Comcast today about scheduling an appointment, meaning we'll probably be connected in, oh, about three weeks.
So, until we meet again -- quite possibly sooner than later using free WiFi at a coffeeshop -- I'm off to Silver Spring, Maryland in a Uhaul truck tomorrow in the region's second-biggest snowstorm this winter. Let the good times roll.
Writer, wife, and mom to two baby girls. As of 2013 I'm no longer brunette (blond ambition!) nor on a budget. I love shoes, wine, Palm Springs, and Barry Gibb. As always, I'm still looking for my lost shaker of salt.
Email me at brunetteonabudget [at] gmail [dot] com.