The Chaos of Rehoming

May 25th, 2021


Moving is hell.

I woke up in the fours with a presumptuous litany of stressors popcorning  into my mind. My decision-making skills have not improved in the last year, and now, it seems like higher math to figure out how to make the transition.

So when I woke up at dawn with the overly enthusiastic spring wildlife, I got out a clipboard and some scrap paper and whipped up a 12-page strategy with a to-do list to cover every day of the rest of our move timeline. Then I made muffins from scratch and lunches for everyone.

Jon woke up hours later, and rolled his eyes at my list. He then asked me if I could help him figure out how to bring a muffin to work. As in, what kind of container?

My husband and I are opposites. I am a highly functional logistics expert, with a keen handle on our household supply chain. I organize the tupperware by size and shape and know exactly which vessel will work in any situation.

Jon is chill. He puts his phone down when he is tired of holding it, and when he needs it, says, “Hey, can you call my phone?”

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In many ways, it works. He is really good at some things I cannot manage to master — like doorknobs. Every time I try to go out the back door of our 1700s-era rental, the knob falls off in my hand. He just shakes his head. 

When I met my husband, which incidentally, was 23 years ago this Sunday, I would never have envisioned us, all these years later, negotiating our third move together. 

Back then, he was a scrappy rock climber who lived out of his pickup truck. I had my own lonesome apartment in urban Washington DC and was working hard at being a grownup. But when I met the man who would much, much, much later become the father of my children, I did hope he would stick around. 

He didn’t stick around.

But he eventually circled back. And here we are. He still climbs. I still need a lot of alone time. 

When we move to a new house, he thinks about how to dismantle and transport furniture. For me, it’s first things first: Where will the plants go? The plants are critical to my sense of home. I’m convinced that without them, we won’t have enough oxygen, and the juju will be all wrong.

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In some research I was doing for work, I read the phrase “overanxious bride” and cringed. Although we are married, Jon and I did not have a wedding. I’ve never been able to picture myself orchestrating a wedding, because, while I would probably be pretty good at the vision and the planning, I would take the idea of the overanxious bride to the next level and make it not fun for everyone. Plus, I’d be so nervous at the actual event that I would most certainly black it out, and what’s the point of a big ol’ wedding if you can’t remember a minute of it?

This tendency to black out high-anxiety events is probably why I don’t vividly remember our last move, just four years ago, cross-country with toddler twins and three animals. If I could remember it, I would probably realize that this current move is not all that big a deal. But because I can’t, it is. 

Last night, in our disorienting new house, Jon asked me how I find my phone with my Apple watch. I showed him how you just press a button, and the watch pings from wherever it is hiding. “You need an Apple watch,” I said, “so you can keep track of your own damned phone.”

“Don’t they cost like $400?” he asked. “Is it really worth it just so you don’t have to help me find my phone?”

Depends who you ask.


What I’m reading:

Mom At The Bottom” on Coffee and Crumbs, by Lia Aprile

’80s kids listen up: ”Sinead O’Connor Remembers Things Differently” in the New York Times: “But the overreaction to O’Connor was not just about whether she was right or wrong; it was about the kinds of provocations we accept from women in music.”

Disappearing Earth — incredible novel so far

What I’m listening to:

A Little Bit Culty — a podcast about my old life in the yoga-for-profit world

What I’m eating:

Golden milk muesli a la Minimalist Baker. It makes a garish yellow mash that looks quite unappetizing but is strangely delicious.

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