Moving sucks. Don’t get me wrong – I am happy to be starting a new job and relocating to Midwestern Funky Town. It’s not about the place or the idea of establishing a life somewhere else. All of that is actually very exciting. No, I mean the actual labor and logistics of getting one’s shit from door A to door B. If I were moving down the block, I would still come to the same conclusion: Moving Sucks.
When I was in graduate school, I stayed in a crumbling apartment for four years just because I hated moving so much. Sure the building’s plumbing was so bad that the upstairs neighbor’s bathtub periodically emptied into my bedroom closet. Hey, it was better than moving!
Yes, I was willing to trade somebody else’s scuzzy wash-water rather than pack all my belongings and relocate. If I stayed much longer, I was going to ask her to start showering with Tide detergent so at least my clothes would end up spring fresh. Clearly it takes a lot for me to move. Usually only the offer of a better job prompts me to move.
Nobody enjoys moving, I recognize. Some people, though, seem to find it more of a nuisance than the trauma I imagine it as. One of my sisters moved every year, sometimes twice a year, for almost a decade. She changed apartments more often than I changed the oil in my car. If that had been me, I surely would have left my sanity behind by the third move. You would have seen me wandering down the street mumbling to myself and popping a roll of bubble wrap.
Maybe part of my hesitancy about moving can be found in astrology. As we know, I was born under the super, sacred sign of Cancer the Crab. Real crabs hate moving so much that they carry their house with them on their back. Wherever a crab goes on the beach, they are always in their own little studio apartment. It’s only when they are being served up with butter and some cheesy rolls that you see a crab separated from his home. Now there’s a creature that hates moving.
Something about moving must be against our basic natures. The uncertainness about having basic shelter is really stressful. Once I am all moved into a new place, I know that I will feel just fine. In the meantime, there is an irrational fear of not being able to find any place to rent and ending up roaming the streets. Should this be the case, please remember to come and shoo away the pigeons from GayProf as he sleeps.
Keep in mind, I am still two months from actually departing Boston. If I am already whining, you know that you are in store for many, many blog posts filled with complaining. This isn’t even really a post about my moving. It’s really a post about the expectation of the stress of moving. To be fair, though, the last time that I moved I ended up speeding down the highway with a pile of cat shit in my lap. After that, I had to use my little stick arms to singlehandedly lug my crap up to the third floor of my apartment house. I might have reasons to loathe recreating that scenario.
This time things should be a bit easier. For one, my new institution will actually reimburse moving expenses. This is a big change from Texas. The legislature of that state imagines that state employees should be so grateful that they can move to Texas that they are required to pay their own moving expenses. I am surprised they don’t tax us when we cross the Oklahoma border.
Maybe it's just that a few minor events from this past week have left me feeling a little edgy about the move. First, because of a bureaucratic snafu, my new university won’t be able to give me my first paycheck until a month later than they originally promised. That was not good news to credit-challenged GayProf.
It turns out, also, that finding movers is a tricky business. I’ve learned something about moving companies. They hire some of the sweetest, most chatty people to answer their phones. That friendliness, however, has nothing to do with actual moving abilities.
I phoned up one company where the operator couldn’t have been nicer. Talking with her felt like making a new friend. She was filled with questions. Indeed, I don’t think my own mother expressed as much enthusiasm for my new job. If she could have, this operator would have telephonically poured me a cup of tea. She told me to tell you all hello, by the way.
All I really needed from her, though, was to send some people out to my apartment and give an estimate (I am no fool: I am shopping around for movers). I waited dutifully for three hours for them to show up.
Eventually I called my new friend back to find out if I should keep waiting or maybe start a novena for their deliverance. Though midday, only an answering machine picked up the phone. Several days later, she did phone back to say that their computer had broken down that day (which I guess must control all of the phones as well...?). She was more than happy to reschedule.
Um, yeah, no. If they can’t even figure out how to make it to my place for an estimate, what’s going to happen when they have all my worldly possessions? If a glitch in Outlook shuts down their whole operation, I think that I will pass on their services. Sometimes it just seems like it would be easier to tuck my cat under my arm, douse everything with kerosene, and toss a match over my shoulder as I walk away.
Alas, I am much too sentimental for all of that. How could I possibly leave behind my copy of The Odyssey which I have been lugging around for the past ten years? True, I haven’t read the The Odyssey in over fifteen years (if not longer), but the mood might strike me at any moment.
Whatever the case, I will think more about the whole moving thing on Monday. In the meantime, I hope to meet some members of the gay-blogging aristocracy this weekend.