Friday, June 15, 2012

Moving, Divorce, and Other Things That Take Two Hours

Mr. V asked me if I wanted to get ice cream for my birthday, but I said no because if there's one thing I hate more than your average theater-goer, it's people eating ice cream. If it is possible for an adult human to lick an ice cream cone without coming off as smug, I've never seen it. I take pride in the fact that I'm not superstitious, but I'm neurotic enough about ridiculous things to make up for it. When Mr. V eats bananas or crunchy food, I leave the room. If you think this is harsh, I ask you why do you want our marriage to fail? Heartless, really.

Here's a funny thing. When it shook down that we were going to be moving to a place fifteen-hundred miles away, I thought: maybe this will be the one time in our life when we'll get movers. You know, since OB is footing the bill. I didn't assume ,since my mother taught me that assumptions make the apocalypse occur. Well, Noah got the details of the offer and since no mention of movers was made, I forgot about it. No big deal. A week went by and I heard from a friend that the two other families who are moving with us are, in fact, expecting movers any day now. Immediately I texted this intel to Mr. V, but he didn't reply. He was righteously angry like I was, OR SO I ASSUMED. When I got home, I mentioned it again. "Harold and Donna are getting movers," I said pointedly. Mr. V's smile was sheepish bordering on panic. "I know," he said. "They offered to get us movers but I turned it down."

I brewed coffee. We're pretentious about our coffee so it took fifteen minutes. I poured a mug, stirred in cream, took a sip, and then spit it dramatically into the sink. "Very funny," I said after spectacular spray. (Mr.V was still there, he'd known what was coming)."When will the movers come?"

"Hahaha!" Mr V said stiffly. He didn't laugh, he actually spoke it. Ha ha ha. It's what he always does when he doesn't think I'm funny. I keep telling him this courtesy laugh is going to destroy our marriage. He just smiles and eats a banana."But seriously. We don't need movers. It takes two hours to move."

I drank coffee and spit it out again. Mr. V and I have moved so many times I have lost count. "We need to get you to the hospital," I said. "Clearly you are in shock. Otherwise you'd know good and well it takes two damn days to move. Not two damn hours."

"We can do it ourselves!" he said. "It's stupid to have movers when we can do it ourselves! It's a waste of money--"

"But Harold and Donna--and their kid gloves--"

"We're a profit-sharing company now, Brittany," said Mr. V, going all Pete Campbell on me. (Oh, he's gonna love that one.) "The cost of movers comes out of that. If I hire movers now, we'll all get a smaller bonus in March."

I tried to spit my coffee again, but honestly. His pragmatism just sucked all the heart right out of me. The one time in my life I could have had movers, I swear to god. Next time someone offers you  movers you damn well take them, I said, like Scarlet O'Hara with no makeup on. Turning down movers isn't a thing I can abide. I just hope someone at OB realizes that Mr.V is forgoing the assistance of brawny college guys on a cross-country move to save them money, I really do.

Later that day we got word our landlord needed to show the house again. Our lease is up in two weeks, they insist we leave, and they still haven't found a new tenant. Every other time, I've scrambled around cleaning the house, but now I cried giddily to Mr. V that I didn't give a damn anymore! The landlord insists on showing our house, let it be messy. "He's gotta understand," I said, doing a not bad Pete Campbell myself, "that not helping out a young family is bad karma."

"Damn straight!" said Mr. V, and dropped the spaghetti-sauce pot he was holding on to the floor with a dramatic flair I quite admired. The next morning I remembered I had my own karma to worry about and spent my birthday morning scrambling around the house hiding the underwear and tampons Mr. V and I had tossed out of our drawers in our "hell with 'em!" glee. When we returned to our house after the showing, I went into my bedroom and saw said tampons sitting in full view atop my dresser drawer. At least it wasn't the item I was once forced to tell Indy was a "pink cucumber that mommy's friends gave her for a big fat joke, I mean a regular joke, isn't it silly?"**

One of the best things that happened on my birthday was M from The M Half calling me "inimitable" on twitter. That is my second favorite thing I've ever been called, right behind "feminazi" in high school, which is damn near impossible to beat. (I can say this now after hundreds of dollars spent on self-help books.) In a flush of joy, I turned to Mr. V. We were sitting in the Mayan theater waiting for Moonrise Kingdom to start, drinking beer and wine, hipsters all around us crunching popcorn loudly. Apparently that is the hipster thing to do now, along with slurping soda for hours (it's gone, you bastards, or it wouldn't slurp) and honestly hipsters, I think we could do better. "I'm like Joss Whedon before The Avengers*," I told him, wine-flushed and happy. "My audience isn't big, but it's the best."

"What nonsense are you referring to this time?" he asked me. M called me inimitable, I told him, and Mr. V said, "What's that mean? Annoying?"

I laughed very hard and told him he loved me. Afterwards we drank mojitos and ate arepas and salmon rolls that were only so-so, but it didn't matter this time. This is how our marriage works. We reveled in that flush of each other, smug like bastards eating ice cream. It's true.

Mr. V's sister Lucy, Ayla--I thought it was Indy, too--(with a peanut can), Mr. V's sister Sophie, Mr. V's sister Mercy, me, and Suzy, the wife of Mr. V's brother at OB. Whew. I'm sharing this picture
here because of reasons.

*It's true that I swing wildly between sickening grandiosity and extreme self-loathing, but Mr. V wouldn't have me any other way. Or so I allow myself to believe.

**Still, neither of these moments count as the most awkward thing I have endured. That title goes to the time a satellite dish installer asked to use my bathroom, abandoned it twenty minutes later in an unfragrant state, and when I went back in I saw I'd left a pair of underwear on the floor. I'm pretty much shame-proof now.


  1. Holy crap, I don't even know where to start with this one! How about I just point out the obvious, which is the line "it's gone, you bastards, or it wouldn't slurp." is now my all-time favorite saying EVER!!! I can't wait to use it! Let me just say I loved this whole freaking post; it was like a roller coaster of fun! Does that make sense? You somehow got me all giddy and wound up with this one; usually your zen-like words calm and center me. This one has me bouncy. I'm gonna read it again and do more giggling at the hipsters crunching popcorn, Mr. V saying "What nonsense are you referring to this time?", and the satellite guy defiling your bathroom. Oh, and I do feel your pain: coulda had movers, but now you're not? That one will sting for a while.

  2. You are absolutely a pre-Avengers Joss Whedon. Well done.
    I am so with you on the movers and the popcorn and just everything.
    My husband doesn't hire movers, he doesn't believe in even asking people to help us move. I finally put my foot down when I was 7 months pregnant. "No, I will not be lifting the couch down the stairs in the snow. Make some phone calls. I will feed them pizza." We have moved 19 times in almost 14 years. It's always the same.
    Why, oh why? With the popcorn, hipsters? Really? I have PTSD about popcorn, really. Long story.
    Wishing you the best of everything with this move.

  3. your blog is absolutely, hands down, the most fascinating and well written blog I follow! I'm always surprised and entertained. Thanks

  4. I have this excellent mental video of your husband dropping a spaghetti pot with flair. He sounds marvelous, and I hope to one day have one that would do similar. Let me know if you need packing help. Seriously. I suck at moving, but extra hands always makes stuff suck less.

  5. He just smiles and eats a banana? Like Scarlet O'Hara without makeup? My gosh, I am so glad M Half sent me your way. LOL Except that she *might* be a smug hipster bastard, in her own way. xo

  6. Moving sucks bananas like slurping soda through a straw AFTER it's gone you bastards.

    Noah, I mean Mr. V, remember that you are spending the equivalent of your bonus on moving yourself, so really it's a wash. Yes, profit sharing and being fair to the others, yadda whatever. Sounds pretentious and hipster to me. Hire the damn movers. You can trust me on this. We just moved ten-hundred miles away BY OURSELVES and it cost as much as our bonus, and there are still boxes that haven't unpacked themselves. Maybe OB's (the brewery, not the tampons) smug pretentious hipsters get bigger bonuses. In which case I'm transferring to OB (the brewery, not the tampons) in NC. BUT I'M USING THE MOVERS! Stick that in your popcorn and pop it.

    Honored to hear inimitable is high on your list of favorites and am hoping it doesn't require the hundreds of therapy sessions feminazi did. But, nothing really worth it comes easy, right? I can recommend a therapist in Broomfield.

    As for your tampons, I say this: Diva Cup (Marie, stop laughing). Someone might still find it, but at least they won't know what the heck it is.

    I'm going to pick up my underwear off the floor.

  7. Get a mover damit! Moving yourself takes time and labor of your own and that is precious commodity. Not to mention it's a pain in the butt.
    How you gonna save the company money when you go on workman's comp from a bad back, or a broken ankle, from pickin up the boxes of books your wife can't get rid of.. OOOOH! (Can you hear me Now?) End of Rant! whatever.... Yes there is much that is inimitable about you and as you journey south check out Thomas Wolfe, the writer of Asheville, NC and an expatriate to NYC, "You Can't Go Home Again." is a beautiful book. Also I think I hear some Dorothy Parker in you, check her out. Hey judging from the comments the verdict is in! Hire movers! But it's probably too late the price discount gone as the others have already moved. OK , I'm leaving now,,, I'm going to think of something else,,, like you being inimitable....Dad

  8. Marie, hearing such a lady as yourself say 'smug hip bastard' made my day.

    Margi, please. You are hilarious. I'm tongue-in-cheek myself sometimes, you might have noticed. Diva cup. DIVA CUP. Is that what they hand out when Beyonce beats Lady G? Oh snap.

  9. Dad, I want to like Wolfe, I really do. Charlotte Simmons was ok. Look Homeward, Angel? Pretty title. Maybe I'll give him another try. Parker you say, and tell me where you land: O'Connor or Welty?

  10. Hilarious post! Dumb hipsters.

    Oh my! Your husband sounds like mine. I remember when all of our friends got movers when we left the seminary. Their new churches paid, of course. Ours offered to as well, but my husband said, No." I have to say he is fabulous at packing a moving van, so I'll volunteer him to help you move. Seriously. He'll do it too. He loves that kind of thing. :)

  11. Britt, It is easy to get confused, but Thomas Wolfe was a different animal than the smug gonzo social novelist Tom Wolfe. Thomas Wolfe (b.1930, d. 1938) was regarded as one of the best writers of the early 20th Century. He is elegaic and poetic in his prose. Tom Wolfe(b. 1931 -)is pretty close to a hack compared to the deceased Thomas Wolfe.

  12. Excuse me Thomas Wolfe was born in 1900, not 1930. And the spelling is elegiac. Dad

  13. Good luck with the move...I think it is one of those things I hate as much as you hate ice cream! just the thought of boxes makes me want to cry!

  14. That is some really thorough description of your entire life in short. I could relate to some of the incidences, especially the one about moving out. All the organizing and packing of the storage boxes, then having to unload them all back afterwards, really kills me. I have to agree that movers would definitely come in handy in times like those.

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