So, if you want to test your marriage, may I suggest moving 1700 miles across the country with two cats, an aquatic turtle, and two vehicles one of which is a 16’ truck towing a car?
I’m sure others have had worse moving experiences. But I need to explode here. TL;DR alert.
You may say, elise, you have so much in savings and you’re moving for mr. strange’s great new job which gave him a huge sign on bonus to be used for moving expenses! Why didn’t you ship your stuff? Last time you moved, you even shipped the turtle! Via UPS!
Well, there was some question of me taking a job requiring us (well, me) to live in a different city an hour away from his job. Movers need six weeks notice, and I wasn’t going to know in time. I decided that this would be a terrible idea and to withdraw my application. I suppose we could have arranged movers at that time and lived for a bit without furniture. Strike that, change that to “should have.”
So, here’s a thing about a 16’ truck towing a car. It tops out at 65 mph, while semis pass you. It cannot back up. At all. Ever. Under no circumstance. This means you have to be very judicious about where you pull into. And basically means the safest place to stop is a truck stop. Truck stops may or may not have edible food. Sometimes there’s a McDonald’s. Sometimes your only option for miles and miles is a nasty sandwich.
When we were packing, I said, “hey, this could be worse. It’d be more stressful with kids.” Not. So. Sure. At least you can bring kids inside various establishments. Animals have to stay in the car. It was hotter than Hades the whole way. I had to basically sprint inside bathrooms, buy my nasty sandwich, and go eat it in the car which managed to heat up to 100+ degrees in five minutes. Then we had to eat our food in our respective vehicles. Miserable.
I took my cat in my car and he took his cat in the truck. He let his cat have free run of the truck, and especially for being the Worst Kitty in the World, she was a great traveler and mostly just sat on his lap. When she wasn’t climbing the dashboard. I was too nervous to let my cat out, and she has a hard time with travel no matter what. I was really afraid she’d go under my pedals. She cried the whole time. Almost nonstop for 3 days of driving.
Then we get to the hotel room. At 3 am, because we got a late start, because cleaning the apartment and because we didn’t plan our stops in the most expedient way in retrospect. The cats flip their shit and start hissing and growling and fighting. The turtle gets out of his cardboard box and gets put into a large tupperware with water. He promptly starts trying to swim out of it. This makes a shitload of noise. Half the night, until I think to move him in the bathroom and shut the door. The cats keep growling. No. Sleep.
The next day we sleep in and oh shit, this was the 10 hour driving day! Or make that 13 with the truck! 2 am arrival at next hotel. The other source of misery for me was that I’m just not a very good driver. I’ve never had a moving accident or even rear ended anyone, but I seem to love hitting stationary objects and accidentally pissing people off. He kept wanting me to lead our little caravan because my GPS was better, but I had a hard time maintaining fucking exactly 65 mph. Something was wrong with my cruise control and it didn’t want to work. And then passing people going 60 and then speeding up to 65 again without dropping below 65 and pissing off the person I just passed. At one point two trucks blocked me in because I slowed down too much once I passed them. Apparently slow driving is beyond my skill level. I told him he needs to lead or we need to split up. I desperately wanted the latter. No, no, he’ll lead.
Then I got my wish. The fucking tire on the fucking dolly towing the car just blew out. In the middle of the highway on the last day. I damn near rear ended the whole setup! We were an hour from the nearest population center, and somehow, luckily, a mile away from where the cell service cut out. He had to wait an hour for roadside assistance and told me to just go ahead. Heeeeeey, the speed limit in this state is 75! And I can stop wherever I want! Why are there no Taco Bells?!
I felt shitty for being so relieved because he got stuck on the highway for two hours and then didn’t even stop to get dinner because he was so agitated about time, but I was damn near a nervous breakdown from the caravaning.
So we got there without killing each other. We had hired movers to unload our truck. He had called to confirm these movers. And they DID NOT SHOW UP. He called the guy, and he said “oh, my truck broke down, just got it fixed, I’ll be there in an hour.” Yeah, dude, I got a bridge to sell you. No show. When he tried calling again, no answer and voice mail not set up. Fucking fantastic.
I gave up after 3 hours of waiting for these assholes, and mercifully rapidly found a company on Craigslist that came out within an hour. I’m still kind of shocked it worked out as we were both kind of starting to freak out about this. There was no way in hell just the two of us were going to be able to get our furniture to the second floor. The guy that came out was still building his business. I’ll be sure to recommend him to anyone who needs movers!
We gave mr. strange 4 days between arrival and starting his job. Four days seems like enough to recover from a move, right? No, no, it’s not. There were some things that messed up our timeline, and I really wanted to go to Hawaii. If we hadn’t gone to Hawaii, the timeline would have been better, but fuck I’m glad we went. I kind of railroaded the whole trip as soon as he got the news about the job; I knew if I didn’t he’d have said we can’t go, too stressful, waaah. I wouldn’t change that part for the world. But next long distance move, the stuff gets shipped, I fly with my cat (she flies well), ship the turtle, and he drives with his cat. In a fucking sedan.
Now I just need to find a job. This area has 2% unemployment, and I have a surprising number of interviews lined up considering there’s only about 12 potential employers for me here. I liked the place I interviewed at yesterday, and I’m coming back for a second interview/working interview deal next week. There’s something they want to develop there that I’d be a good fit for. Fingers crossed.
We’re still only about half unpacked, but we really need to do zero unpacking this weekend. He keeps complaining that he’s exhausted. Knowing his personality though, I just know he’ll start digging into the boxes. There’s some art fair I want to go to, and we were talking about checking out a climbing gym that’s an hour away (only private climbing gym in the state!) so hopefully that’ll blow through enough time to keep him out of the boxes.
I’m oddly pleased and relieved to have real internet.