Some people believe that talking about the past sounds melancholic, burdened, and downright sad. But how can we fully appreciate where we’ve come, without acknowledging where we have been?
I’ve moved numerous times since my husband and I separated. Whenever someone asks me how many times, I have to count again – just like when asked how many years I’ve been divorced. I have to take my hand out of my pocket and count on each finger. “I’ve moved 6, 7 times? I’ve been separated 4, 5, years?”(as if they know the answer).
I moved to a temporary corporate apartment (aka upscale dorm room) because I sold my house in LA, and then from there I moved back to NY where I sublet a friend’s boyfriend’s (now her husband) Upper West Side apartment. It was furnished with guy things: a massive wood entertainment center for Football watching, and beer glasses lined the shelves. But it was comfy; and a block from Central Park where I could take my dog off leash before 9am. From there I moved to a small place in Soho, which was finally my own. I painted the walls pink in celebration of my newfound single girl hood (and I don’t do pink). The kitchen was the size of a shelving unit, there was one tiny closet, and the walls paper thin. My pesky neighbors left weird psycho killer style notes in crayon under my door. So I upgraded to a nice apartment in NYU-ville. The rent kept going up, and alas, today I moved to what I hope will be the last stop for me for awhile. I just unpacked the last (visible) box. The rest are shoved in a closet (but at least I have closets).
When I was packing last night, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that midway through, looking at all the boxes splayed open before me, that I wasn’t momentarily gripped with an achy emptiness in my chest. Naturally I told myself, this is a good thing! Change is good – you can never go wrong with a fresh start. The apartment I was leaving held memories of my last two cub boyfriends, and I understood that moving to a new place would help me move on.
I like stability. People who saw my Facebook status wondered why I was moving again. Why couldn’t I stay put? I’d like to. Unraveling your nest, in one day no less, is unsettling and disruptive. Noone wants to move knowing that the next place will be temporary. We have to make each place our own, and hope that it sticks.
My movers were timely and diligent. The foreman was playing smooth jazz from his iPhone while he flipped my mattress up against the wall, and then turned to me and said: “Do you have a boyfriend?”
When caught off guard, I tend to be naïve (a close cousin to dumb), so not realizing what he was getting at, I said (projected): “If I had a boyfriend don’t you think he’d be here helping me?”
“I’d like to take you out tonight,” he said.
“What? Tonight?” I replied.
“Yeah. You’re an attractive women and you have pretty hair, you should wear it down more often,” he said, plastic wrapping my mattress with a squeak.
I looked away and pretended I received an important text on my Blackberry. “I can’t tonight, I have friends helping me unpack.”
I wondered if I had said no, would he mess up my move? If I had said, “sure,” would he have given me a discount? (My Jewish Mother said the same thing when I told her later).
When I texted my sisters: “My mover just asked me out,” they both replied: “Hot Israeli?”
I cracked up, and then decided to keep the humor going.
“No,” I wrote back. “Nice looking cub, but he’s black, and Mom and Dad are still having a hard time accepting a white Christian guy.”
When the last of my things were out, I walked through the place to pick up last bits of trash. Tucked in one corner, and in one of my closets, was my ex-cub’s business card, and then one of his CDs (he’s a musician). And then I found - and threw away - my other ex-boyfriend’s love notes (I did hesitate, but at least I didn’t re-read them).
So here I am. Sitting on my couch with my dog’s head in my lap, boxes on the floor and the walls in serious need of a paint job. But that’s ok. I’m in no rush.
I don’t plan on going anywhere for awhile.