So you’re working and you’re mom-ing and you’re just trying to scrape by, and that’s when it happens—someone shakes your life up. And that someone is: your husband.
He comes home from work one day and says, guess what, we’ve sold the house, and your first thought is: Damn realtor, why didn’t he call me instead? Why does the husband get to know before anyone else? Your second thought is: Yay—I don’t have to clean the bathroom for potential buyers every day anymore! That is your favorite thought.
Next thing you know, your life is a swirl of newspaper and cardboard boxes and bubble wrap and searching recycle bins outside of Starbucks for oversized boxes. You score some good ones this way, ones that might even hold a small child or two. You pack and you wrap and you tape and you bubble and you order Domino’s (again) and you subsist on burnt cheese pizza and Chinese take-out.
And the kids? What kids? The television has become their new BFF, and when you call all the utility companies to suspend service, this is the last phone call you make: to the TV company. You politely ask the customer service rep on the phone if you can keep your cable going right up until the verylastsecond, and she laughs—a cheerful laugh (she’s heard it all before). And she says, “No problem,” and she seems like she is typing it in somewhere, somewhere important like the computer base, and before she gets off the phone you ask her what her name is and she says “Chantel.” Or something Chantel-like, maybe Channel or Charel, it’s a modern name, trendy, and definitely a sincere and helpful-sounding name.
So. Your life is in boxes. Your husband decides that it would save a lot of money to move everything into the storage facility yourselves. This is the moment where you are questioning your initial judgment in making a lifetime commitment to this man. But it is too late for that. Now you are wearing sweats and lifting objects three times your body weight, objects like queen-sized bed frames and antique dining-room tables. You are beginning to hate your dining-room table, and in fact, you seriously consider leaving it for the new owners or perhaps on the street corner. When your husband reminds you that dining-room tables are expensive and that you will “just have to buy a new one anyway” you attempt (weakly) to convince him that a folding card table is as good (if not better) than your old table. He sighs, and looks away.
You start searching for a temporary apartment for your family because the house you bid on has some “issues,” namely scary mold, that need to be addressed before occupancy is even an option. Plus your closing date keeps getting pushed back, and for a split second you wonder what this would have been like with your baby due dates:
Scene 1: A doctor's office, day time.
Doctor: Ma’am, I know I initially told you December 10th, but honestly, it looks like you’re going to have to carry that baby a little bit longer than we anticipated … how about we adjust that due date to, say, February 19th? Is that doable for you?
You are snapped back to reality when your husband comes across a newspaper listing you left out for rental apartments (there is a post-it note you’ve stuck on there that reads: “Pool use included!”) and he tells you the bad news: you and he and the kids and the cat are all moving in with his parents.
Just for a month. Or two. Three at the most. Promise. Just until the mold/ loan/ dining-room table thing is all cleared up, four months tops.
You struggle for two hours on Thanksgiving to get along with your in-laws, so what the heck is two months going to be like? You do the only thing you can in this tense moment of stress and denial and angst: you run right out to get some much-needed help and moral support.
You drive there quickly, your car knows the way, your tire marks are probably permanently etched into the asphalt. You pull up and get the best parking spot, the one right next to the handicapped and near the door. You enter Target, your kryptonite, your Mecca, and you try to blink back tears—but it’s no use. You are searching, seeking out your happy place, and there it is: the magazine aisle. You start grabbing shelter magazines, like a deranged victim of an undecorated desert island. First Elle Décor, then House Beautiful, next Architectural Digest, and pretty soon you’re grabbing anything, even Dwell or Better Homes and Gardens. You are balancing a large slippy stack in your left arm, and you are lamenting the fact that you didn’t get a cart.
Your mind wanders and you start fantasizing for a moment about the selection of chocolates Target has by the check-out lane. Yes, you reassure yourself, KitKat bars are usually on the top shelf next to the batteries.
You are heading toward the main check-out area, arm collapsing from the weight of the multitude of design Bibles (you will soon know how to decorate that moldy house with the fold-up poker table in the dining room, dammit), and that’s when you spot it flashing your name in neon letters, like a welcoming beacon: the wine aisle.
Since when does Target carry wine? You loved Target before, you have always been loyal and would never cheat on Target, and this has merely cemented your viewpoint: ah, yes, Target IS your kryptonite.
("Moving Or Vacationing?")