Living Alone: My Lessons after Twelve Days

I was sitting at work this morning (because where else would I be these days?) and I came up with a great idea for a blog post. After reaching for my planner, I realized I had left it at home. I could have used a sticky note. Or put it on my Evernote app. Or emailed it to myself. But I thought, “No. This is a good one. I’ll remember it.” Four hours later, I can’t remember a damn thing. Only that it was good. This doesn’t surprise me. It just pisses me off a bit. 

I’m happy to report that I was able to pack up all of my belongings, move them about 30 miles south, then unpack them. It was a hectic weekend. It took about three trips to get it all done, because I grossly underestimated my possessions. “Twenty-five boxes? I don’t have twenty-five boxes worth of things.” Turns out I have about fifty boxes worth of things, not including the large pieces of furniture. When I finally started packing, my box supply ran out fairly quickly. One trip was not going to cut it. 

Photo-bombing teddy bear FTW

Photo-Bombing Teddy Bear & Awkwardly-Placed Tree FTW

I won’t bore you with the story of moving, because it’s exactly what every story of moving is: so many boxes, so many stairs, bulky furniture and doors almost too small. My variation on this story included a half-dozen or so nasty bruises that drew the eye.

“I’m not an abuse victim,” I’d say, noticing someone’s eyes on my arms. “I just moved over the weekend.” 

Nods were accompanied with a skeptical look. “To where? A fight club headquarters?” 

Now that the bruises have faded and I’ve been in my new place for almost two weeks, I’ve learned a few things: 

Palmolive Passion fruit Plumeria smells like a cheap vodka drink that causes a nasty hangover. It’s holding me back from washing my dishes every day. It was on sale when I was picking up necessities that were adding up quick, so I just grabbed the girliest-looking bottle. Washing dishes the next day, I had flashes of a terrible hangover from freshman year: Fleishmann’s vodka, fruit punch, & pink vomit.

You don't have to be intimidated by my glamorous kitchen. I promise: I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you.

You don’t have to be intimidated by my glamorous kitchen. I promise: I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you.

Of course, I’ll continue washing my dishes with it because everything is expensive. Seriously. I took a look at window dressings. Twenty dollars for a window panel? They know you typically need two, right? That means I have to spend money on blinds (~$10), a curtain rod (~$10), two window panels ($40 apparently), and $30 on decent vodka to drink while I’m putting the damn things up. You’re looking at almost $100 per window! Even without the vodka, $60 to make my windows look like the ones on my Pinterest boards is too much. I’ll just live with the warped and dusty blinds provided by my landlord until I have a pile of money to spend on window hangings. Till then, my money will be eaten by rent, student loans, a credit card, utilities, internet, groceries, and flower pots.  

Oh you know, just hanging out with my plants.

Oh you know, just hanging out with my plants after eating half a cantaloupe.

I’ve also learned that my need for sleep is relative to a roommate’s presence. Living with Carissa last year, I often knew it was time to go to sleep when she was often on her way home from work, around 10:30. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see her or that I was avoiding her, just that I knew if I was still up when she came home, we would end up talking or watching television for an hour. If she went to sleep before me, I didn’t want to disturb her. But now? Bake a cake for my dad’s birthday? It’s only 9pm – why not? Remember while cracking an egg that my roots are dark? I’ll dye my hair while the cake bakes. After showering, I’ll organize my linen closet in a towel while the cake cools. Once it’s frosted, I can just watch five episodes of Friends. Turns out I don’t get tired till about 1am.

On that note, tube TVs are hilarious. Despite the fact I have a list of shows I love, I’m not much of a tv person, so I haven’t felt compelled to drop several hundred dollars on a flat screen. Left to my own devices, I’d rather putz or read a book than sit and watch hours of television. I’ve gotten by just watching shows on my computer or Kindle. But moving into my own place, I thought it would be weird to invite someone over to watch a movie on my laptop. I’m pretty sure that after college, that’s not really allowed. My parents gave me, among many things, an old television. It’s enough to hook up a DVD player and my Roku (though I have to switch one out for the other), so I happily accepted. (Did I mention I’m poor?) After watching a few episodes of Friends, I found that the volume spontaneously crescendos and there is a bluish spot in the upper left corner.  Oh, it also buzzes. Constantly. 

As strange as it was for the first few days, I’m starting to feel at home here. I’m still getting used to the noises of a new neighborhood and the fact that any strange bump in the night cannot be explained by a roommate. It’s probably just a rapist seeing if I lock my doors. If you don’t hear from me for a while, I doubt I’ve been killed – I’m probably just on my couch with a bunch of blankets and pillows, eating Thin Mints for dinner. 

Welcoming Couch wants you to grab a book and relax.

Welcoming Couch wants you to grab a book and just relax.

Things I’d rather do than pack

I’m moving into my own flat on Monday. And you know how I haven’t been posting much? My internal excuse is that I’m preparing to move and I need to train for my next race (June 22). In reality, I’ve been playing bluegrass with my uncle once a week and not doing anything until the weekend rolls around and I go on a social binge; Last Saturday consisted of overtime, family time, then a movie date followed by a drink with another friend that lasted till 3am. Sunday was a day spent in the park reading & watching LARPers followed by dinner and music-making around a fire with Matt till 11:30. I don’t really know what I’ve done in the evenings for the last two weeks. I haven’t been running or working excessive overtime. I’ll just say that I’ve been resting in preparation for my move this weekend.

This is my progress. I'm so close to having started packing.

This is my progress. I’m so close to having started packing.

But now that it’s come down to the wire, I don’t really want to do anything. My mother had surgery yesterday (she’s doing really well – she had surgery on her neck for degenerative discs), so I was at the hospital till about nine last night. I came home ready to drink whiskey and listen to Justin Timberlake while I packed up everything. I packed three boxes (two shelves worth of books, a few blankets, toiletry items), then took a break to see if I really did know all the words to Kanye West’s Monster (spoiler alert: I don’t).  Then I got distracted by geeking out about Arrested Development with a friend.

By the way, it’s unacceptable that the new season of Arrested Development premieres at 2:01am for me. Fuck you, Pacific Standard Time. I need to see new Buster and Lucille antics immediately. That 90-second clip was not enough.

As you can tell, I’m not what you would call “motivated to pack my shit.” I’m really excited to be in my new place, but what makes it tough is that my big pieces of furniture won’t be moved until Monday when I have my truck. The whole idea behind renting a truck was to get everything – furniture, boxes, clothes, bike, EVERYTHING – in one trip. So I mean, why spend all day putting things in boxes if it’s just going to sit here another night?

I got the keys yesterday, then I promptly took 50 selfies in the gigantic mirror.

I got the keys yesterday. I then promptly took 50 selfies in the gigantic mirror.

I would rather:

  1. Spend the morning in bed drinking coffee and browsing Pinterest
  2. Spend the morning in bed drinking coffee and reading David Sedaris
  3. Rewatch Arrested Development for the 30th time before the premiere 
  4. Bake cornbread muffins
  5. Pick flowers
  6. Listen to the new Daft Punk because it doesn’t sound like my nightmares
  7. Write this blog post that is going absolutely nowhere 
  8. Drink three more cups of coffee so I get gut-ache
  9. Rewatch the season finale of New Girl because holy shit Nick and Jess rode off together
  10. Look at all my old instagrams and think “God I look like a douchebag.”
  11. Reread my old blog posts to find all my spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes
  12. Learn Devil Went Down to Georgia to make everyone lose their shit next time I take out my violin
  13. Watch Daily Grace videos all day
  14. Day drink till I get to the point Seagrams is an acceptable whiskey to sip on the rocks
  15. Reorganize my Pinterest boards
  16. Pamper myself with a facial and mani-pedi because seriously – how am I supposed to move into a new place with pores and cuticles like this?
  17. Learn the lyrics to all of Kanye’s songs
  18. Start reading War & Peace
  19. Get irrationally pissed when Facebook shows me an ad for trendy plus-sized clothes
  20. Wait for teletransportation to be a thing
Look at those lead glass windows! Won't that be beautiful to see everyday?

Look at those lead glass windows! Won’t that be beautiful to see everyday?

I started flipping through the pictures I took yesterday in hopes that would motivate me. It didn’t really. It just made me wish even more that all of  my belongings would just poof themselves 20 miles away, into my new perfectly decorated and organized flat. 

UGH. 

Fine. 

I’ll go pack my shit.