Moving in Stages

Compliments of Guest
Blogger, Kevin Standifer

manpacking

I moved to Chicago from Austin, TX just over ten years ago. Now after ten years of learning how to moisturize, shopping for the right humidifier, buying the wrong winter coat and then buying the right one, and never ever finding a pair of gloves that actually warmed my hands, I’ve decided to migrate back to the warmer climes from which I came. Moving is never easy, but this time is probably the worst:

1. I’m not just moving myself, but also my partner and temperamental cat, Minou;

2. The partner had to find a job in our future home in Austin;

3. Our lease here in Chicago isn’t up for another six months, winter is beginning, and it’s the worst time to try to find tenants for an apartment.

We’ve found ourselves moving in stages. The original plan was to move in spring, close to when the lease is up. My partner, afraid that he would have trouble finding work, began looking in September. Two weeks later, he had found a job and needed to move in early October. This began what I’m calling The Stages of Moving.

Stage 1: Denial and Light Arguing

Since we can’t break our lease and cannot afford two, I quickly realize this means I’ll be staying in Chicago until someone takes over it. Meanwhile, the partner gets to move, take the car, explore a new city, get a fabulous new job, and generally have a lovely time (a friend is generously putting him up for the interim). I spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to think of ways to not have to sit around in Chicago by myself. No dice. I pick on him for no reason.

Stage 2: Panic

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Unhappy Minou escaping the mayhem.

I force the partner to help me pack everything in our house before he leaves. We do so in about two weeks, with the exception of the stuff I will need in the coming months. The cat gets angry as furniture and boxes are shuffled around the house. Our living space looks odd and echoes now. Our landlord helps us look for new tenants and issues dire warnings that we won’t find anyone until spring. We cavalierly ignore him.

Stage 3: Candy Store

Partner leaves, which is sad but we firmly believe I’ll be joining him in six months. For two weeks I enjoy my newfound bachelordom, watching movies and playing video games to my heart’s content. I make a point to go to restaurants I’ve never been to, and go to museums I never got around to. Life isn’t so bad. I’ll be in Austin soon! …right?

Stage 4: Okay, Ready to Move Now

The initial fun of being solo wears off. I postpone coming home from work because I don’t like being confronted with the empty house. No one to speak of comes to look at the place. No longer optimistic about moving before 2014.

Stage 5: Panic, Part Two

I realize that even though “everything” is packed, there will be a whole second phase of packing that will take just as long when it comes time to actually move. Clothes. Pots and Pans. The TV and all attached gadgets. Bedding, computers, things in the closets, cleaning supplies, tools, bathroom stuff. I have actual panic attacks. I see things to do everywhere but cannot act on it.

Stage 6: Bitterness

After two months, I realize I’m probably stuck here until winter is over. We’ve bumped back the rental date for prospective new tenants twice. I’m also constantly thinking about all the things I need to do once we do have a renter. Book a flight to move the cat, arrange for my dad to come help us move, cancel utilities, find an actual place to live in Austin, plan a going away party, the list goes on and on. Again, I can’t act until we know.

Stage 7: The Actual Move

I envision this as a joyous flurry of activity, ending in a joyous move to a perfect living space in Austin, full of warmth and sunlight. It will be so glorious, it could only be celebrated properly with a song and dance number. The reality will probably fall slightly short of this, and my furniture will probably get damaged.

So now I wait, and wait, and literally count the days. As much as I’ve loved living here the last ten years, spring cannot come soon enough.

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Kevin Standifer knows a really great two bed, two bath place in Andersonville you could rent. Interested? Contact him at kev1981@gmail.com.

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