Tag Archives: moving

Ready to Throw in the Towel

Every time I climb out of the shower I curse my own indecisiveness. Then I apologize to the towels.

Once, our towels were new. I got them when we moved into our home in Philadelphia, roughly the size of the Palace of Versailles. I remember thinking “Look how much money I just spent on towels! I must be a real grown up now!”

But now, those towels, much like my illusive adulthood, are ragged and worn. They are stripping off at the sides. Drying oneself off with them leaves you covered in scraps orange string. These once plush towels even jump off their hooks by themselves as if trying to end their own agony. “Just a little longer,” I urge them.

Why don’t I just go and buy new towels, you ask? The reason is this: I am not buying new towels for an old apartment. We need to buy a new apartment—not new towels. Until we can organize ourselves to tackle this momentous task, we are not entitled to new towels.

The Man of My Dreams, it seems, is having a similar moment. A few weeks ago, a nearby fancy furniture store was closing, promising slashed prices on their inventory. “Ooh, we could do with a new couch,” I thought dreamily. Our previous couch, is starting to sag in an uncomfortable and noticeable way. We’re practically sitting in the lego trays. (To be fair, we dragged it over from our neighbors’ apartment after they decided they were done with it, so it is not the couch’s fault it didn’t have the longevity of, say, our old bed. It met us late in life. But it was great for reading.)

No, insisted Mr. Fun Apartment. No new couch. No even going to look at and sit on new couches. He was very firm on this.

It seems that somewhere, somehow, we crossed a line. From this day forward, we are not investing in anything that would make our lives somehow easier or more comfortable. New towels and a new couch would make us too comfortable here on Easter Island. And if we are too comfortable, we will never leave. And leave we must, because adolescence is looming. It is looming too large to fit in the Fun Apartment.

I’ll be honest, my experience with adolescent boys is extremely limited. But from what I understand from my panel of former adolescent boys, they need truckloads of food, delivered hourly, and they need bedrooms with doors so that they can engage in–I am reliably informed–silent prayer before going to sleep.

Also, a mother of adolescent boys will need a bedroom without a great bloody window into the rest of the apartment so she can change her clothes without hiding into the closet. I know it brings light to the rest of the apartment, and doubles as a goalpost, but people, enough is enough.

After all, this was only meant to be a two year experiment. We are now seven years into that two year experiment. Soon, we might be ready to publish our results.

A preliminary look at the data: As Big said this morning. “The Fun Apartment is basically a hallway.”

Another data point: A friend of Little’s, who attended our birthday extravaganza in the crystal palace/vacant apartment across the hall, remarked, “Your apartment has that small room with all the toys.” Alas, that small room with all the toys is our apartment.

Thus far, the data also supports my promise to myself that this will be the only time I make a major life decision for a reason as flimsy as tax purposes.

Fun Apartment Floor Plan


Don’t get me wrong, we still believe in micro apartments. We still believe in living small–it’s New York City, after all. For a kindergarten teacher and an architect, there is no living large. But there is living in two bedrooms. With doors. And new towels. And, maybe a new couch. We can take all this fun with us. It will fit.



Filed under Living Small

Survival of the Funnest

You may well be wondering “Hey, did you guys survive the bedbugs? Or have you been carried off by the invading swarm?”

Well, both, in a way.

We came through it. We walked Bloodsucker valley and lived to tell. We’re still moving around the city, and we’re not scratching persistent itchy bites. We pass through the nights unmolested. Ten years from now, I might be cautiously optimistic that the process has worked. But we also seem to have been carried off, replaced by new, stronger more bad-ass people. We were made new through bedbugs. And even the Fun Apartment was made new. Even though it’s pretty much still the same.

It was 26 days living with the bags. Twenty. Six. March of 2017 is now just a charred piece of paper on the family calendar.

It was only supposed to be 24 days, but the exterminator decided–twice!–to rearrange his schedule.

And perhaps I should thank him, because it was those extra two days that did it. Those were the days that showed me that things couldn’t be the old way anymore. I knew on those two days that we were–or at least I was–going to be different people at the end of those two days. Those were the days I said all the swear words.

Happily, at the end of those two days, Mr. Fun Apartment and I were different people still married to each other, so that’s a plus. And I was a new person who just did whatever felt good. And didn’t feel bad about feeling good. I dyed a pink streak in my hair. I threw out at least a third of our stuff, but decided that we really couldn’t live without a giant squid costume.


Eyeballs the size of dinner plates!

I went to a fancy party–on a Monday night–and drank ALL the champagne! I made cereal and called it dinner–to great applause! We started watching Looney Tunes! The Mr. bought some shorts! (Well, he’s got the legs for it.)


Push the Sky Away.

I got interested in a band* and then actually went to see them play–like an actual real person does! We went camping and ate ice cream sandwiches for lunch! At this point, I fully expect the boys to come home with tattoos. I’m cool with that, as long as they are anchors with the word “Mom” over them.

So now, apparently, I’m a person who says “Yes, why the hell not?” to almost any proposition I get. But I warn you to use your power over me wisely: I’m very susceptible to suggestion. Yes! The answer is yes! Unless you’re the PTA, in which case the answer is “Umm . . . maybe next year?”

So does all this newness mean that I’m ramping up for a big blog-name-changing announcement? No. Not yet.

But we’re asking ourselves a lot of questions that begin with “When?” and “Where?” I think we’re pretty set on “Who?” I’m afraid that “How?” will just have to sort itself out later. I’m too busy saying yes to things.

So, for my mom and the realtor she’s been secretly emailing, we’re not packing up yet. But we’re opening the lens wide. We’re putting on shoes, but no pants.

Why the hell not?


*One of the in-house music critics insists on referring to the band as Nick Cave and the Bad Nuts. Hey, I’m pretty sure Nick would say “Bring it on.”




Filed under Living Small, Not cool, Mommy, The outside world

Grandma Makes Her Move

It was bound to happen sooner or later. But when I was least expecting it, when my back was turned, I was unseated as the family member with the smallest home.  Over the course of mere hours — HOURS — Grandma swooped in to claim my title. After we packed what seemed to me to an almost obscene amount of throw pillows and pretend flowers, she is now cozily ensconced in an assisted living facility.

It was not without some family drama, but Now That’s All Over. I have to say, I could use some assistance in our living. That place looked pretty good to me. After all, we are totally cool with small spaces, and I wouldn’t mind the cafeteria with full meals cooked by someone else. There’s a library with large-print books, all of which seem to be shouting at you from a great distance away. And there’s bingo. I love bingo.

The boys were also very into the exciting new home for great grandma, because it has this terrifically thrilling feature: showers with benches.  

The Shower Scene.

The Shower Scene.

When I called yesterday to check in on how she’s digging her new digs, Grandma regaled me with tales from the day’s field trip. It sounded awesome, and everyone got ice cream cones. But apparently, it takes a really long time to load the bus.

Y’know, Grandma doesn’t even need all the assistance. Nobody has to help her get dressed or change channels for her. She just needs someone to pop in a few times a day and remind her of things. Really, who among us couldn’t use that? Oh, and the food — she can’t really see so preparing a meal that isn’t ice cream can be kind of tricky. This woman is 98, people — almost 99 — and she just needs reminders and somebody to cook for her. That’s pretty great. I only hope I’m still upright when I’m 98. Maybe they will have a room right next to Grandma. . . .

Hey, the door's always open!

Hey, the door’s always open!

Until then, we’d better stay here, because something tells me that the assisted living facility might notice all four of us racing around the place in wheelchairs and throwing tantrums when somebody else yells “Bingo!”(Me, probably.)

But a girl can dream.


Filed under Living Small, The outside world