Moving is the worst. If you’re moving to a better home, the final result may be the best, but at some point in the packing process my entire house becomes a damn junk drawer and I start flinging 7 year old chapsticks into random boxes along with wires that haven’t connected to anything since 1995.
I’ve moved a lot in my life. My dad is a home builder so we moved often when I was a child. I guess the bug has gotten into me because I love adventure, something new, perhaps something better, so if I find it, I move without much thought. And recently, we’ve moved from downtown to a beautiful home my dad built on a lake. I’ve never been happier and my Internet speed has never been crappier.
Nearly every time I’ve moved, I’ve manipulated my parents into helping. Since I was a college student, they’ve been by my side during every move. They’ve never “enjoyed” it, per se, they’re just the two people who can’t make up an excuse to get out of it without me becoming a real spoiled pain in the ass. Besides, my dad has a truck, so by default he’s screwed.
If you’re also lucky enough to have someone volunteer to help you pack, not just move, both parties understand the helper will be ruffling through your drawers full of random crap you forgot existed. That’s why many of us with “personal items,” if we’re smart, pack those puppies early and privately ourselves. And it’s not only important that you pack it away safely, but you must make sure no one accidentally helps to unpack it either. It takes some forethought, but it saves your close friends and family visuals of you being a McNasty. Learn from me, friends.
When the movers arrived, I was woefully unprepared. My husband and I had previously packed as little as possible, mostly because of his work schedule and my super pregnant body that could barely get my belly over the boxes I needed to fill. We assumed if we woke up at 6 on moving day, we’d be packed and ready when they arrived at 10 like a couple of idiots. Most big things were ready to load, but it was the little, random stuff that was determined to destroy us, including unemptied drawers. Drawers, including, ahem, my marital drawer.
Everyone knows that bedside drawers are completely off limits to outsiders. It’s a drawer to be respected, honored and completely avoided. Only perverts and probably the one teenager you had dog sit that one time would ever dream of opening it without your knowledge. And once you have kids of a certain age, everyone knows you gotta lock that shit up because all kids go through every ounce of their parents crap when they’re not around and it’s much better for everyone involved if their efforts to find evidence against you come up fruitless.
Now, I’ll be honest. I keep a marital drawer, not a freak drawer (not like there’s anything wrong with that). If I see something and feel compelled to clutch my pearls and say, “I’m supposed to do WHAT, with THAT, and put it WHERE?” then it’s way too rich for my blood. But my husband and I do have some “personal items” that are great for our love life that would also cause me to drop dead if say, my mom found it and picked it up. But more on that later.
The movers arrived and my marital drawer had not been packed, so I stopped trying to find a box to put my non-working first generation iPod in, grabbed an old target sack, emptied the drawer into it and hid the bag under some towels in a box labeled “random crap - I don’t have time to be specific.” Satisfied, I went on with my life.
My mom arrived to help with my toddler Lucy and she judged our progress with her eyes. When I confronted her on her eye judgment, she said something like, “Hey, you’re paying the movers to not be ready, not me.” And to that, I say, touché.
Luckily, my husband agreed to let me get the hell out of there early. The stress of all the chaos, with big, sweaty movers aggressively wrapping a table in cling wrap was just too much. My mom and I left for the house to get things settled and so I could greet them and boss them around once they arrived. Eventually they did, and since I currently look and feel 14 months pregnant I asked them to unload the recliner first so I could sit in it while dictating where the furniture should go. I was holding and rocking my toddler Lucy, drowsy and up way past her nap time.
In the entry way, Rob and my mom stood by debating where a certain rug should go. Just then, a mover named Jake entered with two boxes. He stacked them near the entry way when it happened. A shockingly loud vibrating, buzzing sound started reverberating through the house. It took us all off guard. What the hell is that? I couldn’t tell if the loud buzzing was coming from outside or if something was wrong with the house. As everyone just stared at each other trying to figure out the sound, the mover took the lead and said, “Something is going off in this box here.” He pointed at a box labeled, “random crap - I don’t have time to be specific.”
Suddenly a light bulb went off above my head and my eyes grew wide. Another light bulb went off above Rob’s head and then - Jake’s head. Meanwhile my mom still looked puzzled. Rob’s face looked like someone opened up the top of his head and started filling it up with Campbell’s tomato soup. The mover made eye contact with us both, back and forth, back and forth, and then ran outside. He wasn’t about to be smothered by the suffocating awkwardness swelling in the room. Rob broke our panicked stare off and tried to make a fast break after him, but I screamed.
“Rob, stop! Don’t you dare go anywhere. Get in the box and stop that noise, now! STOP IT NOW!”
“No! I’m not doing it!” he yelled back at me. He was acting as if I was demanding he pull a dead body out of a creek.
I’m sorry, did he say, “No? I’m not doing it?” It’s his sexy time drawer too! Take some damn responsibility for your life and your choices!
Now, to set the scene, I’m rocking a baby in a recliner, looking and feeling rather large, and at times, in charge. But in this moment I’m helpless to stop what’s happening - which is - if you haven’t pieced together yet - a vibrator going off in a sealed box like thunder - in front of my mom and a sweaty mover. Meanwhile, my husband is trying to make a break for it like this isn’t also his problem. Real typical. My first instinct is to kill him, but if I’m able to lay down the sleepy baby and hoist my pregnant ass up off the chair to kill him, I might as well just use that energy to tear into the box and shut it off myself. So I just sat there and panicked instead.
That’s when it happened. My mom, still unaware what’s going off in the box, offered to help. “Honey, don’t worry - I’ll find what’s making the noise,” and she ripped the tape off the box.
“Mom, no - let Rob do it! Mom, NO!” At this time she’s already in the box, has peeled back some towels and, to my horror, sees it and GRABS IT. I’m glaring at Rob who is now laughing in the same tone you use when you want to run away and hide in a dark hole for all of eternity.
“Oh no,” she gasped. “Is that what I think it is?” She dropped the vibrator and stepped away quickly from the box.
“Damn it Rob!” I yelled, while lovingly rocking my baby. “And damn it, Mom! Everybody just calm down and stop touching things! It’s all a huge misunderstanding!” It’s the only thing I can think to say when powerless and afraid. Jake’s head popped through a window, in desperate hopes the vibrator situation had been contained.
“Alright,” my mom said, calmly. “I have to go wash my hands and my brain in Clorox, I’ll be right back.” She politely excused herself so she could have the severest case of heebie jeebies known to mankind.
“Mom! It’s not what you think it is!” I yelled out, hoping bald faced lying still worked like it didn’t work in high school.
“It’s exactly what I think it is and I’m traumatized!” she yelled from somewhere in the house.
In typical fashion, my humiliation turned itself into righteous indignation as a defense mechanism.
“Oh yeah?! Well, remember when I walked in on you and dad when I was 17? 17!! That’s too old! Children who walk in on their parents still have their innocence and don't fully understand, but I was grown! And it ruined me! I’m still traumatized, so we’re even. Even! EVEN I SAY!”
Off in the distance, I could hear her laugh.Then I laughed - sort of. I was too busy fighting off the new visuals I had conjured. Rob was still in the entryway, standing alone, awkward and vulnerable. Without speaking a word - my mother and I both agreed we would never, ever, ever speak of the time she accidentally touched my vibrator - ever again. Forever and ever. Amen.
Listen to Anna share this story with Susannah on the HaHas for HooHas Podcast! Subscribe on iTunes here or feel free to listen to the player below.