Friday, September 27, 2013

The Way We Live Now... squalor.  You might as well slap a skirt on my head and call me Edie.

Yup, the stuff's here.  I would have thought that after nine moves, most of them international, in a dozen years or so, I would have seen most of the possible variations in the inevitable Fresh Hell that is every step of the process. Ah, but life is life, and it turns out I would have been wrong.

What's the lesson, you therefore ask, that this memorable day taught me?

Simple, and unlikely to be replicated:  never, ever arrange to have your stuff delivered on the day that your building, with no notice or warning whatsoever, switches management companies.  To say it was chaos only in the vaguest ways sketches a day that started with discovering a stranger sitting at the front desk instead of the lovely lady who actually knows how to work the freight elevator and very nearly ended with a fistfight when it turns out that the new management company had apparently been in touch with some tenants, all of whom believed they had exclusive use of said freight elevator.

After much to-do, however, the very patient moving crew managed to cram our capacious houseful of stuff into our tiny digs, and now we're moving about in narrow Collyeresque aisles, waiting until blessed Monday morning, when another moving crew will come back and take a great deal of it away until the next move comes along and knocks us upside the head.

In the meantime we'll be sorting through things, trying, for example, to fit at least six shelves of royal biographies onto two shelves (and let's not even talk about the movie-star memoirs), trying to figure out what to do with eighteen saucepans (each of which is indispensable to at least one of Mr. Muscato's trademark recipes), and ringing desperately around to find a nice man who can come over and hang up our television and some fraction of the framed things that, were we to shoot for hanging all of them, might easily stretch from floor to ceiling on every vacant wall.

In one way, it's a relief: we're into the home stretch on this move.  In another, it feels as if really at last the expat chapter of our lives is closing, and now we have to figure out how we're going to live in circumstances that feel, if not straitened, then at least very, very different.  Also why we're going to have service for 24 (or more) when we only have four dining-room chairs, but that's another story...


  1. “The room was not impressively large, even by Manhattan apartment-house standards, but its accumulated furnishings might have lent a snug appearance to a banquet hall in Valhalla.”
    ― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey


  2. Well, at least you feel as if you are in the home stretch. We are at the point where we have have things that do not fit anywhere in the house. Come spring we are having a yard sale. We have to.

  3. why not just sit down & cook some corn.

  4. Did you hear about the recent episode oF RuPaul's Drag Race where the "Contestants" had to impersonate celebrities and one of them trotted out Little Edie? The majority of the other bitches had never even heard of her. One doesn't know whether to feel pity or disgust.

    1. Doesn't surprise me a bit; my own feelings on the sorry state of the art of travestie are well known.

      As for the Bealeses, while they went through an odd flareup of popularity over the past few years, they do rather remain caviar to the general...