Look, I know no one wants to hear my sob story about mountains of boxes, cats afraid to use the litterbox, and weeping tears of frustration because the passway between the bed and the dresser is too narrow (WHAT? I HAVE A BIG BUTT). So, I will instead sum up my week of moving experience thusly:
I now know why, when people move, they ALWAYS, ALWAYS, move to a BIGGER place. We, because we apparently have very small brains, have moved to a SMALLER place, and are attempting to shoehorn all our shit into two tiny bedrooms, and well. If it weren’t for J’s unending font of patience, we’d be divorced before we’d even gotten married, because I am an asshole when things aren’t JUST SO.
Instead I will tell you how we became members of Long Beach’s lesbian cruiser bike gang, a mere 48 hours after moving into this dollhouse.
I did not know this, but apparently small houses on the back half of a property are fairly common in this part of California, and thus there is a young lesbian who lives in the little studio behind our house. Her girlfriend is the type, who, in a different time, would have shown up at your doorstep within hours of your arrival to the neighborhood with a home-baked casserole and an invitation to the neighborhood barbeque. In THIS time, she invited us to join her and her friends as they pub crawled along Broadway, from one end to the other on beach cruisers. Given that our bikes were more or less the only items easily accessible, and unpacking our boxes was about as appealing as sticking toothpicks in our eyes, we accepted with wild-eyed enthusiasm, and it’s a testament to her kindness that she didn’t immediately retract the invitation.
Normally, this sort of invitation would throw me into a tizzy, what with the what to wear and how will I look, and will they like me, and do I smell, etc. However, at the time, I still hadn’t located my shampoo, and the only thing I could realistically wear to bike in was the same fucking pair of yoga pants I’ve been wearing for TWO WEEKS, so I piled my hair into a messy bun, yanked on those yoga pants, and hoped no one would notice the fine layer of cat hair.
TANGENT: when I moved to Seattle, I thought people were smoking crack when they told me people were polite but unfriendly, and that it was nigh on impossible to make friends in Seattle. Coming from the frozen tundra of Boston, where getting the grocery clerk to crack a smile is a champagne-worthy accomplishment, Seattle seemed like a trip to Cheers, where everyone really DID want to be my friend.
Ok, but I see, where if you’re a transplant from California, Seattle might appear to be where all those people with lumps of coal for hearts end up. Here, everyone has been unfailingly sunny, welcoming, eager to discuss the merits of various sparkling wines available at Costco, and otherwise completely charming.
No one appeared put out by my hair layer, and while I pride myself on being good with names, I met so many people that I wasn’t sure of my own name anymore, by the end of the day. I suppose I had envisioned a sedate group of girls calmly riding bikes, but instead there were at least 20 of us, cruising down the sidewalks, in the streets, and generally usurping every available bike rack, light pole, or railing in order to chain up. Cars honked at us in friendly ways, people leaned out of balconies to wish us a happy Fourth, and the sun shone gloriously on our heads.
We stopped at this bar and that bar, drinking and talking until some unknown signal passed through the crowd that it was time to head to the next bar, and we’d all stream out to our bikes to ride three more blocks to the next watering hole. J and I were the oldest by far, but for a moment, I felt 20-something too. No mortgages, no bills, no worries other than where the next beer might come from.
We biked home as the sunset (I COULDN’T HAVE PLANNED IT THAT WAY IF I TRIED), and I thought to myself, grinning ear to ear, I’m going to be alright.