Spencer is moving.
After months of planning and prep, my boyfriend is beginning the process of relocating to the new condo he now proudly owns — and that means I’m dusting off my never-done-a-day-of-hard-labor-in-her-life hands and pitching in.
We’ve been talking about “The Move” for so long now, it’s hard to believe that we’re actually . . . you know, moving. Spencer has been diligently packing boxes and preparing his life for transit, a process I find overwhelming. I’ve never moved. At 25, I still sleep in my childhood bed in my childhood home, a place I’ve shared with my parents and sister for decades. I didn’t even leave for college, choosing to stay close to home and commute.
I don’t know what it’s like to dismantle your world and start over somewhere new — which is just what Spencer did when he moved here from New York. That sort of transition terrifies me, but it’s something he seems to embrace — not always, I mean. It is scary, too, even for someone as even-keeled and rational as my boyfriend. But Spence doesn’t let things bother him to the degree that I do . . . rather than shunning change, he tries to keep moving forward. Always.
It’s one of the things I love about him.
When I arrived on Sunday to start hauling boxes, I made sure I was in shorts and a loose top — necessary garb for the Maryland heat. Spencer was crouched over a stack of stuff when I walked in, labeling the outside of cardboard boxes with Sharpie. We jumped on in.
You know, I wouldn’t call myself a lazy person — I like to get out in the world and do things, even if that doesn’t always involve things like “exercise” — but the idea of schlepping heavy boxes between his two residences was daunting. The muscles I developed from carrying hardcovers during my bookseller days have gone soft, leaving me a sleepy shell of a woman. I’m not energetic. And on Sunday? Well, I was still recovering from a friend’s awesome bridal shower and my grandfather’s birthday party the evening before . . . not me at my sunniest.
But I perservered. Even when we arrived to Spencer’s new building to learn the elevator was broken (really, Universe?). Even after we’d scampered up and down the stairs at least a dozen times, panting more with each step. Even after I lost my grip on the new set of pots I’d gotten Spence for his birthday, which sent them smashing into the concrete floor (they were miraculously undamaged).
By the time 9 p.m. rolled around, we’d made two trips between homes and unpacked most of his kitchen items. The empty pantry shelves are now crowded with pasta and macaroni and cheese, and we’d had the foresight to grab a few cases of sodas to put in the just-turned-on fridge for later. Exhausted from the work, all we wanted was to sit and sip a little caffeine.
But we had no furniture.
It’s funny all that we take for granted . . . from having a couch on which to perch to paper towels in the kitchen. Scissors in a junk drawer. Toilet paper in the bathroom. Never before have I started a home from scratch — and never before have I loved someone who was doing just that. It feels so exciting, an adventure — a location that has no memories attached to it beyond the ones we will create; a free place to explore and convert and create from the ground up. We can paint it. We can tile it. We can hang whatever we like on it.
But even without furniture, we made the best of it — above, Spencer sprawled out on the floor to check the strength of his Wifi signal. (You know — important things first.) We used the windowsill as a “table,” propping up our lukewarm drinks. We had no television or radio. Nowhere to sit; nothing to do but unpack.
But it stilled my mind, you know? Eliminated all distractions. When the final boxes of the day were brought up from the car, we opened the windows on a starry, quiet night and collapsed on the carpet. From one of his new windows, a sliver of moon was just visible behind the trees. Though so tired, I felt . . . so happy.
And though we have several weekends of much more intensive moving ahead of us, it will only get better from here.