So here I am again for what feels like the 100th time in four years. I am surrounded by boxes, sheets of butchers’ paper, sat crossed legged on the floor and hopelessly trying to find the sodding end of the packing tape. Yep moving, you officially suck.
This time though I am packing up to move in with a really rather amazing man so all the time spent on hold to call centres around the world trying to disconnect and then reconnect utilities is worth it. As I am working out piles of things to keep, give to St Vinnie’s and possessions to throw out my thoughts take me back to a home a few moves ago...
I was in the first year of my marriage break up from memory and I was still getting used to being alone. I found the nights I was child-free were the loneliest and gave me way too much time alone with my thoughts. So the best way to combat such evenings was to make plans with friends. One of my dear friends was also single at the time and we had arranged to meet up for dinner and drinks. As often is the case we ended up ditching the dinner bit and instead had nibbles and cocktails – eating is cheating don’t they say?! Filled with Dutch courage that tends to come with a strong vodka martini or four we made a pact. We were strong independent women, we were going to Kings Cross and we were going to visit and adult store. Yes we were - move over Samantha from SITC. Who needed a man after all, as it turns out you actually only needed a pack of triple AAA batteries.
Fresh off the Kings Cross strip, giddy from the neon lights and full of bravado - what a pair of sophisticated women we were, well that was until we entered the store and burst out laughing like tween-age girls. We were not unlike the gaggle of school girls in the Love Actually scene laughing at the naked paintings as Mark keeps emphasising “Actually they’re not funny. They’re art!”
Most of what was on the shelves in this particular shop was far from art. Each to there own in the bedroom department but good lord some of this stuff would have made Hugh Hefner blush. I would love to know what sort of white board antics are created in the research & development departments in the adult industry. What an imagination those people must have /slightly weird and kinky tendencies. It certainly enforced what a pair of vanilla birds my friend and I were if nothing else. (In this case I feel quite comfortable being beige.)
After perusing the ladies toys section for 20 minutes we had finally narrowed down our choice. What we really wanted to buy was something from the beautiful designer range, white, classic and simple. These toys could easily have double for a cordless mouse and honestly wouldn’t look out of place in the Apple Store. What we came out with looked more like a Storm Trooper in drag. Bright purple plastic, with a pearl section (that rotated apparently) and flashing lights. More Mardi Gras then Mac accessory, but as we were on a budget and had already spent a motza on martinis we didn’t have much choice.
Making any purchase intoxicated isn’t wise, making a purchase where there is no refund option is really stupid. As you can imagine this isn’t really a ‘try before you buy’ product. So in the cold light of day looking at my purchase on the kitchen table I realised my eyes so to speak were a bit too big for my belly and I certainly couldn’t eat a whole one. In short I may have misjudged the size of the matter.
‘Keith’ as I called him turned out to be a bit of a dud. And as his hobbies and interests were rather limited (he didn’t want to come for dinner, walk on the beach, watch Downton Abbey on the sofa or spoon me) our time together was short lived. Before I knew it he was languishing along side a once used orange yoga mat and a half-finished scarf I was knitting.
Again it was time to move. Packed up I was excited about the new home we were moving into. Up early and full of caffeine and in my most comfy active wear I was ready to roll. My car was filling up with plants and other delicate items as the three removalists were doing the hard yards moving all the heaving boxes.
I don’t recall the names of the lovely men that were moving me. They were all from the Middle East I do remember though. The chap in charge spoke broken English and the other two no English at all. So the morning had been spent with me do over the top smiles, head nods and putting my two thumbs up (they must have thought I was a former Wiggle). I did the other thing we tend to do when we don’t share a common language.. I just said things slowly and loudly in English!
Anyway we reached that point three hours in where you are a complete hot mess and testing your deodorant to its limits but the end is in sight and the house almost cleared. Brilliant. Full of the joys of spring (and one more coffee) I was bounding around excited about the new place I was moving to. At that moment the boss removalist came out to my car to tell me I had left a few things in my bedroom. In I bounded tiger-like to see the orange yoga mat, half knitted scarf and Keith on the floorboards where my bed once was.
In my life this would have to be a top 3 low point. Where were my ruby red slippers to click me out of the room, or Clark Kent’s alter ego to swoop in and rescue me from the most shameful of shameful moments? Oh I still cringe and go the colour of a beetroot just thinking of it. The worst part was I had no idea what they were saying to each other (but it didn’t look or sound good) and with the language barrier I couldn’t even lie and say it was a secret Santa gift from a friend. I’d like to think they mistook Keith for a Star Wars Collectors item – but I am pretty sure they didn’t. The best bit was not only did I have to deal with the immediate awkward 10 mins in the unit with them, we also had to spend another three hours with together while they unpacked me at the other end. What a day.
The moral of the story (if there is one) – always clean under your bed and try where possible to save up for the incognito Apple variety and not the Star Wars Mardi Gras edition.