Having moved away from my good friends and strong social network, I frequently find myself wallowing in self pity. Poor me, no good friends that I can visit at the drop of a hat. No one to discuss books we've read over Indian food and a glass of wine. No one around that really knows me with the exception of my kids and husband. When I'm stuck in the moment of self pity, there is no saving me. I just want to pick up and move back to Cincinnati so I can spend Friday night out with my girl friends rather than then endless nights and weekends spent without socializing.
Today I got a wake up call from Craigslist. I posted an ad on Craigslist to get rid of the last of our moving boxes. What a better way to recycle than to have them reused. The first person to respond to my ad said she could be here in a about 15 minutes, she was coming from the next town over. As with all of the people that come to get the boxes, and we have had many, I always am excited to hear where they are moving to, mainly to make small talk, and mainly too because I don't have any other adults to chat with throughout the day. I remember six months ago meeting a couple that I could have seen hanging out with on the weekends. They were excited to be leaving the NYC area to start a new life teaching in North Carolina. They had had enough of the long commute, especially with a new young baby. They told me about what papers to read, what websites have great lists for what is going on in town and what to avoid. They were also very grateful to have the free boxes. I met other people along the way who were only there to pick up boxes and didn't want to even say "hi" or "thank you". They just wanted to get on with their move without having to chat to someone excited for a harm body at her doorstep.
The woman that showed up today was different than all of the rest. She came in her old two door sports car that had certainly seen better days. It was a car clearly on the end of it's final miles but had been at the height of car fashion in a prior decade or two. So when she came, the dogs immediately started going crazy over a visitor, so I yelled that I would meet her at the garage. Upon properly greeting her, I apologized for the manners of the barky beagle. She only replied, "I would love a dog someday, but I can't have one". Figuring allergies or a stuffy building that didn't allow pets, I left it at that.
"So, where are you moving to?", I said in an overly excited voice as if all moves are always exciting and happy occasions.
"Well, the boxes are going into storage with all of my stuff, but I promise to recycle them when I'm done. I will post them back on Craigslist", she quickly said to me as if I was the recycle police to the world beyond my house. She ended the conversation since she knew I was going to ask again if she didn't offer it up, "I'm moving into a shelter for awhile".
I didn't know what to say, so I just wished her the best on her move.
As we loaded her small car with the boxes. She was embarrased over her messy car and appologized, which was nothing compared to my minivan with litter constantly falling from the doors on windy days. I commented on how much space she had with the hatchback and reclining seats. She said there was a lot more room with the car seat gone. "Luckily my son was sleeping so I could leave him there". It look me awhile to realize that she most likely left her sleeping son at home alone while she went to get the boxes. Obviously she wouldn't have been able to leave him if he was awake, so she did luck out.
Hopefully her car made it back without breaking down, or before her son woke up. What more can I say, she is moving without a choice. She isn't moving to better her life, to have an adventure or to be closer to family. She was moving for the simple need of shelter.