The things they found when they were moving

Everyone always hails the purge when you move, the commendable, enviable ridding of Excess Stuff that one accumulates from living for too long in a particular place. We could all Marie Kondo our way through our domiciles on a weekly basis but sometimes you still open a door and lo! The entire Oriental Trading catalogue appears to have been deposited, in glow-in-the-dark form, where your cookie cutters should be.

I do not exaggerate that the moving out of our Tennessee rental home was a six-month liquidation of crap. I don’t know if my kids are just at that fringe age where they are still clinging to ye toys of olde whilst embracing the accoutrements of Tomorrowland but they were categorically unhelpful when it came to parting with any of their possessions. I was all, “I put this in the basement for a whole year and you never asked about it once,” and they were all, “Wait, Mom, that’s my favorite band-aid of all time!” So we sent them to my parents’ house for two weeks. Seriously. This was hard but necessary. Separate, stop, collaborate and listen. We sent them away and made 23824390234 trips to the donation bin at Goodwill and finally we only had one truckload of stuff to move into our new Boston apartment and we’re here. Yay. Somehow still unpacking boxes of stuff. Weird.

In the wake of this move, here are some interesting artifacts discovered:

UntitledExhibit A: Charlie Sunshine Lotion – The lotion itself is starting to sort of ferment but you can open the tube and catch a whiff of Summer 1999. The sense memory is fierce with this one. One sniff and I am transported to  early college years and all of the homes of my high school friends who were still working high schooly jobs for one last summer. Lifeguarding and nannying and working at the mall and whatnot. This perfume smells of being young and mostly dumb and patently irresponsible and yet I always had enough money to fill my Honda Civic’s gas tank. So basically this lotion reminds me of a time and a metabolism I will never get back.

Exhibit B: Costco Calling Card – This item is not only completely obsolete but is incredibly sentimental. This was The Calling Card that made possible the 1.5 year long-distance relationship between Loverpants and myself. Any time one of us would get paid, we’d load a hot $20 onto that ticket. For a time, Loverpants had the phone number and code memorized. It’s a hell of a thing to be able to look at a 2 x 3 sheet of plastic and think, you were indispensable. Upon you were all anecdotes about his grad school endeaCalling cardvors and my undergraduate misadventures and all the sighing and crying in between. I’ll never know how much money we logged onto that calling card, talking about everything from the ridiculous to the sublime, but kids today will never understand why one was necessary and this makes us Betty and Barney Rubbles: The Long-Distance Courtship

Exhibit C: 8th Grade Math Trophy – It may not have had my name on it (because I was part of a team! A team of mathletes!) but kids, there is now proof. Mama was once smart enough to do math and get a trophy for it. Nevermind that I was 12. Nevermind that it was on a Saturday and everyone else who could add and subtract was probably playing football or watching VH-1 Pop-Up Video. Mama got herself some heavy metal for her mad math skillz. I took a picture of it so it’d last longer, yep I sure did, Pee Wee Herman.
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Generation X mother seeks professional handler to restage her life as Digital Native

Deprived of the social media network to document her every milestone (due to its regrettable non-existence during peak milestone gathering years), Generation X mother seeks a complete restaging of her life for the last 36 years in order to achieve parity with Digital Native Children she is raising.

Willing to pay for services that include:

Backlog of photo documentation of the following feats:
– fair compare of first and last days of school for each grade level, K-12
– close-up portraits upon the loss of each tooth; before/after of all orthodontic treatments
– reveal of t-shirt sporting message “I’m a Big Sister” upon the birth of each younger sibling
Note: All photo captions should be prefaced with, “And just like that…[she was a 4th grader/she had no more baby teeth/we were a family of 5, etc.]”

Birthday Party

Leveling Up of all Birthday Parties
Whereas matching She-Ra paper plates and party hats once sufficed for “themed birthday party,” this is no longer Instagram adequate. Please coordinate all parties henceforth with the requisite photo booth, rustic signage, and mason jar centerpieces.

Reenactment of Marriage Proposal/Wedding
Proposal should be orchestrated to include some element of surprise but with ample warning for Gen X mom (wearing full make-up, couture ensemble) to look both graceful and shocked, and so as not to clash with Gen X dad (wearing lumberjack chic).
Professional photography/videography should capture event within context of larger narrative of unique love story
Note: Custom hashtag should populate all video/images

proposal

Reenactment of Each Pregnancy so as to afford time and resources for restaging of Gender Reveal (since pulling live baby out of birth canal is no longer adequate determination and is regrettably devoid of pastel-colored cupcakes); Glamorous Photoshoot that blurs lines between boudoir and senior portrait styles; Nursery photo tour on blog to showcase parental readiness for human life form that will not be able to appreciate Noah’s Ark theme for 2-4 more years.

Amber & Tyler's Gender Reveal

Preferential treatment will be given to all applicants who indicate Millennial mindset or generational affiliation.

Compensation commensurate with uptick in Instagram follows for Gen X mom.

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Girlfriend’s Guide to an Alien Invasion at Costco

The following are marks of suspected aliens that may appear trolling the aisles of Costco.* This guide is neither complete nor to be taken seriously.

  • Says to greeter, “I don’t have a membership card. I just want to spend money here– is that not enough?”
  • Does not purchase toilet paper, did not forget
  • Passes leather sectionals and/or flat screen TVs without mentioning something about a football or a bachelorette.
  • Children in cart are neither asleep nor ill-behaved
  • Overheard on cell phone, “I just wandered into this little spot where you can buy a lifetime supply of Cheez-Its. What’s that? No. Not sure what it’s called. I’ll ask.”
  • Asks for a map of sample stands
  • Appears to be trying to run in for a few things and run back out
  • Lingers beyond 4 seconds in the chilled produce room
  • Picks up copy of “Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines and says, “Who would even buy this?” with no sense of irony
  • Buys Kirkland-brand fleece hoodie for mother as birthday gift, not expecting her to figure out where it was purchased
  • Never remarks, What kind of army needs *that* much pickle relish?
  • Volunteers to the cashier, “Plastic bags are fine, unless you have paper.”
  • Derides snack bar, as though charging $1 for a cooked hot dog with unlimited condiments isn’t a roasted miracle on a soft bun in a capitalist society.


*If an alien encounter materializes, Costco members are advised to stand by at a sample kiosk and try not to gawk.

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