As I write, Diane and I are at a foldable table in the dining area of our new, and still empty, apartment in North Carolina. She’s sitting in a $20 chair we picked up at Wal-Mart. I’m in an armless chair lent to us by the apartment complex’s overseers. Our belongings, meanwhile, are stuck on a trailer somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.
We wanted a delivery date of the 27th or 28th. Our plan was to spend Christmas with family, then drive down on the 26th or 27th, spend a night in a hotel, and unpack over the long holiday weekend. When we met with the moving company’s rep in early December, however, he said no. He insisted that delivery be on December 24th. “That way my people can be home for Christmas,” he explained.
We ultimately agreed to his timetable.
He reinforced the 24th when he checked in with Diane later in the month. She said to him, in the presence of a friend, that the most important thing was the Monday delivery; he agreed, and promised that our stuff would be here. The contract that he then sent over, and that Diane signed, gave a window of the 24th to 31st, but his insistence on the 24th…well, we take people at their word. If I’d seen that stretch of days on the contract, I would’ve assumed it was a CYA move to cover for a snowstorm.
And, in fact, his people were indeed home for Christmas. We, on the other hand, footed an over-priced bill for a buffet-style dinner at a restaurant, returned to an empty apartment, and raged against the rep, who avoided our calls and only apologized, via email, for what he dubbed “a miscommunication.” Diane even emailed the company president, who replied to say that he talked to the rep, and we should expect to hear from him soon. Two days later and…
Yeah, you guessed it. He’s a punk. Our stuff won’t be here until the 30th.
That’s all to say: It’s been a bad week. A bad month. A bad year. Yet, as always, hope is to be had. The development we’ve landed in seems great, thus far. Good restaurants are nearby, as are a nice (if overpriced) market, and even a coffee shop, which I stopped in this morning. We’ve had to purchase a few things we shipped to ourselves, obviously, but we’ve also bought items we would’ve needed to get, anyway. Tyler the Cat is doing exceptionally well; the wide open spaces within the apartment are, to him, reasons to frolic. And, after a test run, my commute to work seems less onerous – if more convoluted – than my old one. (I’ll know for sure next week, when I head into the office for real.)
And, with that, here’s today’s Top 5: Hope, Luck & Perseverance…
1) Wings – “With a Little Luck.”
2) Rumer – “Here Comes the Sun.”
3) Stephen Stills – “Thoroughfare Gap.”
4) Linda Ronstadt with James Taylor – “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine.”
5) Stone Foundation with Paul Weller – “Your Balloon Is Rising.”
And two bonus tracks…
6) Harriet – “You Get What You Give.”
7) Bruce Springsteen – “The Promised Land.”
This is nearly the worst possible ending to a very trying year, my friend. I feel for you. 2019 just has to be better.
For what it’s worth, this is my worst (and so far only) relocation horror story:
When my Dad was transferred from Illinois to Arizona in 1981, the on-base housing we were promised was somehow unavailable when we rolled into town so we spent our first 30 days and nights living at a rundown campground behind a busy truck stop just off I-10 nearly a mile outside of city limits.
I slept on bunkbed cot below my sister while our parents slept on an air mattress beside us in a very small tent. Fortunately, it was late Summer and temps were warm at night but it was no joy. I spent most nights after dinner and homework, lying on the bench or even up on the picnic table itself with my Walkman-knockoff playing the only three tapes I had: Journey’s Escape, Hall & Oates’ Private Eyes, and Moody Blues’ Long Distance Voyager while staring up at the stars, wishing and praying for something better.
They alone were the highlights of my month-long internment at the age of 15. More than twice in the 37 years since then I’ve driven by that patch of desert and, in the shroud of darkness, pissed on the wall in remembrance.
While obviously not of the same cloth as the selections you featured, Howard Jones “Things Can Only Get Better” (too obvious, I know) and Marley’s “Three Little Birds” (“every little thing gonna be alright” is a soothing balm) are playing in my head after reading your post.
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