Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Effect of Moving on a Marriage

Last morning at the townhouse.
"My husband is moving us into our new home as we speak,"  I told the woman at the service counter.

"On his own?!" she asked.  "How the heck is that going to work?"
"I decided I'd had enough of the packing and cleaning, the organizing and time management.  And I've been doing it for the both of us - and an increasing number of children - as we moved from East Coast USA to Arizona, from Arizona to Europe, from France to Germany and then from Europe to Australia.  I'm done.  I'm tired.  It's his turn this time."

"Uh yeah, but HOW is he going to manage it?" she insisted.

Homemade pizza in the new kitchen.

And it's true.  Damon had absolutely no idea how to start packing.  I ended up helping the night before after all, or it all would have still been sitting out, waiting to be put into boxes, to be done 'while the movers were there.'

Obviously no idea of how LONG it takes to pack.  And of how quickly two 20 olds can move heavy objects.

On the other end, he had no idea of WHERE things were once we got to our new home.

"Did you remember to put the childrens' school uniforms where we could find them tomorrow morning?" I asked.


Never mind that I had had an idea of where everything was even as we moved across oceans, continents and hemispheres.

He'd lost track of it all moving down the street.

Look Ma, pizza!

And the cleaning.  Yes, guys, here's the update.  Someone HAS been cleaning all those homes you move out of for you.  INCLUDING the oven, the fridge, the lighting, the blinds, the garage, and....yes, it DOES take longer than 1 to 2 hours.

It took Damon an extra week AFTER we'd moved out - going in when he wasn't working - to do it.

All of which meant that moving IN to the new place wasn't happening.  Good thing dark blue school uniforms hide the dirt well.


And it meant that the only person who had learned a lesson from me making him do it this time was, you guessed it, me.  I am going to suffer either way if I don't do it myself.  And he honestly didn't notice a difference between the well-though out, organized way I had always done things and the haphazard way in which he finally managed to get things done.

Unpacking the Barbies in Ryan's room.

Honestly,  back in Germany when I was explaining the difficulty of packing and organizing for an autumn in Germany, things we would need there versus things we could ship on the boat and things we needed in Australia right away and needed to take with us on the plane, the only ones who truly understood it were the Germans.  Most of who would never have bothered to attempt it. 

Lynne's husband, Thomas, just looked at it all and suggested labelling each pile with a different colour marker to make things easier.

If I'd had know him any better I would have kissed him on the mouth.  Who ever said German efficiency couldn't be sexy?!

Nutella too.

My husband has many other good points, but will never appreciate that side of me.  I've learned to do it for myself though and not for anyone else.  After lots of tears.  (Funny enough, it was Lynne who talked me down off of the hypothetical ledge - or at least away from the divorce lawyer's door - during the final hours of leaving Altdorf.)

It could be worse though, as the woman at the service counter reminded me.

"We're moving next week too." she told me.  "My husband spent four hours last night trying all the extra keys we had in our kitchen drawer on every lock he could find.  In the end, he found one key that fit the door to the storage area.  He was very pleased with himself and considered it time well spent."

Pool for summer.  Trampoline for winter.

I remember the American Army engineer who wouldn't have been able to fit the items they picked up from our home in Germany into the back of his SUV without his wife's guidance.

But also fondly recall the trio of German men, a son, a father and an uncle, who came to pick up the kitchen at our old place in Altdorf.  Also family of engineers, they brought their own tools and had the entire set efficiently dismantled and in the car within an hour.

A yard to play footie in!

Such men do exist.

Problem is I think they expect a warm meal at lunchtime.

(Photos of our home since I obviously haven't taken very many yet!)

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