Moving: Need a Man

Yesterday, at 6am, I drove to the local Uhaul lot, left my car, and drove off with a pickup truck pulling a UBox—Uhaul’s response to the POD. It was a lot of fun barreling down the avenue in a monstrous Tundra, the trailer swinging along behind me. The fun ended about 15 minutes after I started trying to back the trailer into a parking spot.

Don’t you dare laugh. The entire parking lot was barely wider than the ensemble that I was driving. I don’t think any male could have done better.

I eventually gave up, and decided to unhook the trailer and drag it into the parking spot instead. The guy in the UHaul lot had dragged the trailer. He made it look easy.

GRUNT.

Not happening.

But why was I insisting on doing this the hard way? Let’s face it: the easiest way to change a flat is with a tube of lipstick and a touch of mascara. I flagged down a passing knight and asked him to rescue me. He obliged, with some far more effective grunts. Okay, in this case a male definitely did better.

After that it was pretty straightforward for a while, thanks to my (friend’s) trusty Magna Cart—yes, it’s really called that, isn’t it awesome? I love using the name.

Stacking boxes inside a shipping container is a lot of playing Tetris in 3D, but with a few extra variables like weight and shifting potential. I don’t know why nobody’s made an iPad game of it yet.

I felt perfectly adequate for a humming hour or so…until I needed my car to get to work. The truck was cute and fun to drive, but the UHaul advert splashed on the side took away some of the style. Also, I was paying by the mile.  So I unhooked the truck and took it back to the UHaul lot to get my car, and after work, reversed the process. Then, when I realized that I’d left the mattress cover in the car, I went and did it all over again. I thought wistfully of how nice it would have been to get dropped off at the lot at the very start and eliminate all of this shuttling.

I went back to playing 3D Tetris for a while, but was soon struck with another difficulty: the couch. Even my trusty Magna Cart (yes, I will seize every opportunity to say “Magna Cart”) couldn’t handle the couch. I needed help. Luckily, I had cultivated a few friends during my time here in Downtown OOT—always a good strategy if you ever anticipate moving a couch one day.

Friends are also handy for when you need to hitch a truck up to a full trailer. This is a very precise maneuver that requires a second person standing behind your truck making inexplicable hand gestures and calling out things like “Stop—no, a little more—stop!—a drop more fenceward—no, a bigger drop—ooh, you missed.” And so on.

It was around 1am, when I was eating melted cheese and surveying all the boxes that somehow still needed loading—where did it all come from?!—that I took out my Rugged Individualist membership card and threw it over the fence.

“You know, I could really use your help right now!” I shouted at my future spouse, who happened to not be present at the time. Convenient of him, isn’t it? Hiding out until all the work is done.

This experience has convinced me that a unit of two is much more effective at tackling life than an individual, even  when the individual is supported by friends. For sheer efficiency  and ease of everything, everyone should get married.

I’m accepting applications for people interested in beginning before that UBox arrives at my new address in suburban OOT.

Thanks, Erlenmeyer Exploder for the geography of OOT.

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Deadline Approacheth

There’s a bit of a double standard in the yeshivish/ultra-orthodox community. It is perfectly acceptable for a boy to leave home at the tender age of 13 and never truly return for the perpetuity of his life. Yes, he visits for the occasional holiday or weekend, where he wallows pleasantly in the adoring ministrations of a family that rarely has to put up with him. This lasts  until they bore, he becomes the fish-like guest, his special privileges evaporate, and he begins to chafe under the parental regime. At this point, he toddles back to his dorm or apartment with a sigh of relief: family, like prune juice, is best taken in small doses.

Girls, on the other hand, are expected to happily marinate in the home juices until Prince Charming carries them across a threshold of their very own. And if that doesn’t occur before their locks become dusted with snow and their posture stroked by osteoporosis, well, there’s no finer place for a girl to be than in the bosom of her loving family.

When I was in high school I had an exceptionally dedicated and brilliant teacher who happened to be single at the age of 28. A friend once mentioned knowing where she lived because this friend’s father was friendly with the teacher’s father.

“Yes, but that’s where her family lives, not where she lives,” I pointed out. The friend gave me a “Duh” look and said, “She lives there too. Where else would she live?”

I was appalled. Here I thought of this teacher as a mature, independent adult, and she was probably still sleeping in a pink bedroom, eating her mother’s dinner, and shouting “Wha-at!” down the stairs when her father called her. Just like me. I went home and informed my parents that if I was still single at 28 I was moving out.

“Yes dear,” they said. “Wash the dishes after dinner and clean your room tonight. It’s a pigsty and if I can’t see the floor I’m not letting the cleaning lady in to vacuum it. How did you do on that chumash test you hardly studied for? And you only think I don’t see you sneaking a cookie out of the kitchen. Bring it back right now.”

“Maybe I’ll move out at 27,” I sulked, nibbling the cookie.

“Eat over the table or sweep the floor – your choice.”

“Twenty-six.”

When I turned 21 I lowered the age to 25. My parents, now somewhat touchier about the topic since I had failed to be swept away by my first suitor (or second or fifth), told me not to say things like that; they were irrelevant.

“If it’s irrelevant, than what’s the big deal?”

“You’re right, what’s the big deal?”

“So I can move out at 25, right?”

“Let’s not discuss it.”

The truth is, not all women are expected to live at home forever. Women from OOT are allowed to move to NYC and cram themselves into attics and apartments. This is considered a necessary evil for the sake of shidduchim. However, if you have had the dubious fortune of being born and bred in the tri-state conurbation, moving out of your parents’ house is Something Strange that will provide your neighbors with conversation during the 23 hours when they are not observing their machsom lefi.

Why? I don’t know. But I imagine I’ll find out. After all, I’m already 24.5 years old.

No Guys Left to Date (or, Robbing the Freezer)

I have noticed a disturbing trend.

Back when I first started dating at age 20, the average age of the guys I was redt was around 27. (The range was an astounding 29 down to a low of 26.)

To my relief, the age dropped gradually, so at one point I was actually dating people approximately my age.

But the slope didn’t flatten out there. Now I’m consistently considering guys who are younger than me (3 suggestions in the past month).


Does anyone else see a pattern?

Add to this the fact that I’m also getting a lot of double-redts. Meaning, when people think of someone perfect for me and it turns out we’ve already dated (3 in the past two weeks).

Have I run through all possible guys already?  The thought is terrifying. Then again, it could be liberating. Maybe it’s time to abandon New York and move to Ethiopia, or some place where there’s a population of men I haven’t yet dated.