Aside from trying to refrain from starting all of my sentences with the words This one time in New Zealand!, the Southerner and I have spent the last three weeks traveling across the South and making logistical decisions about our impending move to Florida. We spent this entire week commuting the 1.5 hours from Crystal River, Florida (where my dad has a house) to Tampa looking for rental houses. This is the fourth time the Southerner and I have moved together since we started dating two years ago. I’m a pro at this point, right? I prepared myself weeks in advance for the mental anguish that staring at thousands of Craig’s List ads would cause me. People on Craig’s List: why don’t you post pictures with your ad? And why don’t you use flash when you do post pictures? Are you really trying to rent the house or are you just trying to torture me? And you! You horrible apartment people who sneakily disguise your ads to make them look like house ads. If I wanted a fuc%$# apartment instead of a motherfuc%$# house I would search for one.
We’re moving to Florida so that I can go to grad school for a Master’s degree in Geek and Geekier. This means we will actually be living in the same location for two years! The thought of this is terrifying and elating at the same time.
We found a house in a record three days, but I have never been so stressed out. The Southerner and I have slightly different concepts of what we would list as priorities when house hunting. He believes that one of mine includes living in the ghetto (I prefer to refer to it as: a neighborhood with character) while I believe that one of his involves sacrificing my happiness for a house with a pool and a garage.
We’d made a rule that we wouldn’t smoke on our way to view houses so that potential landlords would not immediately eliminate us for the evil cigarette-butt backyard litterers that we truly are. We promptly broke this rule after the first house.
However, one thing we are truly good at is comprimising and communicating. We made it through the three days and signed a lease for a really cute house with character in St. Petersburg in a neighborhood that doesn’t have cul-de-sacs or make me want to slit my wrists. Is it strange that I don’t ever want to live in a neighborhood that has a cul-de-sac? That the very mention of this word makes me shudder?
In fact, the house is awesome! Not to mention that I now get to have this full-circle moment with myself since I was actually born in St. Petersburg almost 31 years ago.
So now we’ve got the house, I’ve squared everything away with school, and we decide to order our POD to have it delivered from New Orleans to St. Petersburg. The Southerner happily calls the POD representative to schedule the delivery and I hear as she tells him that it will be $2,240.00. $2,240.00!!! I could probably replace all of our furniture for under $2000.00 at IKEA. Holy shit. Literally. I immediately start farting (my response to any stressful situation) and reach for the alcohol.
We spend the next day devising a plan to rescue our stuff from the evil POD people and save ourselves at least $1000.00. This plan involves driving to Mississippi to pick up my F-150 (where we’d left it stored at the Southerner’s dad’s house), renting a U-Haul in New Orleans close to our POD, towing my F-150 behind the U-Haul, unloading our shit from the POD into the U-Haul, the Southerner driving the U-haul back to Florida as I follow him in his car. This plan took 5 hours to devise and many, many brain cells and that I will never get back. Please cross your fingers for us.