30 April 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Moving sucks.  But you know what sucks worse than moving?  Waiting to move.

Right about the time I started ironing pillowcases, I realized I had a problem.

The brown dog watched me with an expression that can only be described as a combination of confusion and panic, like that point right before your kid realizes you're taking him to the dentist, not to the ice cream shop.  The white dog presented me with a dried-mud-encrusted ball.  Clearly, the white dog is not offended by the moving process.  However, over the past year it has become (painfully, annoyingly) evident that the brown dog considers the act of moving a personal affront which requires her strict, obsequious vigilance so that she will not be left behind.

 Dear Mom: Please don't forget to pack us.  Thanks.

Let's back up a bit.

During the past few months, I've done more than my fair share of waiting.  At first, it was waiting to hear back from the gazillion jobs that I'd applied to before the Christmas-New Year-Chinese New Year trifecta of holiday doom chaos joy hit.  (News flash: I didn't get the jobs.)  Next, it was waiting to find out which job offer within Husband's company would turn out to be the best one for Husband (and for me).  Then, it was waiting to find out whether we would stay in Singy or haul ass to Portland.  Then, I waited while Husband jetted first to Denmark and then to our new home in Portland. 

Finally, I waited for the movers to come.  When they did, I witnessed a strange exasperation-inducing ballet as the movers ineptly packed our belongings to three times our allotted shipping volume, stared glumly at the sad lopsided square of overlarge packing material, and eviscerated several cardboard containers in an effort to reduce the size of their mistake.  All while barefoot.

The movers left with one cubic meter of our worldly possessions, and I returned to my sofa ass-groove to continue hitting refresh on people.com (in my defense, Charlie Sheen was just hitting his #winning stride).

For a few days after that, there was not a lot of waiting.  There was, instead, a glorious flurry of DOING: organizing, packing, vacuuming dog hair, throwing stuff away, tearfully parting with my beloved food processor (don't hate), vacuuming dog hair, vacuuming dog hair, and vacuuming dog hair.

And, after 15 hours of virtually uninterrupted (and only mildly drug-enabled) stress, napping, Japanese airports, and yes, more waiting, and 5 hours of awesomeness chilling in a urine-soaked dog run at LAX, I arrived in Portland with one live brown dog, one live white dog, and one serious case of the munchies.

At the end of all this waiting, what am I left with?  Well, besides perfectly ironed pillowcases?

I'll tell you what: I've got some great cliches to work with here.  I've got a few good friends in Singy, BKK and Australia who I miss desperately.  I've got two years of unforgettable travel and life experience.  I've got a million memories of places and people frozen in time.  I've got a greater appreciation for a part of the world I never imagined visiting, much less inhabiting.  I've got a renewed appreciation of Indian and Thai food.  I've got an ever-deepening love for Husband, who asked me to take a risk that I'm glad I took.  And, perhaps most importantly, I've got the ability to haggle with a tuk tuk driver over the price of a $2 ride to the airport.

Maybe waiting isn't so bad after all.

(Just try to tell that to the brown dog.)