Everything depends on stickers. Okay, not EVERYTHING. But every THING in my house, my stuff, the contents of my little world. We’re about to move to Muscat, Oman and all of our household goods will get a sticker to designate where it will be sent…like orange means it will ship via air freight, blue for boat freight, green for things going into long-term storage. Then it will all be shoved into a truck like a Tetris game, sent to D.C. and ANOTHER moving crew will resort, repackage, and ship things where they’re supposed to go. Does this sound like a good idea to you?
I didn’t think so either.
The moving coordinator told me all this over a bad cellphone connection. “But what if a sticker falls off,” I asked, “how will they know in D.C. where it goes?”
The phone crackled and there was a long pause. “Uhhh, I guess they’ll have to rely on whatever the movers wrote on the inventory sheets.”
WHATEVER, the movers wrote, ah? Heaven help us! Our gigantic color by box number project is days away. I’m just hoping the crew outta Vegas gets their rest before cruising to St. George for three days of sticker fun. The coordinator assured me she explained the sticker system to the crew manager and they know what they’re going to do. Unless it was a better phone connection, I have my doubts.
But one way or another, this move is happening. I’m showing the house to potential buyers or renters. This week a realtor walking through asked where we were moving. I said Oman (and gave a mini geography lesson). He wanted to know if we were shipping our things or putting them in storage. I didn’t get into the whole sticker business, but let him know our things would be coming with us as he eyed our bookcase. “Isn’t that expensive to ship?” he asked, “Why don’t you sell everything and just buy new stuff?”
“Because,” I said, “we move frequently and that could be difficult to sell off things every couple years and buy new things.” I mentioned the government covered the cost of the move, to which he guffawed and said, “You mean OUR tax payer dollars.”
He was showing my house, about to enter my bedroom, so I resisted going all Jackie Chan on him, but bite my tongue I did. Tax payer dollars that I pay too, in addition to my husband living for a year at a time in places you wouldn’t send your least favorite pet to, I wanted to say. And by the way, he’s protecting YOUR freedoms, so you can walk around without the fear of getting blown up. Okay, I know, I get it, there IS waste in government, but when you start talk tax dollars and lump me in the equation, I’m going to bristle. Unless, of course, you’re showing my house, and then I’m going to be really polite.
I’m over it. (Mostly). I’ve got too many other things to worry about…selling our car, canceling the cable (note to self: next time get DISH), change our address, buy ANOTHER suitcase (how do these things keep losing wheels!?) and find a good book to read on the plane. And I’ll do all that free of tax payers dollars! No really, I AM over it.
I got an email today from the Embassy in Muscat regarding our new address. Included in the welcoming message was a thoughtful sentiment to, “Let us know if you need help with anything.” That touched me to know kindness is waiting on the other side of the world. It was nice to read, to know that people care and there are other expats living there who know where to buy sour cream, shop for shoes and what hair products hold up in 118-degree heat and 90% humidity.
My heart has been pumping just a little harder, knowing this move is coming, knowing that I’ll be seeing Cooper again soon, that we’ll be a family under one roof, even if that roof is thousands of miles from here. Regardless if stickers get put on wrong boxes or the Vegas crew botches the inventory, or if more realtors suggest inane things when they haven’t got a clue…it’s all going to work out in the end, because we’re together, because kindness beats unkindness, because family is what really matters—now how about we use some tax payer dollars and make that into a sticker!