Posts Tagged ‘i’m a big kid now’

Every time I move, it further cements the feeling that I never want to move again.

  • I hate packing up all the odds and ends that I’ve accumulated over the years.
  • I hate acknowledging that I’ve accumulated so much crap.
  • I hate boxing everything up, only to realize that I still need something…and who knows which box it’s in.

(I should say, I do like the purging that comes with packing, but it never seems to be enough to make a dent. Also, Cla doesn’t live here anymore, so it’s a little harder.)

Bottom line, I always tell myself: I’m never moving again, until next time.

But now “never again” is over, and “next time” is in about three weeks.

Because we bought a house.

In the suburbs.

Of Virginia.

It’s still a little surreal, but the craziest part is how quickly it went. We toured the house on the 23rd of July; we closed on the 23rd of August. It was a whirlwind, but an exciting one.

There will be a lot of adjustments once we finally move in. First and foremost, our commutes. Right now Husband has the hour-ish drive out to Virginia for work, while I have the 15 minute hop downtown. In three weeks those times will be reversed, and I’ll find out just how little sleep I can function on.

But even that is minor compared with what we’re getting – the space, the yard, the community, the ownership.

I’ve loved living in the city, and I’m sure I’ll miss it sometimes, but I’ve always known that I’m a suburbia girl at heart.

The biggest challenge now will be convincing our friends to come out and visit.

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Last night after a horrific loss at softball we trekked to the usual bar and proceeded to drown our sorrows.

This particular pub is often overrun in the summer with interns, students, and other young DC newbies. And, in the course of our drowning, we met one such newbie who eventually told his name was Steve.

No,” BNF said. “I’m not going to call you that. I’m going to call you Jor-El.

Jor-El was a pretty good sport, so he went along with it. Embraced it even. (By the end of the night, even the other guys in his program were calling him by the new nickname.) And then he played along with BNF’s next game.

We’re not going to tell you our names. You just tell us what you think we look like. First name that comes to your mind.

And that’s how I became a Jessica.

(Later he dubbed me Jezebel. I’m honestly not sure which I prefer.)

Now, before I get yelled at, I don’t have a problem with the name – for other people. But for me, after 26 years of identifying as something completely different, it just felt all sorts of wrong.

I’ve been toying for a while with the idea of putting my real name out here on the blog. I’m sure it’s probably dropped at some point and I’m friends with several bloggers on Facebook (and real life!) so I know that it’s not a complete secret.

But I figure there’s no time like a) my 500th post! today! and b) after being called the wrong name all night to officially reveal it.

So, hi! I’m Elizabeth.

Not Jezebel.

And definitely not Jessica.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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There are certain skills that many women (and I’m sure men, too) have, that I often feel as though I’m lacking.

It’s really the little things. Like:

  • wearing pantyhose without squirming
  • commuting in heels instead of keeping them under your desk at the office
  • ironing out all the wrinkles (not just the easy ones)
  • caring enough to blow dry your hair (maybe the caring isn’t a skill, but the blow drying is)
  • painting your own nails
  • putting on makeup (and taking it off)

And you see, it’s this last one that I’ve been having the most trouble with recently. I’ve pretty much given up on the rest of the list (I might blow dry if I’m feeling extra ambitious), but the makeup issue remains.

I’m not one to wear a lot of it. In fact, I’m not one to wear any, unless it’s a special occasion. And while most mothers seem to think that their daughters wear too much makeup, and so would be pleased at my minimalism, mine has been begging me wear more. (In a nice way, Mama, I know.) She’s been subtly and not-so-subtly hinting at it for years, but after this most recent wedding, when I had my makeup professionally done, it came up again.

I asked her what she thought about it, and took her silence to mean she didn’t like it. “No,” she told me, “I just wish you did it more often! It makes your eyes pop!

So, even though the wedding was weeks ago, I finally took her advice. It seems ridiculous to say, but at the ripe old age of 25, I’ve finally started wearing mascara and eye liner on a regular basis – as in every day this week.

This is groundbreaking stuff, I know.

And she’s right. My eyes do pop. I actually feel just a teensy bit more confident when I leave the apartment in the morning. It’s the same kind of confidence as when I manage to walk a block in my heels without tripping.

The thing is, now that I’ve got the makeup on, I can’t take it off! Apparently straight soap and water are no match for MAC, Maybelline, and Ulta. Who knew?

So I basically end up scrubbing, still waking up with raccoon eyes, and just reapplying on top of the leftovers. I realize this is not a good thing, but I can only grow up one step at a time.

Last time I was home, Mama did my makeup for me. Maybe this weekend, she can teach me how to take it off without ripping out my eyelashes.

Though, if any of you have any tricks or favorite removal products, I’ll gladly take your input.

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Every time I move I say that I never want to move again, and this past weekend was no exception. We’ve agreed that should we change apartments again, we will be hiring movers. And now it’s in writing, just in case one of us forgets.

Overall, though, everything went well. The big pieces are in and the rearranging has begun. The dust we’ve kicked up has been fighting back with a vengeance (I was sneezing and sniffly pretty non-stop yesterday), but things are slowly settling into place. And I love this part. The organizing, combining, and turning this apartment into our home.

That’s not to say, however, that the move is completely done.

What it feels like sometimes

You see, I underestimated just how much stuff I have. Particularly kitchen stuff. I still have about 4-5 boxes (not all of them big, mind you) of glasses, mixing bowls, pots, and pans to go over to the new place. But that’s also not including my cookie/baking sheets, muffin tins, and pie plates (all of which I do actually use, so I can’t justify tossing) or the kitchen goodies that I’ve already brought over – namely my crock pot.

Thanks to Cla’s influence, though, I’m feeling far more comfortable letting go of things. I’ve already posted three such things on Craigslist, and my donation bags continue to grow. It’s kind of liberating, actually.

I’ll continue the packing tonight while enjoying a glass of wine with another girlfriend, who will hopefully want to take some of these items off my hands. But, even if she doesn’t, I no longer feel quite as guilty about getting rid of them.

And that’s a HUGE step for me.

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Outside of my family, I’ve only ever lived with two people.

Jus was my freshman year roommate, and we ended up living together for the next four years.

When I moved down to the DC area, Cla and I spent our first year living in Ballston.

Since 2008, I’ve lived in my own lovely little studio in the District.

But that’s all about to change.

At the end of this month, not only will I be moving to a new apartment, but it will be the first time I’ve lived with someone in two years. And it will be the first time ever that I’ll be living with a boyfriend.

More than anything, I’m excited. Scratch that. Ridiculously excited – like I get that stupid grin on my face when I think about it.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. My studio has accumulated a fair amount of stuff and as I’ve (only briefly, so far) started to pack, I find myself wondering how everything will fit in our place. And if it won’t, what do I have to get rid of? I’m my mother’s daughter in that sense; I don’t like throwing things out.

There’s also the matter chore splitting. Neither of us are what you’d call “cleaners.” I despise dusting, and gag when I have to clean the bathroom. I don’t fold my laundry immediately, and end up pulling outfits out of the basket. (Wrinkles add character.) So far our compromised is that I’ll do the dishes if he cleans the bathroom. So that’s one thing we can check off.

But those issues, while still important, aren’t half as much on my mind as the fact that I’ll get to come home every day to him. We’ll be sharing all these aspects of our lives – the fun, the serious, and the quirks – even more than we already do. And I just can’t wait.

When I told my parents, I asked my mom if she had any advice on living with a boy. She, being of a similar mindset when it comes to chores, told me that she hired someone to come once a month or so, especially while both she and my dad were working. Wonderful idea, and duly noted.

And now I’m asking you: for anyone that’s ever lived with a significant other, what words of wisdom do you have for a first timer?

I know that compromise will be the name of the game, and that we’ll figure things out as we go along, but I’m just looking for a little heads up.

And while we’re at it, any cleaning service recommendations?

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Yesterday was the first time I voted.

In person, that is.

While I was in school in Baltimore, I was still registered in Pennsylvania, so I dutifully filled out my absentee ballot in 2004. I dropped the ball in 2006, but then in 2008 I went absentee again. I was living in DC at the time, but hadn’t gotten around to changing my voter registration. (Plus, if we’re being honest, I felt like my vote counted more in Pennsylvania.)

But anyway. I’m all registered here now, so last night I took myself over to the polling center for my first live voting experience.

And I think I prefer the absentee ballots.

The line wasn’t absurdly long or anything, and chaos is too strong a word, but I didn’t feel like the experience was great for first timers. The volunteers were too busy to take my questions and vaguely pointed me off in one direction or another if I did manage to get a word in.

Now, I clearly have nothing to compare this to. I don’t know if it’s just DC, just my polling place, or just the nature of voting in general. And so, for order’s sake, like I mentioned, I do prefer the absentee ballot.

BUT walking away, knowing that I had cast my vote, knowing that it would be counted, seeing other voters and recognizing that we were all a part of this (and finally getting a sticker) was accompanied by a feeling that I’d never really gotten from just sending off an envelope.

As a side question, I’m curious about your take on post-voting etiquette. Do you think it’s appropriate to ask friends and family members who they voted for? Or is it more of a personal thing, like salary-talk? And does that etiquette change depending on what city you’re in?

Just a thought.

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A few weeks back one of our softball captains, Vandy, came up to me in the office to touch base about a game that he was going to be missing.

Vandy: “Are you going to the game tomorrow?”

Me: *nod*

Vandy: “And is the boyfriend [who also plays] coming by to walk down with you guys?”

Me: “I know he’ll be there, but I’m not sure if he’ll come here, first. Why?”

Vandy: “Well, we just need someone to carry the equipment bag down to the field. I have it at my desk.”

Me: “Um…I can carry it down.”

Vandy: “I don’t know. It’s pretty heavy. Let me just check.

Me: “Vandy. I can carry the equipment bag. It’s not that heavy.” (Side note: It wasn’t even the bat bag. This one just had gloves, bases, and balls.)

Vandy: “Yeah…well…let me go see if any of the other guys are around.”

I shook my head as he walked away, mostly amused by his insistence and only vaguely insulted.

But then, just last night, I was picking up a package at the front desk of my apartment building and it happened again.

Front Desk Guy: “I don’t know. This box looks pretty heavy. I don’t know if you can handle it.

Me: “Well, why don’t I just try it and we’ll find out.

FDG: “Eh…are you sure? I mean it’s pretty big.” *eyes me up and down*

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me! Just give me my damn package! “I’m sure. Let’s just try.

Now, I appreciate FDG’s concern, really, I do. But as soon as he passed me the box I couldn’t believe how long he’d stalled. It’s not that it was light (it was a case of wine, sent by Mama, sadly NOT for my consumption), but it was only about 30 pounds! (Yes, you bet your ass I weighed it when I got upstairs.)

I may not have the guns of a body builder (not a bad thing, I don’t think), but I also don’t look like I’m going to break if I get pushed, so what gives? Consideration is nice and all, but I’m a big girl, fully capable lifting and carrying large objects.

Plus, suggesting that I can’t do something is only going to make me want to do it more.

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A couple weeks ago I got a note in the mail that informed me that I’d be receiving my census form soon. Just a little fyi. And aside from a momentary, I can’t believe how much paper they wasted!, I didn’t give it much thought. After all, we’ve been inundated with the message that 2010 is the Year of the Census. And that it’s Absolutely 100% Super Important that we all fill it out. I’ve seen it on bus ads, billboards, and TV, so that little scrap of paper in my mailbox was kind of redundant.

But, because of all of these reminders, I had this idea that the census would be a huge pain to fill out. In my mind, it was pages and pages of personal information, and the reminders were intended to say, we know this is annoying, but please do it anyway. It really is important.

So, when I finally got the actual form, I was prepared for it to take a while. I sat down, pen in hand, and proceeded to read the instructions and fill out the first page.

Then I realized that the first page was the only page. (At least, for me, since I live on my own.)

Where were all the super personal, time-consuming questions? The ones that made me think, government, why do you need to know this? All I really answered was my age, the fact that I live on my own, and my race. And maybe some contact information.

I guess I expected some sort of education or income question. Or maybe even an optional religion one. Or, hell, maybe my astrological sign. Though, I suppose they can figure that one out from my birthday. (Gemini, in case you were wondering.)

But for now I’m only in the system as a 24-year-old white female who rents an apartment and lives by herself.

You sent out all the reminders for that, Census Bureau? Way to make good use of your budget.

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Sometimes it’s funny how time passes so quickly without you even being aware of it.

Deep, I know.

But it struck me the other day that I’ve officially been in my apartment now for over a year. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. But this the longest I’ve lived in any one place outside of my parents’ house.

In college I went from dorm to apartment to study abroad to new apartment. After college, I lived for a year in Arlington. And as each lease approached its end, I found myself dreading the inevitable packing, discarding, oh-shit-I-forgot-about-that-ing, loading and, of course, eventual unpacking.


So this year I’m planting. I’m here. I’m happy. I’m comfortable.

I’m not ruling out the possibility of moving in the future (yay month-to-month lease!), but I’m also not afraid of investing in the place, because I know I’m not about to cut and run.

Crazy. I’m almost like a real grown-up. When did that happen?

P.S. On a very big side note, come to Evolve for the blogger happy hour tonight! See you there!


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