I finally moved today. Life has been a bit hectic since getting back from Moscow. Amid all the stresses of getting back to normal life, starting a new (and utterly confusing) job and moving, I’m also in recovery from some kind of sickness I think is either Swine Flu or Tuberculosis; if not, I’m sure it’s something contagious enough that you all are at risk just reading this.

I’ve been staying in South Jordan. Quickly, it’s perfectly fine to live with your parents even though you are 25 and even though you are cornered by no less than five people at their church on Sunday saying things like, “What’s the matter with you?”, “Aren’t you ever going to get married?” and my personal favorite, “Have you turned in your mission papers yet?” It’s perfectly fine. However, in order to reduce the awkwardness when friends ask you where you are living and you have to admit the truth, I have found that there are some easy ways to make it sound much more reasonable: First, if you make it sound like you are living with their parents to help them, pathetic turns to noble immediately. The older your parents are, the easier it is to pass this one off. My parents are still pretty fit so it’s hard for me to use this but I am prepared to do so when I’m living with them again about fifteen years from now. Second, if possible, you can try to make it sound like your parents are living with you. This is difficult to do however unless you and your parents move into a new place together. The strategy I have to resort to is to replace the word “living” with “staying.” This makes the whole thing sound much less pathetic. Really any words that make the situation sound more temporary is to your benefit. I often find myself saying things like, “oh you want to meet in SLC in the morning? Let’s see . . . that should work well for me because I’m going to sleep at my parents house the night before in South Jordan.” See how much more reasonable that sounds than, “well let me check with my mom and see if that’s ok. I am living with her you know.” The only problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t last forever. Eventually people start to get suspicious—hence the move.

So sometime this afternoon, I took a break from work and piled 70% of everything I own into every small space of my car. I say 70% because I’ve slowly been taking things down to Provo over the last several days. Unfortunately I made absolutely no attempt to box anything up, fold clothes, or at least wrap valuables and for the full 45 minutes of loading I continuously mumbled to myself, “I hate this. I’m a mess. I’m never moving again.” This was much less dramatic than what I was mumbling to myself a few hours later when I was unloading the stuff and hauling it up several flights of stairs. In the end I made my usual resolve that I was going to leave everything I own except for the clothes on my back, flip-flops (plus four backup pairs when my first ones break) and 30 of my favorite alabaster pots and head off to the middle-east to pursue a Bedouin life-style. I would probably also bring some of my books and most of my other clothes because I can check two bags anyway. I might as well have some of my art shipped over too. And I would bring my bedding because I don’t know what they have over there. Of course I would bring my laptop too and a couple of lamps for lighting and some of my favorite electronics. But that’s IT! Everything else is staying.

You’ll all be relieved to know that after several hours, my life is under control and I’m relatively organized. I didn’t even lose anything in this move (as far as I can tell). I somehow didn’t even lose this horrible Wally Lamb book that I accidentally bought at an airport and have now ineffectively tried to get rid of in four different countries. And so it goes.

~It Just Gets Stranger