“There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone
I sold what I could and packed what I couldn’t
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I’ve loved like I should but lived like I shouldn’t
I had to lose everything to find out.”
“I’m Moving On” ~ Rascal Flatts
We’re a week out from our long-awaited move to Pittsburgh! Still no bites on our house, although we had a showing yesterday and there’s another that I couldn’t exactly accommodate on all of 10 minutes notice (got the call at 9:05 for a 9:15 showing) so hopefully they’ll reschedule. Beings that this was the first showing we’d had in a MONTH (thank you, horrendous housing market), I’ve become a little lax in keeping up the charade that we live in a pristine home, so we ran around like maniacs cleaning with less than two hours notice. I am telling you, I would love nothing more than to accept an offer on this house with t-minus 8 days to go. Puh-leese.
Anyway, during all this, The Husband reminded me that we won’t have Internet access at our house from this coming Friday through Monday (moving day). Which I had kind of … not realized. Verizon wants their router and whatever other gizmos that keep us connected and sane. In some ways, this will be a good thing because I won’t have the likes of Facebook and Google+ and Google Reader and Spotify (my newest toy) to distract me from the final days of packing. But, although I bow to those of you who can go completely unplugged, I am weak. The prospect of being Internet-less for AN ENTIRE WEEKEND unnerves me to no end.
I expect the packing to go down to the 11th hour, so it’s probably safe to say that, even sans Internet, I don’t expect to get much reading done this week. Which is a bit of a shame because I just started Pamela Haag’s Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules. (Love that title.) I’m not too far into this, but so far the premise is that most of us married folk are in lackluster relationships. (Huh. There’s a newsflash).
Haag refers to such marriages as “low-conflict, low-stress,” with the majority of us looking at our spouses at the end of our boring same-old day and wondering if this is as good as it gets. (Um …yeah. Hate to break it to ya, but it kind of is.) As the author’s best friend says, “It’s just unrealistic to think that the person you talk to about hiring a plumber is going to be your big love affair.” (pg. 9). According to the book jacket, “Marriage Confidential articulates for a generation that grew up believing they would “have it all” why they have ended up disenchanted. Haag introduces us to contemporary marriages where spouses act more like life partners than lovers; children occupy an uncontested position at the center of the marital relationship; and even the romantic staples of sexual fidelity and passion are assailed from all sides – so much so that spouses can end up having affairs online almost by accident.”
This is the type of book that The Husband would see me reading – probably in bed, no less – and roll his eyes while commenting why anyone needed to write a book to state the obvious. Me, I love this sort of thing. Haag ponders the notion that, since most of us are simply plodding through our married lives, it’s time to reinvent the whole notion. For example: term limits. A couple would agree to stay married for, say, 10 or 15 years. At that point, the “contract” could be renewed … or not. (Maybe I’ll reserve my opinion on that until after I see how The Husband and I survive this next week.)
Speaking of marriage and moving and making a new life, it was rather timely that Caitlin Shetterly’s memoir (Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home) was the book I spent the most time with this past week. First of all, I love the cover. Isn’t that gorgeous? And Caitlin and Dan’s story, although different from mine and The Husband’s, was definitely one that I could relate to – which is kind of the point of this memoir.
Caitlin and her husband Dan were like many young married couples when “the recession came home” to them in December 2007. Dan’s full-time job as a photographer was reduced to part-time, downsizing his salary by more than a third. A second job as a bouncer, along with Caitlin’s work as a freelancer, didn’t help cover the rent on their apartment. They decided to chase a lifelong dream by moving from Maine to California in hopes of new opportunities. What happened afterward (the “going broke” part of the subtitle) puts a face on the statistics of this seemingly-never-ending recession (personally, I believe we’re headed for a Depression, if we’re not already there) and how the economic realities of our times affect every aspect of our lives.
And finally, into this week a DNF did fall, one that once again puts me in the minority of book bloggers. (I checked some reviews from bloggers whose taste matches mine, and, yeah … the problem with this one is definitely me.) I lasted about 30 or so pages with Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes. I just wasn’t connecting with the characters and it was obvious that Something Terrible was imminent, but it seemed to get off to a slow start and I don’t have the patience for that right now. Maybe this was a case of bad timing for me with this one, I don’t know.
Speaking of getting off to a slow start, my packing awaits ….
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