I’m drinking champagne RIGHT NOW

Hey, we’re all moved in now. I know this because the boxes are piled up to the ceiling, I have vowed never to speak to anyone at the moving company ever again, the children have arrived and bounced off the walls and declared their closets secret clubhouses (hey, did you know that in Georgia most people do not have basements? and so there are many many closets, as a pitiful excuse for storage, instead?), and there is no paint or anything having to do with paint sitting around on my floor anymore.

So, yeah, it’s simply lovely, and if you don’t mind getting lost in the Magical Box Labryinth or being woken up at dawn by the contractors, you should totally come on over.

I started writing a post earlier today when we still didn’t have internet, and it basically said that I was sitting here trying to work while the contractors banged on the roof and the movers came in and out and then the cable guy showed up and I was ALL HAPPY except that he turned out to be all kinds of cranky. And then I wrote about how he’d gone up the telephone pole outside and it would be a shame if he fell, because he might squish one of the moving guys and the moving guys were actually very nice.

But I ended up not finishing it, for various reasons, and I’ve had to adjust my opinions since then, anyway.

For one thing, the grumpy cable guy was just having a bad day, but he did improve his attitude eventually and also fish a new line for us, so I won’t complain too much about him I guess. (He is not Comcastic, by the way. He is Charteriffic.)

For another thing, although the moving crew really was quite nice, it would not be my life if they didn’t leave me with a story or four.

First: I met them at the door to say that I was certain they would be very careful ANYWAY, naturally, but to point out that we had just spent the last three days painting and would REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate it if they could be EXTRA CAREFUL and not ding the walls. My, they were so kind and accommodating. I would say they didn’t ding the walls in more than seven places.

Second: Of the crew of three, one of the men had such a thick southern accent that I could never understand a word he said. I’m pretty good at faking it in those sorts of situations, but I’d been given a clipboard with an inventory list and I was supposed to be marking off numbers as they brought stuff in, and this guy would come in and shout out “EVENTYEEE” and I’d say “Seventy three, got it,” and he’d look at me like I had twelve heads and say “TWENTY EIGHT, MA’AM” reeeeeally sloooooow so that my poor, retarded self might be able to get it.

Third: Some of my stuff was damaged. Minor things, mostly, but my still-pretty-new bed is COVERED in I don’t even want to know what. “It was in a box!” they kept saying. Well, yes, the mattress was definitely in a box. What was in that box before my mattress was black. And slightly gooey. SOB.

Fourth: What IS it with hired workers and bathrooms?? This afternoon I walked into my bathroom, closed/locked the door, and discovered that there was no toilet paper. But not just no toilet paper, no toilet paper ROLL. The entire thing was missing. Huh. Well, fine, I still had to pee, so rather than figure out this mystery, I went across to Otto’s bathroom… where I found a roll of toilet paper on the holder (duh) and then the roll from MY bathroom sitting on top of the toilet tank. Why? WHY??

Also this afternoon, the contractor came looking for Otto. I said he was around somewhere but I wasn’t sure where. He asked if Otto had a cell phone, and I said yes, but I have a cell phone right here, what did he need? He said oh, he was just wanting to call and verify with him that it was okay to remove this rotted board they found, because it needs replacing. He and I looked at each other for a minute.

“Um, if it’s rotted and needs replacing, please replace it,” I said.

“Oh,” he said, comprehension dawning (as he seemed to realize that my look didn’t say “math is hard” so much as it said “starting to get pissed”) “I guess I could probably just ask you, since you’re the one who hired me.”

“Riiiiight,” I said. “You could ask me because I’m the one who hired you. I know I’m just a girl and everything, but I’m also the one paying you by the way.” The contractor nodded and stuck his head out the door. “Hey, go ahead and replace that board. And if you need anything else, you come ask Mir. She’s in charge.”

Damn straight. And also WELCOME TO THE SOUTH, me. Maybe I should just shut my mouth and go bake a pie.

I totally would, if I had any idea where my pie pans are, or if I wasn’t parked on the couch with my laptop and this lovely libation that Otto was kind enough to bring me right before he went to go make up the bed. (He also cleaned up after dinner while I corralled children. I may just let him be in charge for a while, because he’s pretty useful.)


  1. Susan

    No no NOOOOOOO not the BED! I am weeping.

    Because the beeeeeeed!


  2. Sharkey

    You and Otto have separate bathrooms? And there’s a pool and a casino? Just how big is this (third) house, anyway?!? Did you buy Tara?

  3. Laura

    When I lived in the South (TN, by way of MA, so I know your pain) I worked in a real estate office.

    One day I was on the phone trying to save a closing that was about to fall through. Much angst about radon, lost test results, delayed wire transfers, pissy sellers, etc. After calming down at least eight pissed off people,I finally hung up the phone.

    Someone’s client – male – who’d been listening to this while he was waiting, came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said in a deep accent, “Honey, if you’d just wear your skirt a bit shorter, they wouldn’t make you think so hard.”

    Welcome to the South, indeed.

  4. julie

    Gosh, you knew to tell them to replace a rotting board? But, aren’t you a girl? Just a wee pretty thing? Surely you couldn’t do that?


    I have to just laugh when contractors and other men assume my husband is the person to talk to for negotiations or details, when he ends up deferring to me. It’s always that moment of “oh. Right. She’s a thinker.” Never fails to amuse and annoy me.

  5. Tinker

    Welcome to Georgia. I thought Florida was the state without basements. We have one. It still has boxes from our move two years ago.

  6. Karen@FamilyBriefs.com

    Here in Alabama we have attics – I’d rather have a basement so it’d be a WHOLE LOT COOLER to get stuff in and out of!!! Someone just wasn’t thinking . . .

  7. Jessica

    In CA we have no attic, no basement, and oh, yeah, very few closets! We live in constant chaos, and it’s only getting worse instead of better.
    I remember being a kid and discovering a new home, I bet the kids are having a blast.

  8. Jean

    Same kind of thing happened to us. This guy kept calling and asking for my husband. When he finally reached him, my hubby said, “You’ll have to ask my wife. She makes all those decisions!” YESS!! By then he really didn’t want to talk to either one of us. Some people are just stupid.

  9. Julia

    I actually have a basement! In Alabama! Yee-ha! I have many fond memories of contractors asking to speak to my husband only to have him refer them back to me. What fun. It took me some time to get used to the South but now I thoroughly enjoy it. Hope you will too.

  10. Steph

    Dude, I feel for you. Back when I was married, I lived in Nashville for 3 years and finished up my degree down there. The college I went to (which shall remain nameless) was filled with good, strong Southern women. They were so strong that a few of them went to college just to find husbands. I am not even kidding; they admitted it to me and were quite proud of themselves, actually.

    One day, I’m sitting in class, talking to a few people before it started, and I begin a sentence with, “My husband …” 4 women immediately snapped their heads in my general direction, and 2 even made a beeline for me, demanding to see my wedding ring. I began to blink uncontrollably. They even told other people in class, and everyone was quite impressed, male and female alike. I sat there like an idiot, not knowing what to do, and answered question after question about my wedding, at least until class started.

    Apparently, since I was attractive to a man, I was suddenly attractive to them. It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever experienced. I still fail to understand it, but then again, I am a Yankee.

  11. littlepurplecow

    I’m laughing because those guys are thinking “damn Yankee.” Welcome to the south sweetie. Email me when yer settled ‘n all and we’ll cook a pig or somethin.

  12. Lisa

    Lovin’ the Otto! :) Champagne indeed!

    And as far as the welcome to the south thing goes….get used to it. They don’t mean any harm, it’s in the genes! I love it when they figure out that you are the one doing the paying and the deciding. It really confuses them when you are pretty, married and still think for yourself! :) “Powah thangs, they ah juuuuyust meyen anyhow. Yall come back now yah heah?”

  13. Lady M

    “I’m also the one paying you by the way.” So pay attention, boys!

  14. Lala

    you need to read Charming Bitch today, she’s stealing JOB from a man, not just making decisions.


  15. Brigitte

    Reminds me of how I whisper all the dirty jokes to my husband, so HE can tell them to the guys. After all, it just wouldn’t be right to hear such foul things from a demure little flower such as myself.

  16. Judy.

    I knew we didn’t have basements. I should have told you. But, didn’t think about it. Anyway, I’m glad you are here and starting to get settled. You DO have an attic for all the stuff you will eventually store, right? You’ve not mentioned an attic.

  17. MomCat

    Champagne! Yay! A peach blini would do the trick, too.

    Paint stores sell these little containers for touch up paint, with a sponge roller in the cap, so you can take care of dings whenever they may occur. Or you can do what I do and keep a bit of each color in a mason jar in the kitchen, with a few Q-tips in a bag.

    A guy who will clean up is definitely a keeper. Go, Otto!

    Now, don’t you worry your sweet self – you just sit down and put up your little feet and let the men think!

    Hope those boxes are a distant memory soon.

  18. LadyBug Crossing

    Getting used to no basement is the hardest part UNTIL you figure out that you just can’t get stuff you can’t store. It sure helps the pocket book… Well, except when you go and buy new rugs and stuff – like I did yesterday…

  19. Jenny

    Yeah, honest-to-God basements are kind of a rarity. We have one, and it’s just full of all the boxes from our move four years ago that we’ve never got around to unpacking. And spiders. At least this way you have to look at the boxes, so I figure you’re more likely to actually do something about them.

    I’m a lawyer, and a woman, in the South, and boy howdy, let me tell you. In law school, I clerked with one of the committees of our state senate, and I’ll never forget the day I was on my way back to my office from the library, staggering under a load of casebooks for a memo I was writing, when one of our illustrious state senators (a semieducated charmer from Nowheresville, BFE County, SC) PATTED MY ASS and asked “what a pretty little lady like me was doing working so hard.” I was so floored that for the life of me, I just stared at him with my mouth hanging open while the elevator doors opened and he stepped off. WHO DOES THAT? To this day, I wish I had gone ahead and kicked HIS ass. I console myself with the knowledge that now make more money than he does, and also that I’m not a fat old lecher.

  20. Rachel May

    I laughed from the top of this post to the bottom… so funny!!!

  21. Stacia

    I’ve been in Virginia for about a year and our church has already called twice to find out why I have two last names. I think they were actually trying to figure out if we were married, or living in sin. Now I just put my name (my maiden name) in parenthesis, next to my husband’s name. Welcome to the South!

  22. Sara

    Not pie. Pah. You bake a pah. hee.
    And the toilet paper experience? I’m with you. What is it with hired workers and that stuff?! I don’t get it.

  23. Bridget

    Ditto on all the above from women. However, there are some upsides. Visit any auto parts store, bat your eyes, mutter something about needing new windshield wipers and before you know it the old ones are off, the new ones are on and you’re out the door. Same technique works with batteries, getting items from high shelves, and moving large boxes to the car.

    Of course, I would be the person who is still not used to the fact that all the men in the meetings I attend stare if a curse word accidentally slips out of my mouth, or the woman who has ruined many a project meeting by being in the room, and therefore preventing the men from airing any of their true feelings politely (ok, so that is fun too).

  24. Jenni-nifr

    My mom, God bless her, is a born and raised Texas girl and despit living in FL, CA, and NV while my dad was in the Navy, she has the best Southern accent, and reading Sara’s comment made me crack up – again – after reading your post. She’s right. It’s not pie. It is pah! It’s also not coin, but cohen, or co-in. There’s a slight pause in the middle. What else…my dad never said measure, it was always may-sure. My grandmother’s word is coner instead of corner. Sorry about the helpless woman thing. I think the only reason I don’t have that problem is because I’m in Houston. But believe-you-me, when I go to a smaller town, or stop on my way out of town, I get the “gah-aa-leee” gomer pyle response to the fact that I can take care of myself!

  25. tammy

    Hi! Can I come see your house!? I am awake today! And I like boxes!

  26. becky

    ah yes, the helpless female thing is the south is SO much FUN! i went to a church (for a while) that completely ignored the women during bible study and it drove me crazy. yeah, because that book-learnin’ and havin’ opinions might hurt our little brains.

    but really, not everyone is that way. it will be sometimes funny, sometimes irritating, but ALWAYS entertaining.

    glad you are getting settled in. now, go bake that pie (pah).

  27. Aimee

    Wow. Just… wow. Probably if you gave ’em iced tea while you told them to come to you with problems, they’d know you’re a steel magnolia in yankee clothing. :)

  28. Mallory

    Re: The black sticky stuff on your bed–remember when you told the other movers to “put down cardboard first” because he was tracking in tar? I bet the “cardboard” was your bed box! I hope I am wrong…

  29. Tara

    Congratulations on the new house. This post made me LOL which makes me look like a lunatic when I’m at work.

    If you make a pie, send me some! Mmm, pie.

  30. Chris

    It’s not being in the south, it’s just having a man around. No matter where I am in the world I have found that if I’m with my husband he is always the one they ask for first. Even when he is there he usually points a finger at me. He wants to be everyone’s buddy which means I am always the heavy:)

  31. hollygee

    Aimee — not iced tea. Those movers/construction workers would shake their heads and such a yankeeism. It’s got to be sweet-tea. Different animal all together.

  32. Daisy

    “I didn’t just say ‘math is hard'”… memories of the Barbie Liberation League! OMG, I’m laughing again.

  33. jenn

    So there you have it, honey. Bake a pah, start every sentence with, “My husband…” and make a big ole jug of sweet tea. You’ll be shedding that yankee skin in no time flat and be more southern than you can personally stand.

    Hand to God, Mir, sometimes the comments are as funny as your posts!

  34. ScottsdaleGirl

    Yay for libations! If you had them while in the pool that would have rilly made me *jelus*

  35. kate setzer kamphausen

    Southern men’ll totally let you be in charge as long as you let ’em know. It reminds them of their mothers, and Southern men know from mothers. It’s a little like the Jewish mother phenomenon, only possibly with more crazy.

    Oh yeah, and you can be crazy in the South too, and very few people will mind! They *may* chalk it up to you being a Yankee, but as long as someone is excusing away your hard-earned eccentricities, who cares what their motivation is??

    SO HAPPY you are moved in!!!!!!!!

  36. mbbored

    Welcome to the South. I’m sure you’ll eventually learn to work the system, and make it work for you. Born in Kentucky, living in NC, I have my sugar sweet voice for dealing with store clerks, diner waitresses and handymen. I guess I should find it demeaning, but I do enjoy not opening doors, pulling out chairs or carrying heavy objects. And if you choose to ignore the system, don’t worry, we’re used to you Yanks and your crazy ways by now.

  37. Kim

    Becky is right, not all of them are that way – it just seems like it sometimes. You’re not blonde are you? You don’t want to be a petite blonde female in the South. While I was in college in SC working on a Computer Science degree, I waited tables. It would always irk me how many people would ask me about my major then look absolutely STUNNED that I was studying computers. Ah, good times…

  38. Liza

    Welcome to the south! Metro Atlanta mostly isn’t that scary-south, though. All of us (almost) moved here from somewhere else.

    BTW, for inexpensive and AMAZING food, make a trek to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market (which is more like a warehouse food store than a traditional farmer’s market), and pretty easy to get to from 285.

  39. Sheila

    Off topic a bit, but I do believe that separate bathrooms are a veritable guarantee of a happy lifelong partnership.

    Plus also, if you’re making pah, I like rhubarb.

  40. emery jo

    Okay, so the part where you said you were concerned about the cable guy falling off the telephone pole only because he might SQUISH A NICE MOVER is the funniest thing I think I’ve ever heard.


  41. Pave.Gurl

    We don’t have basements down here mostly ‘cos the water table’s too high in most of the south.

    … Just sayin’. In case you were actually wondering. I’m a Southerner through ‘n through, and I’ve never had anyone ever ask to speak to my partner to make a decision. So I dunno where you’re livin’, but I’m pretty sure it’s the sticks.

  42. Mimipz5wjj

    LMAO! I’m one of the few lucky ones in GA with a basement… but not so much closet space… enough, but not like some friends that have closets with closets… I’m not kidding, they really do…

    I hear you on the accent thing. I’m a Yank (and proud) and sometimes I can’t understand a thing people say to me here!

  43. MitMoi

    Watch out for “bless her heart”. I originally thought everyone was bestowing good wishes on me. Like suddenly they recognized how sublime I was or something. But no. It’s a nice way of saying “That Western-girl? She’s got IDEAS, don’ she?”

    And the cussing thing down here is a death knell too. Although my Sunday School class is now use to it. In fact we just had a guest speaker who confessed to being nervous because she was a cusser. The WHOLE class tuned and looked at me and said, “God must not mind too much, Mit cusses here all the time and she hasn’t be struck by lighting yet … although we don’t stand too close to her, ya know?” :)

  44. Christina

    That’s funny, the flipside is when my husband and I are out with the kids people ask me everything about the kids as if my husband is invisible; his own mother still does it to him, it drives him nuts! Welcome to south of the mason-dixon line, it’s a whole new world y’all :)

  45. Kim

    I had a hard time understanding people when I went north (MD) and was always asking then to repeat what they said!! In the South, especially Florida, if we had basements they would be under water:o)

    Glad your stuff finally arrived. We moved my aunt from West Palm Beach to Lakeland last month and I would definitely hire someone before doing that again.

  46. Heather

    Mir, you’re just gonna fit in so well down there ;-) I look forward to all the stories!

  47. Cele

    I’ve never lived in a house with a basement, I thought that was a west thingie.

    Giv’ ’em Hell Mir.

  48. tuney

    When they were building several years ago, my friend and his wife built a mound in the middle of their lot so they could dig it out and have a basement without the water table issue. People here thought they were nuts, but it’s been the most useful thing ever for them. I am jealous, actually, especially when it’s ten degrees cooler down there in the summer. BTW, if we’re having a “Welcome Mir to GA” party, I want an invite. I make a mean hash brown casserole.

  49. mama speak

    The South has got nothing on Asian Countries. Try working in Seoul and having your crew stare at you blankly when you ask them to do something (move boxes, set up a table, etc…) but when you tell you field rep to tell them (he’s a man) they jump right on it. Not only don’t women think there they’re known to be seen, but not heard. Since my trips there were all work related and I needed to actually get things done I got over it and played “boss women” to my American male counterparts who then relayed my requests. The Koreans would hear/watch me give the instructions to my male co-workers and then relay them to their translator and so on. Somehow the bureaucracy made it ok for them.

    It sure irritated me to no end. It also made me appreciated how lucky I am to live here in the SF Bay Area in CA.

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