Best.Toy.Ever. Or, (Feminine) Hygiene Begins at Home.

The morning, the Babe and I left home, hair wet, clothes barely on, bleary and disheveled, to meet the lovely men of Russell's Moving and Delivery at the H's office, to move his office furnishings, computer and so on back to the house in anticipation of M-Day. Because of his back surgery, he's not allowed to drive, lift or bend, so there was no point in his coming, and he cannot be alone with the Babe--hence her participation in this whirl-o-fun.

The men had already called to tell us they were ready and waiting at the old studio lot where the H has been working these last few months--45 minutes early. I was still sitting at the kitchen table in the fuzzy grey robe the H loathes trying to mainline my caffeine when the phone rang--it was Cesar and his crew, letting us know they were there, waiting for me. Ah. But Russell told me 9 a.m. In about 8.4 minutes, I made Dido's lunch, got dressed, brushed my teeth, grabbed snack, diaper bag and Babe, and raced out the door, to get in my brand new object of lust car (the one I bashed into the Westside Range Rover Mom yesterday, yes, that one) and race off to meet them. Mind you, no one races in Los Angeles at 8:45 in the morning. Gridlock is everywhere; you drive accordingly. But I was only five minutes late, the Babe was strapped into her stroller and behaving in her most charming, flirtatious manner (and when she's on, she's on) and the security at the lot couldn't have been more helpful, or the movers more polite or careful...all was well, progressing ahead of schedule, even. Beware, oh overconfident one. After twenty minutes of watching the movers pack the H's stuff into boxes and arguing with me over whether or not my wallet, and the cash within, were appropriate playthings (you can guess the sides in that debate) lovely Babe morphed--and that word fails to do justice to the immediacy of the transmogrification--into Banshee Babe, screaming, throwing herself on the floor, kicking, beating her tiny clenched fists. Desperate to get through the next seven and a half minutes more or less mentally intact, I went fishing in my purse.

Thanks to the ugly orange bible, my purse is now scarily organized--three different zippered mesh pouches hold make up; my "office"--pens, cards, notebook, stamps, white out, and the like--; and emergency supplies (which include, of course, dark chocolate.) The make up bag is always the favorite, so I started there. Want to help mommy put on lipstick? (First of the day--what the hell, live large!) Nope. Want to look at yourself in the mirror? No way. But then, she saw it. Her eyes dilated, the corners of her mouth stopped pressing themselves down into the ground and perked up. Mascara? Lotion? Some other mess-making opportunity? No, no. Nothing so public domain. A tampon. OB Super, to be exact. Her smile like an arc light, she clutched the object of lust tampon in her hand, and proudly showed it to the moving men, who focused on the fascinating question of how to move the carpet protector under the desk. Only when she started screaming at the injustice of being strapped into her carseat a quarter of an hour later did the Babe throw it across the car floor, its obvious charms faded, its magic betrayed. Next time she throws a tantrum while the H is charge I think I'll suggest this remedy and see what he does.


Synchronicity, and the count down accelerates...

We are nearing M-Day in earnest now, not only is it impossible to turn back, but we are hurtling downhill, legs powerless against gravity or will. In 9 days, the truck with our belongings will head off to New York, and 3 days later, the kids and I will follow. The H will stay behind until his surgeon deems him fit to travel, via first class only. Thank goodness for frequent flyer miles. The only remaining big logistics are moving our cars (which basically means choosing amongst a bunch of different shipping companies) and getting my family files (you know, tax stuff and so on) in a semblance of order which will allow them to be moved and then unpacked without creating the appearance of a Staples store having exploded inside my new house. I hate filing--always have--when I was an "assistant" (that's Hollywood-speak for a secretary) at a film production company, I would let the filing pile up until the mountain was so high that I had to come in on the weekend to get it caught up. Pathetic. My home office is no better.

Meanwhile, as the H complained to me the other day, I've had about five different going away parties with different sets of friends, and I've gotten increasingly tearier at each successive event. Today, I woke up with not just the cold I caught from Dido the other day, but a full blown flu experience, body aches, fever, and so on. In the midst of this, I went to the car dealer to trade in my old minivan (yippee) for my new station wagon (yahoo.) All went fine until, having returned home with the car, I decided to run down to the market with the kids, and, as I pulled out of my (blind) driveway, a car came flying down the wrong side of our narrow street, tried to beat past me before I could pull out, and I bashed into her door. My bumper is scraped, as is her driver side door--neither too badly, really. But the Angelenos who are reading will understand when I say it was a typical Westside mom, driving a Range Rover, accessorized like a Barney's ad, dressed like a teenage guest star on The O.C., and unable to deal with the situation without immediately calling her husband on her high-end cell phone to ask him what to do. His first plan of action was that she call the police. I said, if that's what you want to do, fine. We can all go in my house, and I'll call them. I suggested that maybe we exchange insurance information, and get on with our lives, a suggestion she happily took once Husband agreed that in fact, perhaps law enforcement wasn't necessary.

The only good thing about this experience is that, like some others recently, it reminded me of exactly what I'm wanting to escape in Los Angeles--people who value affluence over competence. And, by the way, that's not true of any of the many, many people I adore who live and work here. This city is full of amazing, smart, creative, profoundly good people. But I can't take the chaos or the pace that surrounds those good people any more. I have done lots of things to create oases of community around me in this city, and I think I've been largely successful. But the larger environment is what I don't have the fortitude for any longer. I wonder if, really, I ever did. From the minute I moved here, I felt that I had moved to a foreign land, one where I might never quite speak the language well enough to pass for a native. The funny thing is that instead of going back to someplace I already know, I'm going someplace I barely know, and to a lifestyle (rural) I have never lived. My shrink's first reaction, when I announced our move, was that I was running away from internal irritations, not external ones. I suppose that remains to be seen.


Time flies, until its back goes out

Some of you may remember, from my last post, oh, nearly an entire month ago, that our happily little family has been planning a move. Rather a big move, all the way across this screwed up country of ours, away from the endless sunshine and relentlessly toothsome vanity of Lotus land to the dreary, gray, homespun humidity of nearly New England. Well, we're still moving. At least, three of us are. The fourth isn't moving so well these days. Two weeks or so ago, the H, busy readying himself for another day of typing for dollars, had the temerity to cough. Said cough has been his undoing. He has a herniated disc. He will be having surgery. We are moving in 21 days. Feel my pain, because his is too excruciating. Mine is merely existential.