ello, November 1st, how nice it is to meet you! You look exactly like October 1st, and September 17th before that – AKA: The day I drove down to LA by myself to start new roots.
I left the Bay, which I have known and been a part of for thirty-one years, for a new job. I knew it would be a lot of transition to take on at once, and it is. On top of all that, my first six weeks here line up like a laundry list of to-dos:
- Day 0: I leave. By myself. As I’m mid-hugging Bill good-bye, I start bawling. Goddamnit. Six hours later…I arrive! By myself. It is hot. I learn that “Pacific Gas & Electric” does not service the entire California coast. I have no utilities, water, or Wi-Fi in our new rental house. I do, however, have a week’s worth of clothes and access to Edith’s sofa bed.
- Day 1: I go to Bed Bath & Beyond. I hate going to Bed Bath & Beyond. I will be happy if I never enter a Bed Bath & Beyond ever again.
- Day 2: Bill mentions how he went to the Berkeley Farmers Market and I immediately react with, “I’m missing the farmers’ market!” I am able to drive to Edith’s house from my new house without consulting Google Maps!
- Day 4: My first day of work! I wear enough makeup to get through my badge photo. Compared to what is to come, I am only half-overwhelmed.
- Day 5: Orientation Part II. OMG I work here. Tuesday Morning is my favorite store. The cashier balks when I ask for no plastic bag.
- Day 6: I GET UTILITIES! AND A MATTRESS! At the end of my third day of work, I move into our new house. The view is nuts:
- Week 1: I understand why so many LA drivers own SUVs. The roads here suck! Personally vow to buy an all-wheel drive vehicle when it’s time. The house needs more stuff. I go to Bed Bath & Beyond. It is just as awful as the first time, except the parking is better.
- Week 1.5: I don’t have a microwave or cooking ware. I eat out, and then I eat leftovers. I am unable to comprehend the high population of vegans to piles of non-biodegradable Styrofoam containers in LA.
- Week 1.75: I’m lonely on the weekend. I decide to go to the nursery in 100-degree heat to buy and repot two lantanas and a jasmine tree. I’m running Google Maps so much I’ve reached 90% of my data allotment with ten days to go.
- Week 2: Orientation Part I (not a typo, my days were switched). “Full benefits” is about the sexiest thing I’ve heard in all of my entire career.
- Week 2.5: BILL MOVES IN! There’s no way I could have gotten through this move without him partnering with me from afar. I don’t even speak when we see each other. We just hug really tightly. WE GET WI-FI. I tell everyone at work. They ask “What did you do?” I tell them “I read physical books!” A flock of wild parrots welcomes Bill to our home:
- Week 3: OUR BELONGINGS ARRIVE. The movers truly earn their tips. I continue to exclusively wear sandals to work, because it’s anyone’s guess where my socks are.
- Week 4: LA utilities makes a clerical error on our water usage and averages me at 2,000 gallons a day for the first ten days when I lived in our house by myself. After getting off the phone with the water company, we fly off to Massachusetts for our East Coast wedding reception. It is a quintessentially New England experience (except for being second-generation Chinese American). I love the colors:
- Week 5: We return to a busted water main. Coincidentally unrelated to the utility error, but leaves us without running water. We go to both IKEA and Bed Bath & Beyond on the weekend and we’re still together.
- Week 5.5: We get water back.
- Last Week: I find the rest of my socks, and we finally make our first visit to a pet shelter to find a canine companion.
…everything is happening right on time.
Small Note: The featured image of a chickadee in a red berried tree was taken in Massachusetts during the week of our New England Reception. It is definitely not from LA.