We’ve moved into our townhouse apartment, which is plenty big enough for now. Most of our stuff is in storage, but we brought enough with us to furnish this place. It was not easy finding a short-term rental in Amherst. After the house sold, we took a vacation down to Florida for a few days, and then moved into a Residence Inn for a week or so before settling in here. I was hoping the vacation would break things up enough so it wouldn’t feel like we were living out of suitcases for too long in between when the house sold and when we could move into the apartment. It didn’t work, though. Too much tension and too many arguments.

Closing on the Delaware house and moving out was torture from start to finish. When the buyers came for a walk though prior to mortgage appraisal and inspection, Lou saw a black snake in the driveway, which he later recalled as an omen of their evil nature. The first visit was friendly, but the site inspection raised a few minor issues, including the fact that Lou had gone around a small tree in the corner when replacing the fence, and had slightly encroached our neighbor’s property.  This was no issue to the neighbors, but it was a problem for the buyer’s mortgage company, that required the fence to be moved.  Lou had buried the posts encased in concrete and was unwilling to relocate the fence to our side of the tree or pay for the work to be done.  The buyers and their realtor soon became the enemy and he vehemently argued over the fence and other minor concerns to the point of threatening to pull out of the sale. I pleaded with corporate relocation to handle the fence issue, acknowledging that my husband was stubborn and unreasonable. 

The moving company packed our stuff well but were not careful when transporting my antique Art Deco vanity, which we had explained in the walkthrough to be fragile and needed to be moved in two parts. Yet, they picked it up whole, and to their horror, the huge etched mirror with the blue glass side panels and lights split from the inlaid wood base of the unit, and shattered, nearly falling through the window onto the driveway below. Lou brought photos to an appraiser, who valued it significantly higher than the mover’s appraisal company.  Lou was at the house and I was in my office while we discussed how to handle the situation.  He wanted me to call corporate relocation again and have them tell the movers to pay in full or that they would be sued and never get another relocation contract from HP or Agilent. I did not want to drag them in again, nor did I want to financially harm the movers, who were a small business franchise operation of the large moving company. I reminded Lou what we had actually paid for the piece, and suggested that we compromise between the appraisals, which were both higher than our cost. In response, he screamed and cursed at me in a rage that I was never on his side and worked against him on every issue. I said I would try, and did not fight, but it was too late.  He slammed down the receiver and smashed the kitchen wall phone to pieces.

I also got in trouble because he forgot my birthday. Again. He totally blew it off for the second year in a row, and I got a little bit upset. I didn’t yell, I didn’t bitch, but I was audaciously teary-eyed when it became clear that he had no idea it was my birthday and had made other plans on his own for the day. At least I was able to get an explanation to learn why he forgot. He stormed that it was clearly because I set him up to fail. After that accusation, I definitely bitched back that it cannot possibly be my responsibility to constantly remind him of my birthday. I had casually mentioned it a few times in the prior weeks. That should be sufficient. Correction, I don’t think it should be necessary to do even that. My snarky reply was that every other damn important thing, like an appointment with a personal trainer, or how many hits his website has makes it to his calendar, but obviously my birthday isn’t worth writing down. Anjelica, who was an unfortunate witness to this fight, went to his calendar and wrote in my birthday, Lou’s birthday, and her own on the correct dates, each with a cute little drawing with smiling faces and birthday hats and our names. Needless to say, that was the extent of my 38th birthday recognition.