It’s amazing how much things can change in such a very short time. Once again, the 21st Century Housewife’s household is in the throes of change – positive change to be sure, but change nonetheless. My husband G has been headhunted, and offered a new opportunity, an opportunity he has chosen to accept. Suddenly, unbidden, my as yet un-submitted manuscript is expanding, chapter by chapter, chronicling this period in our lives. I wondered for some time why I did not get my act together and actually submit the manuscript of 21st Century Housewife to the publishers as it seemed it was more than ready. Now I know why. It isn’t actually finished yet. Up until now, I’ve never discussed what it is to take a 21st Century Household and move it which is strange, given the number of times I have done it. You see, the new opportunity is some 150 miles away so I have three months to move our not unsubstantial household from here to there or else face an undesirable period of enforced separation when G is there and A and I are here. This will provide a huge amount of material.
You see, I’ve moved our household before. Not just once, but several times. We have never been folk to stay in one place very long. In fact, this is the longest we have been anywhere. To be honest, we ought to have moved before this to be closer to where G works now. We were held in place by our love of the home we have created here and by our love of our rather wonderful house. The house we are living in now is really my dream house. It is decorated exactly as we would like it to be, reflecting our tastes and lifestyle. It is more than big enough and has some really special features, like a library, which I love. I wonder if I will ever be able to find another home (no matter how palatial) that I love as much as this house.
Our move is further complicated by the fact that we wish to keep this new opportunity secret from some members of the family until we have actually firmed up some very basic things – like where we are going to live, what house we will buy and where A will go to school. I find it is so much easier telling some people things after they have already been organised, as a fait accompli if you like. You see, they will try to help. This is really very kind of them, but it can make an already confusing situation pretty much unbearable. We will be moving closer to several different family members, all of whom will want us to move closest to them, all of whom are actually too far away from where we need to be. They will have ideas of where we should live and what we should do. I do not mean to sound ungrateful, but we have enough of these ideas ourselves already. In fact, they keep waking us up at night.
The hardest thing about keeping this secret is that my mother-in-law is psychic. Not officially psychic, nor a practicing psychic, but actually psychic in the sense that she knows things. My mother-in-law is a lovely lady and I don’t know what I would have done these last few years through my parents’ illness without her listening ear and practical advice. I just wish she didn’t know things the way she does. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t push or anything, but we’ve already had a call out of the blue asking if everything was alright in the way that she asks when she knows something is afoot. This makes it hard for her, because she does know something is up, she knows we aren’t telling the truth and she probably worries about what it is. It makes hard for us because I hate lying by omission and also because I know she is worrying which isn’t nice.
Although I have told some people who live further away, we have just begun to tell our friends locally in advance of the For Sale sign going up. How I dread that day. I hate For Sale signs. Suddenly your home is out there on the market. I swear it is like being on the market yourself. What other possession so reflects us as our homes? But if it does not sell quickly, G and I will be apart, and that I cannot face. So sell it I shall, and I shall pray it goes quickly.
I also hate the pain our revelation causes. Although A is excited, relishing this change of scene, his friends are very upset. This morning when one of them called on A to walk to school he barely spoke to G and I. Rather, he just looked at us sadly and reproachfully. One man’s opportunity is another man’s nightmare.
Despite all this, I have to confess to some excitement myself. A change is as good as a rest as they say, and what better opportunity to reinvent oneself than a total change of location? I’ve been listening to Madonna’s song “Jump” recently and I hope she won’t mind if I quote it here – “There’s only so much you can learn in one place.” Madonna is wise about a lot of things and this song is one of the most listened to tracks on my IPOD at the moment.
So watch this space as the 21st Century Housewife and Co. move on to pastures new.