I’m Living in a Stress Dream


This is how I’ve felt for the past three weeks.

Where do I even begin? Well, it’s been a fiasco. Some of you know a little of the story from Facebook, but here goes.

We finally got word that our (very late) belongings were arriving in Oklahoma City last week. The day before move-in, we dropped by the rental condo to take some final measurements, noticed some wetness and staining on the living room floor, and called the landlord who promised to check it out immediately. The next morning we woke up, took Wita to her first day of pre-K, and prepared for the big moving day. D drove over to the condo to check things out while I packed up our stuff from the interim at my parents, and about thirty minutes later, he called me from the condo. The owners were there, along with some service professionals, and guess what they found? A big ol’ leak, and yes, you guessed it, BLACK MOLD. Black mold in the walls, black mold in the plenum, I’m guessing black mold in lots of very fun places. (Hey, this wasn’t our first mold rodeo.) About the same time, we heard from the moving company that the semi-truck was 30 minutes outside of the city. HOORAY! Our belongings! Yet, um, NOWHERE to put them. Teeny tiny dilemma.

Don’t think we didn’t realize the irony of these two crucial events happening within 30 minutes of each other. We had been pooling and cocktailing and socializing at my parents’ home for the past 7 days – it sure would have been nice to find out about the mold, I don’t know, say, a a few days before moving in so we could find a new place in time. Alas, no. 70-foot semi truck! Pulling into town and headed to Tennessee directly afterwards! Let’s do a Herkey!

Needless to say, the calls to local storage units started immediately. Um, exactly how big does a storage unit need to be to house 12,000 pounds of stuff? Pretty big, folks.

It was around lunchtime when the driver arrived. Luckily, he was planning to stay the night in OKC, so that gave us the rest of the day to try and miraculously find a rental that we could move into the next morning. (Hello, tall order. The Amazing Race – Oklahoma City Edition!) And that’s when I felt some serious Okie love. You guys, friends and family were coming out of the woodwork to help us on our quest for a place. My phone was ringing off the hook with offers of help. Oklahomans are like that, you all. Always have and always will. After several hours, we managed to find a small apartment to move our stuff into the following morning. Very small. Talk about some family bonding.

The next morning, the semi met us at the storage unit (where we would have to store about 75% of our stuff due to the size of our new digs), and what happened next was a true delight.

When the local moving crew opened the semi door, you should have seen the looks on their faces. Something to the effect of this:

Not only was the moving company’s delivery over a week late, but they hadn’t been, um, very gentle with our things. As in, about 40-50% of our belongings were damaged, but take a look for yourself! Good times!


As someone (hilariously) commented on this Facebook post, “That’s why it took so long to get there. They had to break everything first.” PREACH.

The local movers remarked that they had never seeing a truck packed so poorly. Our sofa was lying on top of crushed boxes marked fragile. Mangled furniture, crushed lamp shades…just a heaping mess. Tens of thousands of dollars of damage, with most of the items being irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind from D’s treasure hunts. (Well, I should have known this was going to happen when they cracked our Saarinen table in half even before loading it on the truck.)

Thank God we purchased extra insurance. Deep breath.

So! Now the four of us are living in an apartment (or “rahpartment,” as Wita calls it) smaller than my first one out of college located directly next to a major highway, which means sometimes I have to swerve to miss drunk panhandlers. (A pleasant, updated apartment, though! Don’t get me wrong – we are very grateful to have found it.) Also, we have chosen to forgo (doesn’t that phrase remind you of the fantasy suite letter on The Bachelor?) internet and television, because we figure, what the hell, we might as well make this as uncomfortable as possible. Let’s be Amish in this stress dream of ours!

Last night, while I stared at the pale yellow walls and listened to the tenant in the unit above us march around, I had a moment.

But then I immediately had another one.

Because you can’t even make this stuff up. This month has been so awesomely horrendous that it’s impossible to keep a straight face. The stress feels almost unmanageable. It’s screaming “YOOHOOOOOO REMEMBER ME?” – my body aches down to the bones and my hair is falling out like crazy. But you just have to laugh. A lot. And know that things are going to get better, and that some really awesome Mindful Monday posts will come from it all. (I’m not there yet, but they are a’comin’…) Most importantly, things could be so much worse. So much. I am very aware of that fact, even when I’m playing tiny violins for myself.

As for the housing situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are under contract on a house that is perfect for us right now and not a project. I repeat, NOT A PROJECT. We might just be able to sit down and exhale really soon. I’m very, very much looking forward to that moment.

  1. brianne

    August 28, 2014 at 7:15 am

    oh Sarah. hugs to you. i’m deep breathing for you too. glad you have a good support system in OK! hope your stress dream turns into blissful reality ASAP.

  2. christine collins

    August 28, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Best description…I know it was stressful but I was laughing my way through reading about your problems. Awesome post Love the visuals.

  3. Menchie

    August 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Is 1,000 sq ft that bad? That’s the size of our house in so cal for 4 of us:/

  4. Asha Dornfest {Parent Hacks}

    August 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Holy shit, Sarah. Sorry, that’s all I got. That, and, you are awesome for managing to tell a great story about it right in the middle of it all. Sending good thoughts. Wishing you all well.

  5. Sally

    September 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I know this is a tough situation but a 1,000 sq.ft apartment is hardly a hardship. If that was the size of your apartment out of college, well, you’re lucky. Get a grip.

    • Kimberly

      September 8, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Wow, grumpy much?

    • Becky

      September 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Charming, really… Maybe you forgot to take you kindness and love pill this morning? As someone who has had to face several moves over 1000 miles, literally moving out of one, driving to the new and unpacking within three days, 1000 sq ft. can feel like a sardine can until you get unpacked and organized. To add all the other stress on top, 10,000 sq. ft. probably wouldn’t feel spacious enough.

  6. Stacey

    September 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    It could always be worse. In May, 30 minutes before the moving truck was due to arrive, my parents got a call from the CEO of the moving company: the truck had caught on fire and all of their belongings were destroyed. Long story short, only 99% of their belongings were destroyed, and they’ve spent the last 4 months replacing 50 years of stuff (everything irreplacable was destroyed, of course) and trying to get reimbursed for it. So, coming from there, what you have going on isn’t so bad! I mean, all the photos, etc, are still intact, right? All good things!

  7. Kimberly

    September 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Wow. What a week. You definitely have not lost your sense of humor through all this. Your video slices really captured what I would feel too. How amazing that you are helping us laugh in the midst of it all. Thank you!

  8. CL

    September 12, 2014 at 12:09 am

    We had our moving van stolen – 23 foot long moving van gone, very gone. We lost nearly everything we owned. And I had to itemize everything we lost. I would advise anyone who moves to take pictures of everything. Anyway, my lovely insurance company gave me 1/3 of the value of everything I listed and said they would reimburse me further as I replaced things. I had toddlers. I was not going to be doing any of that. Of course that is what they want you to do. Anyway…. I think your stuff is worth 2/3rds more than you do. You feel me?