In honor of the 8th anniversary of moving into our house, I present to you a retelling of the nightmarish move-in tale of woe. And let me begin by saying that even after all these years, this story still isn't funny to me. I hope one day it will be. But I seriously doubt it.
in 2004, we bought our house from a 60-ish couple who lived in it with
the wife’s elderly mom. They had fallen on hard times and were offering
the house for an amazing price. They were nice enough people who were
very Southern, salt-of-the-Earth types with religious tendencies and not
much formal education. They had a harpsichord in the living room, a
flat bed trailer parked out front, an RV parked out back and when they
told a story it lasted for 45 minutes and you could only understand
every other word. You know the kind of people to whom I'm
referring…Morons. For purposes of this blog I’ll just call them the Rons. And if you’re reading this and getting pissy that I’m not a very
nice person, well, no shit. If you’re offended, this blog probably isn't the best place for you to hang out. I'm sure you can find sunshine and puppy dog kisses somewhere else.
After we decided to
relocate to the “new” house it took us about a year to finally get our
old house sold and finalize our offer on the new house. During this
year we were in fairly frequent contact with the Rons' realtor, who
would occasionally refer to them as “high maintenance”, “naïve” and
“confused by the ways of the world”. This should have been our first
indication that we were about to enter into a shit storm of biblical
We made our low-ball offer, they
countered, we accepted and started the arrangements to close on the
house. However, the patriarch of the family, Papa Ron, kept canceling
the appointment to sign the paperwork. According to his realtor, with
whom we had become pretty friendly during the year of negotiations, the Rons didn’t want to move and were waiting for God to intervene and
provide them with a way to stay. Yet another indication that this
transaction may not go as smoothly as we had originally hoped.
a few days of wrangling (apparently God decided that he had better
things to do than work a Moron Family miracle in this case), we finally closed
on the house and finished our preparations to move.
a self-professed “planner”, I’m a little bit anal about moving.
Actually, I’m totally anal. I have a structured system for packing and
labeling household goods which makes perfect sense to me, and probably
no sense whatsoever to anyone else. Everything was carefully boxed and
labeled under my organizational system: boxes were labeled using a
specific color label for each room, and the labels had number on them to
indicate when they would be needed (1 = open first day, 2 = open first
week, 3 = save for last). So a box with a red label and the number 1
would go in the kitchen and be opened on the first day. Told ya I’m
anal. Call me if you ever need me to organize a move for you. I’m the
frigging Liberace of relocation. I’m the grand master.
had arranged for the movers to pick up our items at the old house on a
Friday and deliver them to the new house the next day. I had a cleaning
crew, carpet cleaners and repair workers scheduled to meet at the new
house the night before the furniture delivery to get the house ready for
us to move into. I had planned this move down to the tiniest detail
and it was going like clockwork.
Jeff and I got
the old house cleaned up for the new owner and headed to the new house
to meet our workers and get ready for the furniture delivery the next
It was about an hour drive from the old house in
far West Atlanta to the new house in far North Atlanta and we caravanned
down the road with our air mattresses, a handful of personal items, my
old dog Max (best dog ever) and Jeff’s stupid cat Sebastian, which
his former wife gave to us because she “couldn’t keep him anymore”. That's a story for another day.
We had given Papa Ron
and the rest of the Ron tribe until 4 p.m. to vacate the new house,
which was the same time frame our purchaser gave to us to vacate the old
We pulled into the new house at roughly 5
p.m….and it was clearly still occupied. We knocked on the door (and I'm
not sure why, since it was our house) and when the Rons let us in we
saw that everything was in exactly the same place as it had been the
last time we toured the house prior to the closing. Pictures were on
the walls, furniture was in place, not a single moving box in sight.
The Rons were all sitting around like it was just another day in the
I immediately burst into tears, which I
almost never do. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cried
in our marriage and this instance is #1 on my bust-out-balling list. It
was a world class meltdown. I was tired and cranky and I had hoped to
never see a member of the Ron clan again for the rest of my life after
the closing. Yet here they all were in *our* house. My well-planned
move was flushed down the toilet. Torpedoed. Totally kaput.
cry so rarely that Jeff panicked. He kept looking at me and then
looking around the house, again and again and again. Then he shoved me
out of the house, back in my car and said “Follow me.” We went to the
first available restaurant and he immediately handed me a glass of wine.
He was so concerned about my condition that he even let me leave my
car running in the parking lot with Max and Sebastian locked inside
because I was worried it would get too hot for them.
called the Rons' realtor, who in turn called the Rons. The realtor
called us back and said “apparently they didn’t make arrangements to
move.” No shit, Sherlock. You couldn’t have helped them out on this
one? We had to ask him four times to have them arrange to have the power
turned off so we could turn it on in our name, so he had to have known
that they were clueless.
We were stuck with two cars
full of pets and crapola, cleaning crews on the way, no place to
stay overnight and movers scheduled for delivery the next morning.
We made the only plan we could. We went
back to the house, helped the Rons empty out one room, put Max,
Sebastian and our two carloads of stuff in it and closed the door.
we went out in the hallway to have a little pow-wow with the Ron
tribe. The first thing Papa Ron said was “We called to get a moving
truck this morning, but there weren’t any”. They called *on moving
day*, after we had already closed on the house, to rent a truck. Bet
you’re not feeling so bad that I refer to them as the Morons now, are
Jeff was squeezing my hand like it was his
lifeline to sanity. He asked Papa Ron what he planned to do. At this
point, Mama Ron and Grandma Ron started taking pictures off the walls
and generally looking busy so they could avoid the conversation. This
was Papa Rons' response (and this is the God’s honest truth – I haven’t
changed a word of it): “We figured you’re such nice people that you
would work with us.” What. The. Hell. Did he think we were all going
to be roommates? Or may be that we would decide not to move in and just
give them the house? Is there a stronger word than Moron for these
people? At this point, Grandma looks over at us and says “I always
thought I’d live in this house until I died”. Well, Grandma, if this
shit continues we can make your wish come true. For all of you.
I’d like to say I felt sympathy for the Rons, but I think at this point everyone knows me better than that.
Jeff told Papa Ron that while we appreciated his predicament (a
total lie), the Ron family possessions needed to be out of the house by
midnight. You tell 'em, Jeff! I’m not sure what else occurred
during the conversation, because Jeff opened the door to our one
room in the house, gently shoved me inside, stepped back out and closed
the door. I spent the next few hours in a fetal position on the floor.
I don’t handle having a grenade thrown into my well-planned mission
Eventually I heard the arrival of additional
cars and trucks as Ron reinforcements arrived. The Moron Army.
Apparently there are many members of the Ron extended family, none of
whom were aware that the Ron tribe was scheduled to move. They
started heaving Ron possessions out of the house onto flat bed trailers
and into their vehicles and the RV in the back yard.
Papa Ron asked if they could leave some things for pickup later and Jeff told him he could stack items in the sun room on the back of the
house and in the garage. The Moron Army focused their attention on
relocating furniture to the designated areas. By midnight the house was
empty of most of the Ron possessions and the Ron Clan drove off into the
night, promising (threatening?) to be back the next day to finish.
movers were scheduled to arrive early in the morning, so Jeff and
I stayed up most of the night cleaning the house prior to the arrival
of the furniture (we had to cancel our cleaners due to the complete
annihilation of my moving schedule).
After two hours of
sleep, I got up around 7 a.m. and took Max out the front door for a
walk. And there…in the front yard…I found Grandma Ron and her teacup
poodle out for a little stroll. They had left frigging Grandma behind
to sleep in the RV! What the hell is wrong with these people? At a
minimum, they should have had the courtesy to let us know that we’d have
company overnight. The tears started welling up in my eyes again as I
realized that we may never get rid of the Rons. Ever. Just before I
had another total meltdown, Jeff walked up behind me and said “Do
you think she’s a gift with purchase?” Sometimes he knows the perfect
thing to say to cheer me up.
Our movers and the Moron
Army arrived within minutes of each other and there was a crazed
transfer of possessions throughout the day. Ron washer out…our
washer in. Ron mattress out…our mattress in. All day long. It was
total chaos. Jeff avoided looking directly at me all day because
he thought I’d burst into tears at any point. Meanwhile, neighbors
were sneaking up to Jeff and me and telling us how glad they were
to be rid of the Rons. I could certainly understand why. I’ve never
had such an enthusiastic welcome to a new neighborhood.
took three weeks for the Rons to pick up the remainder of their
belongings. Three long, painful weeks during which we never quite knew
when a Ron would pop up on our lawn with a pickup truck and
trailer...and the occasional sob story to try to make us feel guilty for
buying the Ron estate. It was excruciating. I’m
stressed out even typing this story.
Eventually we saw
the last of the Rons, although their realtor became a close pal of ours
and provided us with the occasional update. They’ve been through several
more houses in the years that we’ve lived in our current home,
which means more families have probably been through a Ron reaming.
I’m considering starting a support group.
think this tale is over, but I saved the best nugget for last: About
six months after the Ron were finally (Finally!) out of our lives, I
picked up the local newspaper and saw picture of Papa Ron on the front
page. He was interviewed because he was one of the first customers at
the new DMV near our house. In the interview he said (and I shit you
not) “I’m one of the first people here because my registration expires
next month and I like to plan ahead”. If I could
pinpoint the time in my life when my head was most likely to explode, it
would have been the precise moment when I read that quote.
better pray that I never see him again, although based on his
track record on prayer results it would probably guarantee that we would
bump into each other someday.
I may not be a very nice person, but at least I'm not as much of a complete failure as a member of society as he is. Yet.