3pm -- The sofa is still stuck. Patience is wearing thin.
While Bill is swearing under his breath and wrestling with the electric saw (and possibly the most awkward and unsafe angle ever -- he eventually makes about 12 cuts since the sofa refuses to collapse into a format that will round the corner), the movers resume loading the rest of the stuff onto the U-Haul. It soon becomes apparent that our stuff is NOT going to fit. Not even close.
As the sofa finally gives up the fight, Bill calls the movers at the new house (remember that we're four hours away, and they are arriving at 5pm) and reschedules for 7am on Saturday morning. Just about this time, the movers announce that the U-Haul is almost full and asks us to prioritize the final pieces.
4pm -- I look for a hotel. But's it's spring break and everything is booked!
Bill suggests to me and Lauren that we can just sleep on the hardwood floor "in our sleeping bags." I explain, in a voice tinged with outrage and disbelief, that there is no way I'm going to sleep in a sleeping bag in my new empty house. The search for a hotel begins, and ends when I finally locate two rooms (one for me and Bill, one for Lauren) for a whopping $500. Suddenly, hiring professional movers to take charge of the entire thing doesn't sound so extravagant.
4:45pm -- We pay the movers and get on the road.
I suspect that movers get most of their money from the premium they charge hapless homeowners for the overage fees. Instead of the four hours we hired them for, they actually worked just over eight hours. And the bills keep piling up.
Of course, it's not like we won't be seeing them again, since we will need to make a second trip to finish moving all the stuff we had to leave behind the first time, including:
- Everything in the garage (tools, yard equipment, storage, kids bikes, etc.)
- Half the stuff in the basement (including the rails for the guest bed)
- Tables, chairs, and bookshelves from our daughter's room
- The picnic table and six wrought iron chairs
- Various lights, lamps, tables, bookshelves, chairs, and other materials
Naturally, the house is a mess. Everyone is exhausted and grumpy (except for Lauren, who is a trooper) and we each get into our respective vehicle and get on the road. I pull away in the car and don't look back.
9:30pm -- We arrive at the new house.
The trip that should take three and a half hours takes just over five -- thanks to our departure from the city coinciding with Friday evening rush hour traffic. I play music really loud and sing along at the top of my lungs for the last three hours to stay awake.
Because we can't take the cats to the hotel, we meet at the new house to drop them off. I give Lauren a tour while Bill gets them situated in the master bathroom. The house looks giant and forlorn in the darkness, and I realize that none of the bedrooms have overhead lights.
10:15pm -- We check into the hotel.
There is (SURPRISE!) a nightclub pumping out music on the main floor, and Bill and I are put in a room immediately across from the ice machine (and lots of people who like to talk loudly and laugh uproariously while getting ice). We have no extra clothes, no toiletries, and no energy -- we just collapse into bed and try to forget that this day ever happened.