I wake up earlier than usual, fresh-faced and ready to take on the day. I did not spend the entire night tossing and turning, kept up by anxious dreams in which the movers arrived late, the previous tenants in my new place decided they actually didn’t want to move out, and the box filled with all of my precious family heirlooms was struck by lightning as I carried it out of my apartment.
My cats get into their carriers without any fuss. In fact, they’re ecstatic to be in there and wink at me to let me know, after years of wondering, that they actually have human-like intelligence and love me. Very much.
My landlord is sad I’m leaving and compliments me on the alterations I made to the apartment during my two-year stay. “Striped peel-and-stick wallpaper really brightens up the kitchen,” he beams. He gives me back my security deposit in full and refunds me two months’ rent for being “an absolute delight.” We stay in touch and become lifelong friends. I eventually convince him that landlording is unethical, and he gives it up to start a sanctuary for retired carriage horses.
My aging parents don’t come into town unexpectedly to help with the move. They don’t immediately injure themselves lifting a box and text me sporadically for the next year complaining of acute knee or back pain that—while they don’t say it—they definitely blame me for. No, I hire movers off an app called AllPaktUp for the low price of sixty dollars (plus zero dollars in service fees that didn’t get tacked on at the last minute) to help load my stuff into the U-Haul. The app is ingenious, user-friendly, and not at all a scam.
The movers arrive early and are super cool guys who source and produce indie movies on the side. They tell me they would love to read my work-in-progress screenplay and, lord willing, will have it in front of a Coppola by the end of the month.
The Hardy Boys (an inside joke between me and the movers) pack up the U-Haul in twenty minutes flat, scratching, breaking, dinging, and tarnishing nothing. No one glimpses any of my underwear sitting in an open-faced box on the sidewalk. When I move, all the boxes are organized, labeled, and sealed, and my undergarments are nowhere in sight.
The weather is not the hottest day of the summer. I do not get so sweaty I have to change my shirt three times.
After promising the movers I’ll keep in touch, I hop in the U-Haul, do a perfect two-point turn, then head over to my new place. Even though I’ve never operated one before, it turns out I am a natural U-Haul truck driver. I don’t ding any cars by taking a turn too tight, I don’t impede the flow of traffic by refusing to exceed fifteen miles per hour even on the freeway, and I definitely don’t misjudge the height of a low-clearance walking bridge and get stuck under there for several hours while a towing company rescues my sorry ass and cruel passersby snap photos of my folly.
I arrive at the new place thirty minutes ahead of schedule—which would be cutting it close if some TikTok pranksters happened to steal the temporary NO PARKING signs I’d gotten from the city and placed directly in front of my building, and I had to, say, hunt down some street parking nine blocks away. Fortunately, this is not the case. I park the U-Haul steps away from my new apartment’s front door, and I have a spare few minutes to spend relishing my godlike foresight and natural moving prowess.
My new landlord greets me at the door. Upon seeing my cats, she gasps and says she has a strict no-pets policy, despite that never being mentioned in the lease. Before I can respond, she laughs and says, “Thank god cats aren’t pets—they’re family.” We shake hands and exchange tender, knowing smiles. She tells me that she has two cats of her own, Ella and Amelia, and that her third, Felicity—God rest her soul—passed away last June and helped her accept the inevitability of the beyond. It’s sad but also uplifting.
As we begin unpacking, my partner (sorry, forgot to mention: I’m moving in with my flawless, loving life partner, not a roommate I found on Craigslist) and I fall deeper in love. We don’t have any stress- and heat-fueled arguments while maneuvering our couch through the front door. In fact, there’s no maneuvering at all. A whimsical man in a top hat just appears, ties a rope around our stuff, and pulls it in through one of the apartment windows, cartoon-style.
My partner didn’t bring six to eight unlabeled boxes filled with items covered in varying degrees of mildew. He didn’t steadily unpack everything he’d previously used to furnish his college dorm room and ask, “Where should this go?” I didn’t have to toss his matted Shearling arm-rest pillow into the dumpster in the dead of night and then vaguely blame its disappearance on the cats.
I did bring the expired olive oil and the near-empty body wash over from my old place. I’m sorry, I had to.
We get everything moved and organized in a few hours. We don’t spend months living in a half-unpacked, box-ridden hell maze, because, well, we’re simply better than that.
Our new place? Gorgeous, massive, and sun-soaked—just like the listing said it would be. Our new neighborhood? A tree-lined haven. Our neighbors? Quiet but kind. They keep to themselves but are there if you need a hand, and they are frank but in the charming, no-frills way of a salt-of-the-earth British woman. They bring over homemade tiramisu to welcome us to the neighborhood and tell us to keep the vintage, porcelain serving dish.
Our cats settle into their new home without issue. They love the place’s vibe and don’t need to spend two to three weeks hiding under the bed to get acclimated.
My partner and I spend the night ordering takeout and eating it on the floor—not because we have to (we already found the perfect spot for our gorgeous midcentury-modern dining table) but because we want to. We’re romantics at heart and recognize that all the little stresses, hardships, and imperfections of moving day just make for a cherished memory to look back on years from now—for other people, at least.
Our move, famously, had no stresses, hardships, or imperfections, our life is just one stroke of good fortune after another, and we will never die.