I rearrange furniture when I’m stressed or about to start my period. Probably too much information but there’s something about rearranging furniture that is comforting to me. I think that I hold hope in the possibility of rearranging my life with this furniture. If I move the television maybe I will unlock some door to my ultimate creativity and success. I know. It doesn’t really work that way but I still think it might. One day I’ll move the sofa and some unimaginable revelation within the universe will shine its light on me. I’ll get a big deal film gig. I’ll find true love. I’ll lose 20 pounds. Something.
Tonight, I rearranged the furniture. The girls made maps on scrap paper where they thought things would go after I reestablished the room. I took the television out. My oldest found this to be almost unbearable. Now don’t think I’m opposed to television. Each girl has a television with a DVD player in their room and there are times I insist they go watch a movie. We don’t have cable, though. You can blame that rude Hannah Montana for that one. I don’t have the energy to monitor what they watch and the Disney Channel is full of a bunch of rude tarts. That’s just my opinion. Anyhow, television isn’t that sexy without cable but that’s how it is around here. I moved the television from the living room into my room and moved a big magnificent piece of art to the living room. The oldest said she didn’t know anyone who didn’t have a television in the living room and she didn’t think we could even call it the living room anymore. I argued that we couldn’t call it the TV room anymore but we could certainly call it the living room. She thinks I’m half nerd half superhero. I like it like that. The youngest was too focused on where she thought our guitars should go and didn’t care two flips about the television.
My ex-husband and his new wife are selling the house that I moved into when I got married. It’s the house that I had my children in. It’s the house I got married in. It’s the house I got engaged in. It’s the house that I left. Everything is completely fine with my ex and his wife. We are all on good terms. In fact, we are all very good friends. The house thing is hard for me though. I didn’t really like it when the new wife moved in but I really don’t like the thought of this house leaving the family. I look at this house as the house I expected to grow old in. The new wife, whom I’ll refer to as the step wife from here on out, did not love the house like I did. By the way, step wife is a title my oldest came up with. “If she’s our step mom, can she be your step wife?” Works for me. Anyhow, I saw only potential in the house. She saw the dilapidated reality. They moved. She’s been doing the lion share of getting it ready to put on the market. I still had things stored there that I hadn’t taken with me. A few days ago, these things were waiting for me on my front porch. My step wife had called to let me know she’d brought them over. She’s kind of a saint that way. There was a trunk full of my baby clothes, Girl Scout uniforms, cheerleading uniforms, softball uniforms, baby dolls and baby blankets. There was a box of china dolls that I’d gotten in elementary school and a box of play china. There was also a box of negatives and pictures from my time in this house. The birth of my oldest child was especially documented. The step wife asked me if there was anything else I wanted. I want the dining room table. She said that it wasn’t a problem and wanted to make sure that I knew it was a little wonky. I told her I did know. I didn’t tell her that I actually picked out that table with my ex-husband because it was a little wonky and therefore cheap but made out of really solid walnut. I didn’t tell her that he had proposed to me at that table and the oldest had taken her first steps there. I didn’t tell her that my youngest blew out her birthday candle on her very first birthday on that table. I didn’t tell her that a man with leopard dyed hair, a guest at my wedding, had helped me serve my wedding cake from that table because my ex had left me there to do this task alone. I didn’t tell her that I’d stacked my belongings on and around that table when it was time for me to go. I just told her that, yes, I knew it was a little wonky and that I would love to have it.
As I was rearranging furniture tonight, I wondered why I felt the need to readjust, to open an unknown door. I know I’m trying to find a place for that old Girl Scout uniform somewhere in this new life. That’s obvious. I know I’m making room for the table. What I don’t know is what door will open next. Maybe if I move the piano…