My first boyfriend after my separation and eventual divorce was happy to go house hunting with me. When I actually bought one, he promised to help me move. He had a pick-up truck lined up from his buddy for the breakable stuff, and everything was a go.
The realtor called the day before moving day and said she had the key for me and to come over and get it. I was at the big house, telling the gardeners which stuff to take in their trailer: the garage metal shelving, the fountain, the patio furniture.
I gave the gardener my new address and then hopped in my car to go get the key from the realtor. The BF would already be there since he lived close to my new place. It was three miles away. I got halfway there when I realized the gardeners had probably left the backyard gate open.
The dog! We had a miniature dachshund, my son’s dog. Son was away at college. If anything happened to his little Wiener . . .
I did a U turn and headed back to the old house. Sure enough, as I reached the crest of the hill on my court, I saw the dog standing in the middle of the street with one paw lifted up as if to say, “WTF?”
Thankful that the school parents hadn’t flattened him into a wiener-dog pancake, I scooped him up, put him in the back seat, turned around, and headed once again, to my new house.
The realtor looked unhappy when I got there. The BF was impatient, too. I explained about the gate and the dog. The gardeners were pulling up with my outdoor stuff. Everyone was talking to me at once.
I thanked the realtor and sent her on her way. The gardener asked where to put the metal shelving. The BF grabbed an interior door that was propped up in the garage and asked me where it went.
“I don’t know,” I said.
The dog was squirming out of my arms, so I put him in the house. The BF opened the door to the house to carry in the interior door and yelled at me to put the dog in the yard. The gardeners had the gate propped open to bring in the patio furniture.
“No!” I said, picking up the dog. “The gate is open.”
“Tie him up!” the BF yelled.
“I don’t have anything, not even a leash,” I said, reminding him how I’d scooped up the dog in the street.
“Get that dog out of here!” he yelled.
“This is my house, and my dog, and he’s staying inside,” I said.
Then the BF stormed out the door.
“I need to find a job,” he said.
The gardener and I looked at each other. The BF screeched away. I’d never seen his temper so bad before.
I spent the afternoon lining the horrible pressed board kitchen cabinets with contact paper while the Dachshund wandered around his new secured yard.
The BF didn’t call. I couldn’t believe it. He’d left and didn’t call all day or night. Was he still going to help me move?
The next morning the movers were there at 7:00 a.m. They were shocked at how much stuff there was to move, the kids’ belongings, all the stuff my ex had left behind that was too good to throw away. The estimator had given me a price over the phone. She never came out to see the stuff, just went by the square footage of the house.
The movers called for a second truck.
17 hours later, the movers drove off. I was so tired I could barely stand. The Sonoma friend had come to help and had left. The ski club friend I’d hired to clean the old house was still there. The two of us went back to the house and worked until 2:00 a.m. A wasp stung me when we were cleaning the front porch, and we started laughing hysterically, we were so tired.
I said I had to lie down. We went back to the new house. The ski club friend climbed into another bed. We got up and 6 a.m. to go back to get the last load. She asked me for a Starbucks coffee, and it was the least I could do for her.
When we pulled up to my old house, the new people were already there moving in. I apologized and got the last of the stuff. The street was filled with a huge pile for the dump – the gardener was coming back with his trailer to get it.
I got back to the new house, paid the ski club friend, sent her home, and lay down around 9:30 a.m.
The phone rang. It was the BF offering to take me to breakfast.
“I’m exhausted,” I said. “I’ve spent the past 24 hours moving.”
The BF hung up and called a mutual friend. He told her that I had dumped him. Three days later it was my birthday. The mutual friend arranged for BF to take me to lunch and apologize. He offered penance and installed a doggie door for the dachshund he had tried to tie up five days before. It took the BF all day one day to cut through the stucco wall to install it.
A week later the BF’s landlady handed him a free vacation to Twain Harte for a week since her BF was in the hospital. My BF took me up there and saved the relationship for another three years.
But I never forgot how he abandoned me.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
I should’ve gotten out of the relationship right then and there, but I was not quite done with of a hostile divorce, had just changed neighborhoods, and was three months away from closing my shop. It was a lot of change all at once, so I kept the BF and forgave but didn’t forget my moving day.