Years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I came into health class to see where Mr. D (the health teacher) had written in big letters across the board, SO YOU WANT TO MOVE OUT.
This led into an exercise on moving out of one’s parents house and what it actually cost to move out, pay bills and throw a baby on top of it all, since adulthood never completely happens until an infant appears, presumably unexpectedly.
(Although I wonder — was the hypothetical infant left on the doorstep? I would totally keep a baby that came to me that way.)
Allow me to paraphrase Mr. D: SO I’M FINALLY MOVING OUT OF MY PARENT’S HOUSE.
I’ll write more about what lead to me moving out of my parent’s house next week. This week’s column is dedicated to all the stuff I’ve learned while getting ready.
To begin, I had to buy some furniture for the apartment that, as an adult whose roommates are Mom and Stepdad Bill, I otherwise did not have.
Last month Mom went with me as I bought myself a couch and new bed. I expected the mattress to be expensive, and the couch was on sale. Figuring up the total in my head, I wasn’t unhappy with what the price would be.
Then we went to check out.
“There’s no way,” I said to Mom as we were sitting in the car looking over the receipt. The bed was about $800, the couch was on sale for $500. The final bill was $1,600.
We were in disbelief, wondering if perhaps we had looked at the wrong couch and got one more expensive. I took pictures of everything so I could compare couches I liked, as well as their price tags. I brought up the tag on my new couch, which was less than what the bill showed.
Turns out, a computer glitch at the store forgot to take down the regular price to the sale price, and I was overcharged $300.
The rest of the big furniture is coming out of my bedroom, was purchased by me or made by Grampa. Around the time we had bought the furniture, I had bought some fabric to reupholster the dining room chairs I bought on Craigslist. My grandparents and I put the fabric on one chair the first weekend, then finished up the last three chairs the second.
It was on the second weekend I got my first workplace injury. The three of us were working together to pry the numerous staples out from the cushion. I was going along with a flat-nose screwdriver and at one point stabbed at astaple.
Only instead of a staple, I impaled my own hand.
The good news is I got it bandaged and got a compliment from Grampa for deciding to finish the job in spite of the flesh wound; the bad news is the scarred spot on my hand is still tender a month later.
Then it came time to buy dishes. I did a lot of cooking and baking in college, so I had a ton of kitchen stuff in my closet or the attic. The only thing I was lacking was dinnerware, so a couple weeks ago I went to a department store that shall remain unnamed. The particular dishes I liked were on sale for $20 a pop, so I bought two boxes of four place settings.
I also learned a lesson in dish terminology that afternoon. I assumed four pieces meant setting for four people, and discovered upon getting the dishes out to examine them that evening that, nope, I had a plate, a salad plate, a bowl and a mug.
The sale was long done, and the regular price was $30 each. I could not fathom going back to the store to get two more boxes and spending a total of $120 for four people, and was pretty hot about it.
They went back to the store the next day, and I ordered two 16-piece boxes (Mom insisted I have service for eight people) of dishes I loved from Overstock. The total cost for service for eight from Overstock: $115, which was way better than $30 for one.
It’s been interesting, going through everything in my room, stockpiling kitchen stuff in the Florida room and crafting a moving plan. It’s also been pretty stressful. This is going to sound super petty, but Mom and I have been arguing over her love of matching colors and asking me what my “theme” for the apartment is.
However, now that moving day is less than a week away, the magnitude of the fact that I am moving out has finally dawned on me, and I know actually being there, being settled in and just in the apartment is going to bring on its own emotions.
I’ve spent the last year and a half living at home, which includes my dogs roughhousing, the family cats nestled in my bed as I’m working, and the daily juggle of keeping a house going and something resembling clean. That’s always been the norm, as a child as well as an adult.
But, life demands all of us grow up with it. I was the kid who constantly daydreamed about how much better adulthood would be; now life have given me the opportunity to move forward and become autonomous.
Is the move stressful? Heavens yes. But that doesn’t kill my excitement for getting out there and having a place of my own.
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Troydailynews.