Here’s why I haven’t been updating my blog

I haven’t put up a new post in a week and a half, so people have been wondering when I plan on getting back to my blogging ways.

To answer their questions: I’ll be writing new posts consistently starting next week.

To explain my absence: My wife and I agreed that the holidays aren’t quite busy and stressful enough, therefore we logically decided to schedule our move into a new house, six hundred miles away, for Christmas week. This seemed like a good idea at the time. We had a reason for doing it this way. A compelling reason. I can’t remember what it was, but I remember that it existed.

In any case, it all went how you might expect.

Here’s a brief rundown of our last 12 days:

Leave Kentucky, drive to Maryland. Arrive in Maryland a day later. Briefly stop in new house. Head to see wife’s family. Drive down to visit with my family, see my sister Beth’s new baby. Exploit male family members into helping us move heavy boxes and furniture into new house. Drive to Virginia to drop Christmas presents off at my sister Joan’s monastery. Drive down to see my family for Christmas Eve church service/Dad’s birthday celebration. Wife’s mom’s house for Christmas morning. Wife’s dad’s house for Christmas afternoon. Wife’s mom’s house for Christmas night. Destroy wife’s family in Settlers of Catan. Wife’s sister’s birthday. Drive down to see my family again. Christmas shindig with my family. Nephew’s baptism. Drive back to our new house to start unpacking boxes. Back to Virginia to monastery for visit with sister Sister Joan. Back to new house. Unpack. Visit wife’s family again. Breathe. Get some new furniture. Move more things. Unpack more things. Continue working on house. Back to my family for New Year’s Eve. Destroy my family in Settlers of Catan. Try to officially finish the house because… Tomorrow through Saturday night: Philadelphia for wife’s sister’s wedding. Also expected to attend: a snowstorm.

I have spared you the dirty details of this holiday/moving/birthday/Baptism/wedding two week extravaganza. I choose not to flesh out things like the unexpected challenges of attempting to find a place to stop and sleep while driving through West Virginia in the middle of the night with cats and kids in the car. I won’t bother you with stories about the humiliation I endured when the manager at the Hampton Inn caught me attempting to sneak the pets into our room. (Rock stars get kicked out of hotels for having wild parties, I get kicked out of hotels for harboring illegal cats.) I won’t tell you about the budget motel with the bullet proof casing around the reception desk, which, apparently, is the only lodging establishment in West Virginia that accepts felines. I won’t get into the “For your own protection: keep door bolted at all time” sign on the door of the motel room, or the brown stains in the tub, or the strange smells, or the cops with the drug sniffing dogs visiting a nice gentlemen a few doors down. I won’t tell you about how all of these factors prompted me to remove my wife and children from the premises, keep the cats in the room for the night, and walk across the parking lot to a hotel that didn’t feel like a crack shack from The Wire. (So yes, in effect, we booked a room just for the cats. We are not wealthy by any means, but we had no choice. Or, at least, we couldn’t see any other choice in our tired 2AM haze, with the babies crying, and 400 miles of road still ahead before we reached our destination.)

I likewise will forgo explaining the scenario that ended with us calling the fire department and evacuating our home on the day we moved in — literally minutes after we’d hulled the last box from the truck into the house.

It’s probably for the best that I refrain from expounding on these things. I’m well aware that moving and “the holidays” are only stressful in our pampered society, where, lacking access to real suffering, we’ve invented these pretentious First World Problems. In fact, these are probably the two most prominent, most obnoxious, and most egregious First World Problems on the entire list.

Waaaah I don’t like moving because I have so many things! I have so many possessions that the act of transporting them from Point A to Point B takes the sort of money and manpower that, if more appropriately allocated, could probably build 27 wells in impoverished African villages. Also, waaaah, the holidays are difficult because I have so many family members who greatly desire my company! Waaaah I have to drive to several different locations to eat pie and drink wine! Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?

Yeah. I know. That’s what I just did. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

Maybe, if I could find a lesson in all of this, it would be the following:

If you are thinking about moving, remember to carefully gather together all of the items in your house — and burn them.

Burn them all. Just throw them into a pile and burn them.

Travel to your new location with only lint in your pocket and a dream in your heart.

Burn everything you own and dance around the fire like wild Indians.

I can’t promise that this will be safe, or sane, but it will certainly be easier, more enjoyable, and possibly more psychologically healthy than packing up all of that junk, hauling it across the country, and clumsily unpacking it, making sure to leave dents and damages on all of your most cherished items.

I think this country would be a better place if there were less moving trucks, and more crazed, anti-materialism backyard bonfires.

This is my advice. I did not take it, because I am a hypocrite, and I also have a wife who has long held fast to a strict “don’t set the furniture on fire” policy. But it’s not too late for you. Godspeed.

As a final, cheerful note: I’ve lacked the time or energy to shave these past weeks. My beard, in case you were wondering, is now manlier than it’s ever been. Someone stopped me on the street today and said, “I notice you have a beard. You must be a lumberjack or an eccentric novelist.” I’m told that these are the sorts of flattering comments that the bearded receive on a daily basis. I think I’ll keep growing it — at least until my wife makes good on her threat to slip Benadryl into my dinner and then shave me against my will while I’m sleeping.

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251 Responses to Here’s why I haven’t been updating my blog

  1. WATYF says:

    [Or, at least, we couldn’t see any other choice]

    Oh, that’s easy…. just get rid of the cats. :Op

    WATYF

  2. Denise says:

    I’m just now reading this post because my husband and I must have been on the same wavelength as you and your family because we moved 300 miles the weekend between Christmas and New Years…so much of your post sounded a lot like our week!

  3. Melissa says:

    Think you may be confusing me with someone else? I noticed there’s another Melissa on here chatting as well. I agree with you on this point. This particular response was to boilermaker something boilermaker said to me in one if his comments.

  4. Crystal says:

    *just finished packing everything I own into boxes and moving them* O_O I could just light them on fire? Aww….. oh well I’ll probably need to sell things to live anyway.

  5. Graham says:

    Even though I agree with you people should tip, I still had a major problem with your article. My problem is that this should really be bringing up the fact that the employers aren’t paying it’s staff enough in the first place and if the restaurant is charging $35 for an entree they can afford to be paying there staff better so they shouldn’t be relying on tips. I feel like the whole tipping thing has allowed bar/resturant owners to get away with murder.

  6. I do not understand what possessed you to move to Maryland…

  7. RvrStyx says:

    “I’m told that these are the sorts of flattering comments that the bearded receive on a daily basis.”

    The person telling you this is not lying, soak it up.

    “…at least until my wife makes good on her threat to slip Benadryl into my dinner and then shave me against my will while I’m sleeping.”

    This will be why I can never show my wife your blog. But I will continue to enjoy it immensely.

  8. Tara says:

    I get it Matt. We moved over the holidays. I thought hubby and I had done a pretty good job purging our wares to goodwill and catholic charities over the last sixteen years of marriage, they is until the cleaning lady we hired to do our move-out clean asked me if all “this stuff made me feel like a hoarder.” Well, no, not until you mentioned it, but she might have a point.

    By the way, I bought the Settlers of Catan for my son a few years ago. Setting up the game was a bit of a nightmare and we never gave it a go- maybe we should take a stab at it again?

  9. Tara says:

    I get it Matt. We moved over the holidays. I thought hubby and I had done a pretty good job purging our wares to Goodwill and Catholic Charities over the last sixteen years of marriage, that is until the cleaning lady asked me if all “this stuff made me feel like a hoarder.” Well, no, not until you mentioned it, but she might have a point.

    By the way, I bought the Settlers of Catan for my son a few years ago. Setting up the game was a bit of a nightmare and we never gave it a go- maybe we should take a stab at it again?

  10. Tee Medeiros says:

    Every now and then I stumble across your blog, think, hmm what a good writer, then I read a phrase like: …. “dance around like wild Indians” Then I stop reading.

    Please rethink that one.

  11. Cynthia K. says:

    Not many people can actually make me LOL via written word, but you did. It was not the hardships you faced, those sucked, but the self-deprecating way in which you simplified it. My family moved about 1300 miles in much the same way, with two very young childrenn and my 16 year old self at the time. We had cats and we were successful in sneaking them into the motel, but it reminded me of that crazy night. You, sir, are a brave soul. Bravo for still being alive and (hopefully) well!

  12. April H. says:

    Uhoh… I hope the catnip dealers didn’t come to your pets’ motel room when you and the family were away! 😉 But on a more serious note, thank you for giving me a fresh perspective on our first world “problems”. It’s reminded me to not moan and groan because of the work involved in taking care of the things we are blessed to have. Prayers!

  13. littlehouseofpenguins says:

    My husband’s in the military, so we’ve moved a total of 5 times in the past 4 years, which has been sort of crazy. So I totally sympathize. We have, at least, not tried to move on Christmas week. 🙂

    Very cool to see that you’re somewhat local! I grew up in Maryland and we’re currently stationed in Virginia. I hope you like living in the area!

  14. Debra Jo says:

    You are hilarious! I think that I will take your advice for the next time I move – burn it all! 🙂

  15. Lol says:

    Even though I do tip, I hate it. It’s like going to the dollar tree for a dollar item but it’s not going to be a dollar. Even though there’s a tip tax now because people made too much money on tips. people complain about not tipping when they’re getting paid the amount the sign up for, they’re just being more greedy. Get a new job if you can’t handle being not tipped. Don’t get mad when you don’t tip because some people can be broke but have a little extra to take someone out for an occasion, not everyone is rich enough to tip.

  16. Nick says:

    This is absurd. Women have fought and died so that you can have the freedom to write these sexist articles. If it wasn’t for them, this blog wouldn’t even exist. You have written something, sir, that is disrespectful to the U.S. military and the United States of America’s belief in democracy.

    • littlehouseofpenguins says:

      Are you responding to the wrong post? This one’s about moving. But, anyway, while some women have fought and died for America, far less of them have done so than men. This blog would certainly continue to exist if the small number of women in combat were not there. I’m not saying that their contributions weren’t valuable, but simply that they are a small proportion of our fighting force. And I speak as a woman whose husband is in the military, and who does not find Matt’s blog in any way disrespectful, but admirable.

  17. edje4him says:

    Haha! Just packed up a house 725 miles away from moving destination Dec. 16th! Didn’t have the new house until the 30th. Totally understand moving and the holidays. BTW why do people get married and have children at Christmas?!?!?!?

  18. There should definitely be an attempt to cull your possessions whenever you move. My rule is that each move should eliminate 1/3 as many possessions as a house fire.
    Unfortunately, my wife disagrees. She wants to keep everything.

  19. nate ellender says:

    I gotta tell you this article speaks to me. You see, I destroy all of my friends and family at Settlers as well. I win probably 80% of games, despite the oft-occuring alliance of “We need to stop Nate” that always happens after I build literally anything. I would dearly love to have a game with you.
    Also, I love to read what you have to say. Thanks for pulling no punches and making excellent points. God bless you, and may your success continue.

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