Hello from the other siiiiiide! The other side of moving, that is. We are officially in and Internet’d, which I think is the true way to declare you’re moved into a new home. With each box we break down and toss in the garage, this South Carolina house feels a little more familiar, a little more homey.
My generous mother has accompanied me through dealing with the movers, transporting two small children across two states, and unpacking box after box. (Thanks, Ma!) As we were unpacking boxes, I began to lament that I seemed to have more stuff than storage space. My mom pointed out the obvious.
“It’s not that you have so much stuff. It’s that you have like three of everything.”
Ah, yes. This was the ultimate unveiling of my FORO (Fear Of Running Out). Instead of running out of Ziplock sandwich bags and texting my husband to pick up a box on his way home, I preempt that stress by BOGO-purchasing four boxes when the current box is half-empty. This way, I’m never left in the lurch!
This slight insanity brought to mind other irrational fears in my day-to-day.
Running out of gas on an overcrowded interstate.
This can’t just be me, right? If I see a sea of brake-light red across the lanes, I immediately check my gas level. I’ve never actually run out of gas while stuck in traffic, but I can’t even imagine the horrors. And if I have two strapped-in fruit-snackers in the back? Forget about it. That sounds like a scenario pulled straight from my nightmares.
Forgetting my wallet with a cart full of groceries.
Every doggone time the cashier scans my groceries as I cajole my children away from the candy section, I feel a jolt of panic that I left my wallet at home. Every time! Have I every actually done this? Ah, no. One time, I did leave my wallet in the car, but that was quickly resolved. I think I’d shed a tear if I had to leave my cart-full at the register while I slunk out in shame.
Running out of milk.
The previous owners of our last house left a mini-fridge in the garage. Initially, I attempted to sell it on Facebook Marketplace, but quickly realized my hasty mistake. The thing could hold three gallons of milk! Three! Since my children and husband go through a gallon of whole milk every other day (for real), we’re basically keeping the dairy industry afloat single handedly. And because of this insane rate of consumption, if we get down to one gallon, I live in constant fear of running out (FORO).
The too-bright bathroom lights.
OK, I know I’m not alone on this one. I went to a UF Gator basketball game a few weeks ago, and the bathroom lights were blinding. I ended up squinting at my reflection and gasping to the older woman next to me, “Why are these lights so bright?!” She said, “I know, honey! And you’re younger than I am, so you have less to worry about!” No one needs to see that much detail of her complexion. That unibrow forest that mysteriously sprouted between your eyebrows? Yeah, that only grows under intense lighting conditions. That blemished skin? Same deal. Also, where did all of those grays come from?! The world needs to take a clue and dim the bulbs. Plus, imagine the savings on electricity!
The toilet-adjacent mirror.
Once on a work retreat, I entered the one-hole bathroom, got ready to do my business, looked up, and realized there was a full-length mirror directly across from my knees. This scarred me for life. You know what no woman ever wants to see? Yeah, herself sitting bare-behinded. Sorry for the graphic mental, but, seriously. I want to live in the fantasy land that tells me my hips are at least half a foot more narrow than they appear in said mirror. Items in mirror are smaller than they appear, eh? I live in constant fear of a repeated experience.
And on that lovely mental image, I’ll leave you to your peaceful night’s rest.
Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson – This young-adult novel was inspired by Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest. My only familiarity with the play comes from that 2002 film starring Colin Firth and Rupert Everett. My favorite thing about Lily Anderson is her writing. She references a ton of geekdom entities, which I find fun and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed her debut novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, which was heavily inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I’m enjoying this one, but it’s a bit heavy on the hormones for my taste.