Hello. I live in Jersey.

We moved on Sunday, after an all-night frenzy of last-minute packing. Even though we had been packing for six weeks—and before the official packing had begun, had purged our belongings for our Open House, in order that we might fool would-be buyers into thinking that our home was clean and spacious and not inhabited by unhinged packrats—we were still up all night packing. There seems to be no way around this. Nature demands that the night before you uproot yourselves and leave your loved ones, you must also be deprived of sleep.

For the first day or two here I was positively blissful, but at some point on Tuesday I began my slow decline. It went a little like this:

Day 1: It’s so pretty here. And peaceful! This is going to be great!

Day 2: The quiet! I love it. I LOVE IT. I can’t believe I love living here! In the suburbs!

Day 3: Wow, the quiet, it sure doesn’t stop, does it? Isn’t there any noise?


Day 5: Goddamn silence makes me want to punch someone. And what’s this “I have to drive everywhere” shit?

Speaking of driving, I’ve only driven the car twice and already I’ve made at least two wildly boneheaded driving maneuvers. I err on the side of caution, as I am a 90-year-old trapped in a 37-year-old’s body. In one instance, my bony hands clutched the wheel at 10 and 2 as I came to a dead stop at an intersection because I couldn’t find the damn light (why do they hide it on the side like that?) and then wondered why everyone around me was leaning on their horns. (Even the people without cars! Kids these days! Walking around with horns!) But I’ll get used to this, right? Someone? At some point, I hope to stop sweating so hard my hands are sliding off the steering wheel.

It doesn’t help that my son has developed a car aversion, due no doubt to his delightful new tendency to vomit after relatively short car rides. (Dear relatives who want us to come visit you: will you wait until my son’s eighteen? If he’s not over this by then I’m pretty sure he could at least hold the bag over his mouth.) Today we went for a five-minute ride so that I could go to a dermatologist (because my face reacts to stress by EXPLODING. And my hair falls out! I’m breathtaking), and I thought Scott and Henry might like to check out the neighborhood library and meet me afterward, and boy what a bad idea that was! Which I realized when we told Henry we were getting into the car! “NOOOOO!” he shrieked. “GAAAAAH! I’m going to THROW UP!” he informed us. He didn’t, thankfully, and when we got there he informed us that the ride “wasn’t so bad after all,” a fact that leapt gazelle-like from his mind when it was time to get back into the car to go home. He went all boneless and wept facedown on the sidewalk while Scott and I discussed if it was okay to leave him there for the afternoon.

But enough about him; let’s get back to me. On the positive side, I have discovered my Inner Extrovert. I had thought I was on the shy side, but now that there’s no one around, I’m jonesing for the sweet stink of humanity. It’s unspeakably weird to have, instead of hundreds of people on your block, maybe eight. (It’s a small block.) While I used to sit in my apartment gritting my teeth while gaggles of morons stood directly outside my window, leaning against the security grate and discussing That Slut Chrissy Who Totally Fooled Around with Rick (for example), I now find myself standing on my porch, shrieking salutations at the 3 or 4 people foolish enough to pass by. (If you happen to be in Jersey and you spot a hairless acne-ridden hysteric perched on her weed-choked lawn, flailing her limbs, do not be afraid. That’s how I say hello!) The few brave souls I've spoken to have been lovely, even when my son tried to kiss them full on the lips. (Apparently he feels as I do, with the whole love of humanity thing.)

Also! Weeds! We have this lawn, and we have absolutely not one single clue what to do with it. We also don’t know how to take care of, oh, anything else. Our ignorance in all home ownership matters is absolutely staggering. So far our strategy has been to stare at the weeds and say, “We really should, I don’t know, rip those out?” and then go back inside and stare at the boxes and say, “Oh, god, so much to unpack.” And then we join Henry in his Quest For Galactic Dominance, in the relatively clean corner of the dining room.

So yeah, so far this is all working out just fine.