Accept every wedding and party invitation that comes your way.
I know. I know. You really are moving to Mars, and you’re probably never, ever going to see anyone in New England again. They’re all highly likely to forget you if you don’t spend the summer attending events where you can keep reminding them you exist. Forget the fact that you need weekends for cleaning out basements and attics and shopping for new things for the house and finding reliable movers. Perhaps you’ll find a bottle with a Genie in it on that beach in Rhode Island where your friends live, and she’ll blink her eyes a few times and get it all done.
Decide to keep all scheduled doctors and dentist appointments until you’ve moved.
This guarantees that your dentist and doctor will find things like a suspicious darkness at the base of a tooth that didn’t show up on the last three x-rays he took and will probably mean the need for surgery or a pulled tooth the week the moving van is scheduled to arrive. Meanwhile, your doctor will inform you that you have some nodules that are most likely nothing, but that he wants to keep an eye on with regular, every-six-months CT-scans for the next year or so, which means having to move to a new area and find some doctor who will do this for you, since you won’t be here in six months. You’ll have nodules, and your spouse will have indications that the blood work for his hypothyroidism, which has been under control for years, is indicating that his medication may need to be changed, something else that needs to be monitored every six months.
Decide to make love in every room in the house before you move.
Yes, when you moved into this, your first home together, and you were all starry-eyed, getting married in three months, you swore you were going to do this. Twelve years later, there are some very good reasons you never got around to certain rooms, like that tiny, overcrowded study whose only comfortable surfaces are chairs you both use for work that don’t just happen to look like they might break, chairs that are needed for the study in the new house.
Eagerly accept the six beautiful tomato plants your neighbor offers you back in early June, even though your thumb is about as green as a red light.
There’s a reason you gave up the vegetable garden you had the first few years you lived in this house, remember? Why did you choose to forget it the summer before you move? You know perfectly well that droughts only hit during the summers in which you’re trying to grow vegetables, which means constantly having to remember to water the damn plants. You also know perfectly well that these plants will be at their best, delivering hundreds of ripe tomatoes in early September, just when you’re fighting with movers and trying to plan an ordination service and reception. Your spouse, whom you know perfectly well hates to waste anything, will decide this is the perfect time to learn how to can, so you can take tomatoes with you to your new home, which means exploding cans of red tomatoes all over the kitchen, just as you’re getting ready to rent the house.
Ignore the mechanic when you take your car for its regular free oil change at the dealership where you bought it when he tells you in late May that you need new brakes on the car.
Of course the dealership is always looking for ways to make money, and of course the brakes were showing no obvious signs of wear-and-tear at that point. It was perfectly reasonable to wait and to take the car to your local mechanic once the tell-tale, brake-crunching sound, signaling a real need began. You should have realized, though, that the brakes would be just fine until August, the month that is already scheduled to the hilt.
Insist, despite all you have to do, that you really need a vacation of some sort or you’re going to go crazy.
Really. Planning a few days at the beach around scheduled meetings at your place of employment is not, in anybody’s book, a real vacation, especially when you don’t decide to do this until the last minute and can only get a room at something that looks like it’s just one step above a Motel 6.
Plan an intervention with a loved one who desperately needs to go into rehab.
Again, not when you and your spouse have never done an intervention, you have no idea what’s involved, nor how time-consuming it is, and you’re not that close to anyone else who might be willing to participate, but have to be the ones to call these people to see if they’re willing to do it. Oh yes, and then there’s that bit the counselor tells you about, the planting of the seed that involves approaching the loved one to announce you think rehab is a good idea before any intervention can take place, so that you have to plan a time and place to do that around all the weddings and party invitations.
I’m so looking forward to November this year, the month in which I plan to bask in the joys of a settled house, a husband who’s settling into a new job, and a settled (or at least a little more sane) mind.