As I write this, I am watching Keira Knightley's version of "Pride and Prejudice" on cable for the fourth time in the past three months. Yes, I am strangely obsessed by this beautiful film, perhaps because of the rich details in the set design, the story (I have never read the novel), the gorgeous cast, the dialogue, and most definitely the music. Anyway, that's not really the subject of this post, but having it play in the background provides me some comfort as I reflect on the momentous 96 hours that have just passed.
First, in a span of about five hours on Thursday, we got rid of our two cars and rented a minivan.
Then, on Friday and Saturday, we held the mother of all garage sales. It was my very first as the seller. I had absolutely no idea how much people really haggle over prices, and therefore became the hapless victim of that segment of the population that never pays "full price" for anything. As V. and I ran around in 90 degree temps, attending to Will whenever he wasn't napping, we had to deal with stubborn customers who had the nerve to ask to have a dollar taken off an item already marked down to $2. I was exhausted from continually moving things from the basement to the garage to display during the sale. One woman bought all of our plants in one fell swoop. A family that relocated to Atlanta after their house was destroyed by Katrina in New Orleans bought our patio furniture. A cute young couple bought our bedroom set. One guy was only interested in whether I had some old 35mm camera equipment in the basement (and I did!). I heard at least seven languages spoken over the course of two days (the cultural diversity in Atlanta always surprises me). In the end, we made a tidy profit, but we will need to make a couple of trips to the local Goodwill to rid ourselves of those things that just wouldn't sell.
On Saturday night we had a much more enjoyable time attending a party in our honor. Thirty-two of our closest friends (including one who flew in from NYC) threw us a wonderful goodbye party at Donna's house. A few of these friends were people I met when I first came to Atlanta in '96, whereas a few others we had gotten to know just in the past year. Several of V's friends came as well, which caused the room to nearly burst with psychologists and psychiatrists. There were some teary farewell speeches and some very nice gifts (including a Visa card to buy furniture once we get to Brisbane!). I am pleased with my new mousepad, made up of several of my work colleagues who got together and posed for a group portrait after a faculty meeting a few weeks ago.
The group picture on the left was taken mid-party (before Tracie's margaritas had their full effect!). Let me be clear. These people really are true-blue, honest-to-goodness friends, and we are going to miss them terribly.
Driving home last night at 1 am, I wasn't in much of mood to talk about it all with V. The six hours at the party flew by so quickly...just like our wedding. The idea that our life here is nearly over still hasn't sunk in. I'll see a few of these people later this week for some more goodbyes, but it it is time to accept reality...we ARE moving to AUSTRALIA! (Damn, what was I thinking?!)