Archive for March, 2009

Drive by greetings

I ran into a friend yesterday — not literally, thankfully. While I was making a left turn, I saw her waiting at a traffic light.

I tend to make eye contact with other drivers as I pass them. My theory is that this can reduce the risk of road rage incidents. It’s harder to get out and shoot someone if you’ve made eye contact. Or so I hope.

I recognized her as the mother of one of my daughter’s preschool classmates. We smiled and waved, and I drove on.

363305146605_0_sm2When I was in London, I ran into people on the street every day. I had lived in the same neighborhood for several years, so I encountered the same people often, at the gym, the grocery store, or at the doctor’s office. Most of us had babies we pushed around in strollers every day, rain or shine. 

Because we were always on foot, we could stop and chat. The driving culture here seems a bit more isolating. You really can’t have a conversation with someone you recognize, unless there’s a traffic jam. But that’s probably frowned upon.

An Ode to American Appliances

I am in awe of our washing machine and dryer. They are both massive, yet efficient.  3339670570233_0_sm-1In my seven and a half years in London, I never owned a dryer.  Our washing machine was tiny, so we ended up doing laundry all the time.

In our last flat in London, we had a combination washer/dryer. It was supposed to morph into a dryer once the washing cycle finished. Instead of drying clothes, though, it just made them incredibly hot.

When you tried to take the clothes out, forgetting how hot they were, you would drop them as you cursed the machine, then massage your burned hand, and watch as steam rose from the clothes that were then balled up on the kitchen floor.  

The washing and drying cycles took more than three hours. I can’t say precisely how long they took, because we never actually made it to the end. After three and a half hours, we finally aborted the cycle, and stuck to the “quick wash” function in subsequent washes (still an hour and a half long).

To dry clothes, we hung them on a rack in the bathroom.  Sheets we draped over doors. One weekend, when both kids had the flu, we had to do about ten loads of laundry to clean  the ensuing rivers of vomit.

There were pants hanging over doorknobs, socks on drawer handles, and towels on the floor.  The whole place smelled of damp and mold.  

So the most awesome part of our new dryer is that we actually have one.

Lost A Dress

cocktail_hour_sra_bustling_the_dressAs I gazed at a wedding photo on our mantle last night, I realized that I hadn’t seen my dress in a while.

In fact, I couldn’t remember pulling it out of one of the 90 boxes that we shipped from London.

I searched the house — we still have several boxes we haven’t unpacked (true, we’ve been in the house for more than a month, but when you start out with 90, having about five we haven’t gotten to yet doesn’t seem so bad).

I couldn’t find it. We checked the movers’ inventory list of the all boxes and their contents, and didn’t see it listed.

It’s been in a big box for the four and a half years since the wedding. In our London flat, it was parked rather inconveniently behind our couch. We didn’t have any other space for it.

Ironically, now that we have the space to store, or even take it out of the box and lie it out, it’s missing.

We can only surmise that it’s sitting in the closet in the flat where we lived for six months before we moved here. At least I hope it is. While the dress isn’t something I wear often, or even think about, I’d like to think it’s in the house. Or even the country.

I wonder, if someone found it in our old rental flat, would they wear it? Or throw it away, to make way for their own bulky items that don’t fit elsewhere in the flat?

I had hoped that my daughter might one day look at my wedding dress. Maybe even wear it. But then, not a single one of my friends wore their moms’ wedding dresses on their big day. They all wanted their own.

And both of my sisters-in-law say that theirs disintegrated over the years, despite their best efforts to keep them pristine.

But all my friends and nieces at least looked at their mom’s dresses. None of them said that their mom had misplaced her dress during an international move.