My name is Alisa Starr. And 2 weeks ago, I moved from Portland to Seattle. I make Snarky Cards: Brutally Honest Greeting Cards. I sell them in bars from a box that hangs beneath my boobs. I also have them in lots of stores. And I’ve made and sold 45,767 Snarky Cards so far.
I’ve been planning and working on this move for a couple of months. And I’m a little surprised that I pulled it off.
And I’m uncomfortable, finding new places for things I can’t quite decide if I should have kept. My room is too small for all of my shit. Or maybe I should have just burned everything and started over, instead of shlepping all these journals and craft tools and books and dvds from that tiny, shitty town I’ve escaped.
I called Stephen in a panic. “Nothing. Is. Organized.” Anguish made my voice shrill. Stephen remembers the satisfied look on my face when I finally made file folders for all of the love letters I got in high school. And organized them by sender, and year and month. “I know you can do this, Alisa. You can organize anything.” He spoke slowly, so I had to really pay attention to him. He also sounded really sure, so I thought about it. And I remembered that the list of people I’ve slept with has it’s own file folder. I started thinking maybe I just have the wrong furniture.
“But why is it so hard?” I whined to Arlette. “This was so easy when I was young! I used to do it all the time! I thought it was fun!”
“Remember how fucked up we were? Yeah, moving was fun because all we had to concentrate on for a few days, was putting things in a box and hauling them from one place to another. Now we like our lives. We’re comfortable. And moving is exhausting.” I thought about it for a minute. “Oh. Yeah. I was pretty sure I was gonna end up in jail or in a mental ward until I was, like, 27. And moving was a vacation from worrying about that shit.” My voice caught a little bit. I hadn’t realized those fears had passed until right then.
I love my new house, a thousand times more than I loved that shitty apartment I used to inhabit. The house is old. And, unlike my old apartment, nothing is my fault. If something doesn’t work, I don’t have to fix it, or report it, and then get in trouble, because my land-lord is an asshole, and is pretty sure everything is my fault.
If a bill comes, I don’t have to collect the money to pay it before something gets shut-off. The walls are not permanently stained by my hair-dye, or my Snarky Card paint. I don’t have to fill the house with furniture, and I alone am not responsible for making sure that the walls are covered with inviting art. I just have to keep my space clean, and write checks when the money is due. It’s such a relief. I had no idea how much of a constant worry that apartment was until it wasn’t anymore.
And my new landlord is awesome, and nice, as opposed to the property management company I’ve been dealing with for the last six years, who used to exude a freakish amount of despair and weirdly displaced anger for a small office operating in a supposedly friendly town.
My new office/paint studio, is no longer My Living Room. Which means that my room-mates and their guests no longer randomly wander into the middle of my 12 hour painting jag and emotionally vomit all of their problems all over me, both annoying and distracting me. It’s cold, and the floor is cement. So, I need to get cushions. And maybe a space heater. But the ass-cushion Alice made me before I left, and my paint sweaters seem to be doing the job all right. And the privacy allows me to get lost in my work. Which is something I treasure so much. I need that psycho-paint-a-thon head space. It gives me relief so that I can go out and sell cards.
My cats are happy. And I didn’t lose that much shit in the move. And I have friends. And selling here is pure joy. It’s so easy. People just seem to like my cards. And me. And they enjoy buying them. And they’re so fucking funny! It was fun being the funniest person in the room in Portland, but this last year it’s just gotten lonely. In Seattle I’m one of a bunch of clever people. And perfect strangers tell me the funniest, most surprising stories. And finally being around people who are as charismatic as me is making me up my game.
So: in conclusion, I live in Seattle now, and even though the move made me really fucking tired, I really like it here. You might see me haunting the bars on Capitol Hill. Or, if you miss me, you can get my Snarky Cards from the Internets. And as a prize, because I’m so delighted by Seattle, Go to http://snarkycards.etsy.com and enter the coupon code seattlerocks, to get FREE SHIPPING!