Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Day the Uhaul Ate the City

The first hint is seeing an older guy hauling an old rug over his shoulder while his wife drags along a plastic chest of drawers and their perky daughter is chatting on her cell phone. Mom and dad look exhausted. Daughter looks excited and very happy.

Then you begin to notice them. Big orange and white trucks. First one, than another, than every intersection is blocked by the trucks. Sometimes they are a yellow Penske, or a white Enterprise van. Sometimes they are a Budget Rental. Mostly they are Uhauls. Every once in a while you see a real moving van with movers. Those are the rich kids whose daddy's bought them condos to use during their college years.

In front of block long apartment buildings are discarded mattresses, chairs, and broken furniture. They belonged to the old tenants who moved out on the 31st in order for the latest crop of students to move in on the first. The apartments are rarely clean. Junk is just piled in the street, skips sit in the median between the road and the buildings.

There are kids everywhere. Hugs, hellos, and embarrassed "these are my parents" comments abound. Groups of more seasoned students watch as TVs and bookcases are hauled up front steps. Exhausted movers sit on the stairs drinking a soda or a beer, while the parents keep going in order to make it back to New York tonight. The hotels are already full, no place for them to stay.

At the dorms, cops are directing traffic to ensure that the kids get their stuff in and out as quickly as possible. The cops are really nice. They know this happens every fall, and then again in the spring when the students leave. No reason to be hassled about it. It's just a rite of fall in Boston.

What should have taken about 20 minutes today instead took well over 3 hours. But the Girl had a blast with me, looking at all the activity and watching it all like it was a big giant movie screen. We laughed at the crazy driving antics of kids in big trucks. We cracked up at the mom carrying her extremely expensive custom Coach bag inside a plastic wastebasket. We watch with amazement how many people were dead lost on the most major street in Boston, Commonwealth Ave. We drove through BC and it was relatively quiet. Maybe they're already moved into the dorms, or they arrive later. I don't know. But once we got near BU, all hell broke loose. It was a frenzy of stuff up flights and flights of grimy stairs. Kids so proud of their first scummy apartment, their first real home on their own.

I remember my sophomore year, when I too left the dorms and moved into a house with several other people. We had our own kitchen, our own yard, our own bedrooms, and we lived in a real neighborhood. OK, it was a student neighborhood near a cemetery, but I loved that house. I recall sitting on the front porch and chatting up the passersby. We all knew each other by the end of the year. It was the place I grew my first garden on my own. It was the house where I raised my crazy Irish Setters. I had so many friends and so much craziness in that house. One roommate had to be committed and his parents had to come from the mid west to hospitalize him. The person that took his place was a brilliant guy who went on to become an famous author. I had two roommates from Long Island and learned all about how to be an east coast Jewish girl from them. I learned how to cook. I baked my first bread in that house. I made bagels for the neighborhood in that house.

When I show my kids pictures of us all from that time, they say, "OH, you were hippies" and yes, we were. Life in my first house was great. I loved it.

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Blogger Poppy Buxom said...

Let me guess: you're the one in the hat. :D

1/9/07 7:26 PM  
Blogger DeeJay said...

I truly love, love, love that picture! It's a classic!

1/9/07 9:08 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Poppy, nope, not the one with the hat. But I am in the photo.

2/9/07 12:00 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

You've just made me want to go back to college...

2/9/07 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I'm going to take a wild guess -- are you the one in the plaid-looking shirt, with the glasses?

2/9/07 3:49 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Great photo! Yeah, your post made me feel very nostalgic for days past.

2/9/07 1:08 PM  

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