Blog readers, in my journey to be more kind, positive, loving, and patient with others, I have a HUGE topic that gets me every time. I continue to receive one recurring comment from people EVERYWHERE, be they friends, family, neighbors, Facebook friends, church members, etc. I simply can’t ever respond to this comment with any success. Can you help me out?
Here’s the situation:
In 15 years of marriage, we have moved eleven times. Each time we move, it is a good thing (because I’ve finally found a safer, less expensive, more spacious rental or because we were finally able to buy) yet each time we move, we receive the same comment made with the same face:
<grimaces painfully> “Wow, you guys sure move around a lot. When are you going to settle down?”
Here’s my explanation:
–While my husband was in grad school, we had children, so I was always on the lookout for kid-friendly yet inexpensive properties. Whenever I found one, we jumped on it, usually after our one-year lease was over. So we moved every year while in grad school.
–After grad school, we moved to a new town for my husband’s work. Our home in the previous town didn’t sell, so again we had to rent. One rental closed down because the owner had been foreclosed on, so we were forced to rent the first place we could find in a HURRY. This place wasn’t safe for children, however (on a very busy street with some “registered offenders” on it), so we moved again a few months later once we had the time to really look around for something suitable (that’s right–THREE moves in one year. I’ve tried summing this up to people who make “the comment,” but the story is too long so they just tune out).
–When my husband decided to pursue his doctorate, we again packed up, moved to another city and into a rental, then when he finished his doctorate, we bought a home in that town.
–With his post-doc completed, my husband has recently received a VERY lucrative offer from a company in a faraway state. We will be moving this year for the TWELVTH TIME. That’s right–TWELVE MOVES IN FIFTEEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE.
I haven’t told ANYBODY but my parents and siblings (and inlaws and husband’s siblings) about this new job because I’m not ready for the emotional workout of facing all those grimacing comments about how often I move.
Can anybody help me prepare a gracious response?
RESPONSES I’VE TRIED IN THE PAST:
- I’ve tried laughing and just saying, “I know–I must be a gypsy at heart!” or “Yes, God must want us to learn a lot–maybe our children will grow up to become world-travelling missionaries!” (but people just respond, “Your children would be better off with some stability.”)
- “Yes, moving is such a blessing. All these moves keep me from accumulating too much stuff; it is so freeing to live the minimalist lifestyle!” (usually met with “Yes, but children need to know that their possessions are secure, not going to Goodwill every few months!”)
- “I am so grateful for the increasingly beautiful homes with decreased rent that we’ve been led to over the years. These moves have made it possible for us to pay for my husband’s doctorate!” (usually met with, “Yeah, but it you add up the cost of moving, you’d probably save money if you would just STAY PUT!)
- “Yes, we do move a lot–we’ve been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities for my husband’s education and career that I don’t mind the changes in housing that they bring.” (this is usually met with, “Yeah, but it could hurt his career if you move around like that. It make you look unstable or like you are running from creditors.”)
The worst was last month–I went to visit a dear friend of mine at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and I let it slip that my husband was considering this lucrative job offer and she said, “Sheesh–you guys move more often than I do, and we’re IN THE MILITARY!”
I had no words to respond. I was too embarrassed.
On our last move, I just never told anyone. I never announced it on Facebook, never told anyone but family, since our phone numbers stayed the same and we were only buying a home in the town where we already lived. BUT GUESS WHAT? Come Christmastime, a bunch of my friends wrote on my Facebook wall, “Hey, your Christmas card was returned to me–what gives?” I quickly deleted those posts, then sent one-on-one messages explaining that we had bought a home (and “oops, silly me, I was so busy decorating it that I forgot to send out an announcement!”) and giving them my new address, but within days, I had former classmates, coworkers, college roomies, and even past boyfriends saying to me, “Sheesh, ANOTHER move?”
So with this upcoming move, I’m dreading telling anyone about it. But I can’t just not tell people, or I get the returned-card-fiasco all over again.
Blog readers, HOW can I announce this move AND keep some shred of dignity when people give me the usual spiel about how weird they think it is that we are moving?
Or am I weird in your minds? Give it to me straight–I can take it. Nothing you say will be worse than what I’ve already heard. And if I am just plain weird, can you think of anything I can say to help assuage my weirdness?
DISCLAIMER: I’m already working my way through those award-winning stay-positive guides The Anatomy of Peace and Bonds That Make Us Free. If any of you knows a way to simply adjust my thinking in the vein of these teachings so that I’m simply no longer bothered by these statements, please share–I manage to let most comments slide as these books teach, but for some reason the “moving comment” is so frequent and SO vehement that I have a really hard disregarding it!!
Thanks, everyone!! 🙂