It’s now time to think about moving Donald. I know I have.
No, not only visualizing the sizeable moving vans pulling up to the big white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but another large moving van pulling up to my own Neo-Victorian home in Huntington. The tedious task of residential relocation is one I now share with Trump. Happy for him, not as happy for myself.
I suddenly find myself in the odd place of having something in common with Donald Trump.
Like our president, my move is not one of joy or choice but a necessity. We are both being dispossessed. It is crushing, disappointing and for us both the future is unknown. Unlike him, however, I will not have to be carried out kicking and screaming by the National Guard. I accept my fate, bracing for this huge life change under difficult circumstances.
At the very start of this annus horribilis that is 2020, I lost my home to foreclosure.
With pressure to move, I went into immediate battle mode preparing for the inevitable. Preliminary checklists and pre-moving packing went into effect pre covid. Then the pandemic hit, putting a pause button on everything. Including foreclosures and moving.
I’ve stayed in my home.
But now the pause button has been released. Despite the pandemic intensifying into its deadliest phase, my bank, in a gesture worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge, has decided to hit the play button and things are being set in motion. Merry Xmas and God Bless us, everyone.
Unlike Trump’s lawyers who feed his fantasy about remaining in the White House, my lawyer called and said to start packing.
Ask any psychologist and they will tell you moving ranks in the top 3 lists of stressors along with death and divorce. Moving during a pandemic as the winter numbers spike, elevates that stress as though on steroids.
Unlike the January 20th, 12 pm move-in date of the Bidens when the Trumps must be out before, I have no actual firm date when to vacate. It’s ambiguous. It could be several months at best but I must prepare for the worst. The courts are clogged and sluggish creating uncertainty of an exact timeline of processing but I am certain it will happen.
Just like Trump must leave.
It’s just a matter of the when.
So this Christmas season while others have visions of sugarplum fairies dancing through their head, boxes and bubble wrap dance through mine, as I’m making lists and checking them twice.
More than Trump, I fully understand the monumental task of moving. Truthfully, the only concern Trump ever had about packing, was about packing the courts.
Being a life long collector/pack rat means there’s a whole lot for me to pack up. Not even counting the emotional baggage. Nostalgia mixes with frenzy. With a household chockful of artifacts, historical tchotchkes, and sets of antique bone china to rival the White House, the daunting task of packing up has weighed heavily on my mind.
Of course, Donald and Melania are not going to be throwing out their backs boxing, lifting, and schlepping. They literally have others doing the heavy lifting for them relying on White House staff and the Secrets Service who oversees the moving in and out of presidents. During social distancing, I can’t count on the generous offer of friends to help. This is a solo activity, supported by the metronome wagging tail of my lab Stanley.
There is no White House curator, just me logging and cataloging the hundreds of thousands of artifacts, pop culture items, and ephemera I have amassed in my collection over the decades. While Trump’s documents, memos, schedules, and emails start being moved to the National Archives, mine will be boxed and decisions must be made which mementos go into an inevitable storage unit.
The pandemic has made it all so complicated.
Moving companies themselves are faced with new and difficult challenges as is the consumer hiring them. It is likely Trump is not hiring 2 sketchy guys with a van he found on Craig’s list, but there are now very detailed protocols and guidelines adding one more checklist for safe moving. How much simpler it once was to move, when disinfectants, gloves, and social distancing weren’t an issue.
Like Trump, I’m also uncertain where I’m relocating to.
Without a clear-cut destination, the “where to” weighs heavy.
While returning to N.Y.C remains one of the top choices for me, Manhattan has all but pulled out the welcome mat for the Trumps. And Palm Beach neighbors don’t want him either.
My choices feel limited too. As the suburbs on Long Island have rapidly filled up with frightened urbanites fleeing the city, they have gobbled up all available rentals, leaving in its wake seriously picked over properties. With the COVID mass exodus, city rentals have plummeted making it an attractive choice for me to return to my earlier roots. Unable to view anything other than virtual tour lends a surreal quality to it all.
Where Donald Trump can actually live a peaceful life seems fraught.
Unwelcome anywhere (other than Russia) maybe Trump should just consider moving back to that Mythical America he longs for.
That soft-focus world where America is still great. Perfect for a president stuck in time. A town populated by friendly white folk where nearly an immigrant or person of color can be found, save in the service quarters. A town filled with fear-based conservative men who want to return to those good old days where women stay at home and everyone stayed in the closet where they belonged.
A big shiny moving van with a rearview mirror is at the ready Mr. Trump to transport you from the White House back to that fictional America you’ve been trying hard to move America back to these past 4 years.
Me, I’m packing up the past but moving into the future.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2020.