Tuesday, September 2, 2008



Yes, it is a word and it finally describes my life. For the past 5 years I have been moving every 4-8 months and that is anything but permanent. Last year I lived in 4 different places in one year. Granted, 3 of those were in the same city, but you know what I mean. I was so tired of moving in and out that I stopped fully moving in. I had unpacked boxes I just shoved under my bed and I stopped bothering to decorate my room. Although, this was mostly because of the time in my apartment with the view of the snowy Wasatch mountains, I had entirely covered the bedroom wall with a years subscription worth of Surfing magazine pages I had ripped out (to remind me there was still an ocean out there). But tragically that night my 6 hours of labor were all undone when I woke up in a sea of magazine pages which had rained all over me during the night. I said to myself, forget it- I’ll be moving out in a couple months anyways.

But something happened yesterday that changed all of this: it was the purchase of a Scotch tape dispenser. There I was in Target knowing I needed more tape as my cheap Western Family brand disposable one had run out, and I looked at all the disposable invisible tape options until suddenly my eyes caught hold of this beauty…..

It looks so simple, but it was the pivotal moment for me in the realizing that I had finally achieved permanence. I thought to myself, it’s time I buy a real tape dispenser, none of this searching through unpacked boxes for a disposable tape dispenser and then borrowing mom’s when I go home, no I need my own, my real, my official…permanent scotch tape dispenser. And now it sits on my desk as a symbol of stability and achievement.

But why did this matter so much? It’s odd to me that this small tape dispenser was what it took to make me realize my permanent and independent situation. Everything I buy, it’s mine and I will have it for a long time to come and it is finally permanent. I’m no longer buying twin sheets for some college dorm room that I won’t use in 2 years or a temporary dresser to fit the ridiculously small apartment rooms I had to live in. No, this is different.
I thought the realization that I was finally moving on and grown up would come upon graduation, or maybe upon moving into my new house. My parents came and redecorated my loft and then I bought a nice chair and tv to complement their hard work and I started feeling a bit more settled.

But even then, it hadn’t quite clicked that this wasn’t temporary and that I was on my own. You’d think the fact that I signed up for my own cell phone plan and pay for it, that I had to choose and pay for my own health insurance plan, that I pay my own rent and utilities, that I paid for my car or even that I do all my own grocery shopping and meal planning (ok that’s a lie let’s be honest I only eat out) would have made me realize this. No, there was a missing piece to the puzzle. And I finally found it, a single scotch tape dispenser that looked at me and said "This is it, welcome to the real world Melanie”.

Really, it did.


ashlin said...

that's great that you're getting all settled, i'm the exact opposite right now, i'm currently wandering the bussling streets of provo with my car full of living essentials looking for a place that will let me stay on a month to month basis. i guess i finally got my dream of becoming a hobo.

also i think a tape dispenser with that much significance should have a name. i vote spencer, or spence or Spencie McScotch.

Kari said...

this is amazing. i am envious of your grown up moment. i've yet to have such a moving experience as all i've ever done is collect dishes and pictures and made plans for my "someday" place. and now that that day is fast approaching i don't even know what to do with it all.

happy real-worlding...you'll have to let me know how it goes. and if its worth it, or if i should just stay in my naieve 5th year college senior world, and never grow up.