Subourbon Mom


Stagers and Build-A-Bear – A Moving Story About…Moving

There comes a time when every suburbanite needs a change, so they turn their lives upside down, become instant HGTV experts and get the overwhelming urge to purge.

Since there’s no good time to have kids and there’s no good time to move, we decided to add the challenge of doing it in the fall of Daughter #1’s senior year. I mean, really, there isn’t much going on except SAT Tests, college visits every weekend, college applications and Senioritis.

Once the decision was made, we realized we had to get our stuff out of the house (all 15 years and two children of it), and try to make it look like no one ever lived there except June Cleaver and a decorator from Crate & Barrel.

It quickly became clear that we needed a Stager. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, a Stager is someone you pay to come to your house and tell you what you need to get rid of or change so your house will sell. What no one tells you is that having a Stager come into your house is a lesson in humiliation.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – our Stager is a seriously nice lady with good decorating sense who was trying really hard not to be too critical when she was talking about my decorating.

Apparently, there are decorating rules.

I decorate by seeing a picture in Southern Living or Coastal Living, buying one piece of furniture to start the look, then covering that piece of furniture with stuff until you can’t see it anymore. Then I start the process all over again. After walking around the house with my Stager, she said in an exasperated but kind voice, “Are these also the same curtains that were here when you moved in?” When I nodded, chewed her lip and asked hesitantly, “So, do you like shopping?”

I looked around and said, “Um, does it look like I like shopping?”

She just nodded to herself, like a therapist would after hearing some whackadoo story that confirmed their theory that the client is definitely…skewed.

After realizing my serious decorating deficiency, I decided I would channel all of my pent up anxiety at having my world (voluntarily) turned upside down onto the Stager.

And Build-A-Bear.

I now despise Build-A-Bear. Not only did they raise the stuffed animal bar so high you spend half a paycheck picking out fake roller skates and a tutu for a leopard, but they did something even worse – they created memories for the children.

Oh, it was great when my sweet baby girls’ faces lit up on a Build-A-Bear day. I loved watching them pick out the outfits and “adopt” their animal at the kid-friendly computers. Fast forward 10 years when we are trying to fit everything into a pod and there are two more trash bags filled with stuffed Build-A-Bear creatures that just won’t go in. Can I give them away? Of course not – each bear is a memory. They say you can’t put a price tag on memories – well I call bulls#*&t. The price tag is $25-$35 dollars, if you’re lucky and get the basic model without the fancy clothes.

images-2So in went the Build-A-Bear bags (yes, I kept them, damn you, Build-A-Bear) and all of the syrupy memories, and out went two trailer loads of junk to the dump. In went boxes of schoolwork from kindergarten on, and out went my jean skirt from 1989. The closer we got to the show date, in went a lot of bourbon, and out went sentimentality.

Now that the Stager is no longer in our lives and the Build-A-Bears are packed away, I’ll have to find something new to channel all of this self-inflicted anxiety onto.

I’m thinking it will be the person who decided the NFL should play football on Thursdays. I’ve already missed my picks for Week 1 – maybe I’ll go get a football bear.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So damn funny!!

Patrice W. Carroll, MBA

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Comment by Patrice Carroll

You will survive and now u can have that song stuck in your head the rest of the day

Comment by lynchburggal70




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