Things I’ve learned about Arizona so far

The days are all flowing together right now — I can hardly tell what day of the week it is, because nothing about what we’re doing is routine.

Our things aren’t here yet, so we’re staying with Brent’s parents, and of course our dog doesn’t get along with their dogs. Of course. So we do this maneuver where either the two dogs that live here get to roam around the house, or Stanley does. It’s annoying, and makes it so at least one dog is locked in a room for hours at a time.

They’re happy we’re here, I know, but everyone will be happier once we’re settled.

Since life has been anything but normal, we’ve decided to lean into that and do the settling in chores that most people (myself included) put off until push comes to shove.

I mean, I have an Arizona drivers license right now, and we got in just a few days ago!

Anyway, as a result of running around a bunch, I have some observations about Arizona that I want to jot down before it starts to feel normal here.

Things I’ve learned about Arizona so far

  • It’s hot here.
  • If you say that to someone, they’ll laugh at you, and say, menacingly, “just wait!”
  • The lack of humidity makes my hair look great, and my skin look like it needs exfoliation like whoa.
  • They moved the letters around in DMV — they call it the MVD.
  • Also, they have this genius idea where they outsource licensing and title stuff to third parties. So, for a small to medium fee, you can avoid the “MVD” altogether!
  • Portland is mud, Arizona is dust. There is so much dust everywhere.
  • The mornings are really wonderful. It takes awhile to heat up, so sitting outside during the morning is a really good idea.
  • They drive fast here, but it’s not scary driving like it was in LA — I feel like I’d have to go to “how to drive like you don’t care about stuff and things” class if I wanted to survive driving in LA
  • Chandler is far enough away from Brent’s parents that staying at his parents and driving to Chandler twice in one day made me feel like we live in our car.
  • Oh! Speaking of cars. Ours is gross. Like, drove 1500 miles on a freeway and also country roads in Oregon gross. So I suggested driving through a car wash. “Those don’t exist here. You have to go to one where you hand over your keys and go sit in the air conditioned lobby for half an hour.” Which sounds both exotic and expensive. Needless to say, at the time of this writing, our car is still dirty.
  • Either there are a lot of former NW dwellers here, or we keep attracting them, because our neighbor two doors down came out to introduce herself and talk about how much she hated living in Vancouver, Washington, then when the guy came to embiggen our dog door, he said, “I can tell you’re from Oregon because of the 503.” Turns out, he lived in Vernonia,which is a teeny tiny speck of a town near-ish to Forest Grove.
  • Our neighbors are very friendly. We had two fun conversations within the first 20 minutes of pulling into our driveway.
  • That makes me think the vibe down here is different. In Portland, it seemed harder to meet neighbors.
  • Styrofoam is a normal material for take-out containers and cups.
  • Very few people care about coffee here, so when we find a good cup, we get very excited.
  • It’s hot here.
  • Pools are way more common here than in Portland. haha written out that is maybe a glimpse into dummy Kathleen.
  • Clara wants to get in our pool so badly — we’ve dipped our toes in, and she wants more.
  • I did something I have never every considered doing before — I bought a swimsuit without trying it on. My logic was, “well, if it’s awful, it can be my at-home swimsuit,” which… I have never had an at-home swimsuit! But I want to help Clara get in the pool, and my swimsuit is probably still in Portland, so I bought one. Bold, right?

I go to New York on Monday, so any chance of this feeling normal get pushed off at least a week. Because normal isn’t going to a writing retreat in the Catskills for a week with girlfriends.

Today, we’re knocking more things off our list. We’re going to open accounts at the local credit union! We’d be tempted to keep ours, but OnPoint isn’t in the network, so we have to switch.

Don’t be jealous of my life right now.

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