Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday someone asked me what my tips for a newly relocated SAHM would be. I thought of the usual tips. But after sitting with it I thought of something no one tells you.

When you move to a new place, especially if you have left a place you were really connected to, the thing you miss is being known. It's hard enough not knowing where to go. You'll spend weeks finding all your new stores and services. But the hardest part is that nobody recognizes you.

There is no way you can feel at home while you feel like a stranger. But there are some surprisingly easy ways to fix that.

Become a regular.

Go grocery shopping at the same time and day each week. If you can keep checking out with the same cashier. In a couple weeks that will be one person who recognizes you. You can do this with all your errands (and should). In a month's time when you go get your prescriptions, pizza, movies and 3 more people recognized you... I swear... you will feel more settled.

Ever since moving here Mr F had ordered the same pizza from the same place every Friday. One week he changed our order and they said "What you're changing it up?!" We hadn't even been here 5 months and the pizza guys knew our order... Mr F left there feeling like a rock star. Same thing goes with going out to eat. If you go out... especially true if you stick to small ethnic restaurants... give it a couple of weeks at the same place and pretty soon the waitress and hostess will remember you. That's two people for the price of one!

And for my last bit of advice... if you are home when the mail comes go out and take it from the mailman by hand. It's easy to do... heck the mailman might even appreciate a little decency anyway... and pretty soon someone will know you. You might not have friends yet (although who knows maybe your mailman ROCKS and you'll be BFFs in no time), and you might never have family nearby... but you will no longer be an invisible stranger. And that helps immeasurably. Because the worst part of making a big move is feeling isolated.

(Oh and if this doesn't work... just go online and order a Book Of Mormon... boom... you'll have 2 friendly faces knocking on your door)


Supermom said...

I recognize you as well. Whew, that covers ~Meeting odd woman from Asheville CHECK

Michelle ;)

Amy said...

I would suggest taking an adult ed class. I took a sewing class for 60 bucks and met 4 friends who I keep in touch with and *Ta-Da!* we all have a similar interest! A few of them started a knitting group which has equaled even more friends.

Mrs Furious said...

awesome idea.


Renee said...

I had really never thought of this but you are so right....having someone recognize you wherever it may be-the local restaurant, grocery store, etc. makes you feel more connected to a new has certainly helped me w/ transitioning in Asheville...and it reminds me of a funny story....there is a weird little convenience store within walking distance to my house (I say weird because let's just say they have a little bit of everything in there-'smoking' supplies and I'm not talking machines...and you reak of smoke when you come out of there because everyone is sitting around playing poker and smoking). I go there to get my gas because it is so convenient to our house and I have befriended the two men that run it having been in there so much...well, when my daughter was around 6 months old, I went in there to pay for my gas and somehow left my license sitting on the counter....came home and was sitting on the sofa breastfeeding my daughter (it was a nice summer day and I had the windows wide open)...after about 15 minutes, I look up and there is the convenience store clerk at my window (yes, it scared the you know what out of me)...he had found my license and brought it to my house...freaked me out a little at first but I quickly realized I had nothing to fear...because I had befriended this man he was looking out for me as well and had personally brought my license back to me-talk about service-and he probably got a nice view of my boobs so it was a win-win for both of us (ha!)....let's just say, he had an extra big smile on his face everytime I came in his store after that and he earned a loyal customer for going above and beyond....It has made all the difference for me in moving-just having people recognize you lifts your spirits immensely!

Mrs Furious said...

"and he probably got a nice view of my boobs so it was a win-win for both of us "
And I know exactly what place you mean! I took the kids in there when we first moved here and thought we were going to die of lung cancer on the spot. ;)

G in Berlin said...

As someone who relocated 3+thousand miles away, I agree. But also, take a class (for me very important- a German class), join a book club (I belong to two), and start logging;). Skype helps a lot, too.

Mrs Furious said...

I do want to join a book club. I tried looking at Craiglist but I'm not sure where else to find one since I don't have a "live" person to connect me.

G in Berlin said...

Check this out- it looks great. At least some of the meetings/groups/lectures should appeal.

But hey, I know it's hard. Why do you think I blog so much;). I miss my good friends at home. But now they are moving away and even when we come back it won't be the same:(

Mrs Furious said...

That happened to us when we left NY. Within a few years most people had moved and now there isn't that much of a draw to go back anymore.

I'll check it out!

Heather said...

This is good to know. We're checking out Charlotte at the end of April. And no I don't mean Baby. :)

Christy said...

I've never made a big move, but if I ever do, I think this is the best advice I have ever heard.

Mrs Furious said...


I will be very interested on how you all like Charlotte. I haven't been out there yet.

Claire said...

Moved 18 times - I knew it was bad when I kept the Sears lady on the phone trying to talk to her - and when I took my 2 yr old for walks I made sure I had ID on me and my husband's work place on a piece of paper because no one would miss me until he came home from work - I also learned that it takes at least one full year for a SAHM to get acclimated - find friends and get involved.

Mr Furious said...

That was one of the things that made living in our 'hood in Brooklyn so special. Obviously NYC is a huge city with 10 million people, but each little neighborhood has it's "locals." In many ways life was a lot more personal amidst the anonymity of the huge city.

Rather than going to a giant supermarket with two hundred ever-changing employees, you shopped at a little fruit stand, a butcher and a bodega. You didn't necessarily know them by name, but everyday you and the guy at the newsstand exchange glances as you head down the subway steps, you know your grocer, the pet shop guy, etc.

I remember the day Mrs F and I moved to Michigan, I was tying my bike to the roof of my car and all the Chinese ladies from the laundry downstairs from our apartment came out to say goodbye—they barely spoke English and had no idea where Michigan was—but we all "knew" each other from folding clothes across the same counter for years...

It could practically make me cry.

Mrs Furious said...

Mr F,
You and me both! Get me the hell back there!

Heather said...

Me too. As we put our plastic toys that we got as Christmas gifts on Craigslist today, I wondered how in the hell two treehuggers would fit in. But we'll see.

Me, Myself and I said...

I have moved many times in my life... but never more than 15 miles from "home". LOl

I can imagine that it would be very hard to move far away, but let me tell you.... I am thinking that is just what i want to do. Crazy-ness. Drama. Calgon, take me away....

Sorry you are going through so much...

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts re:Hubby. I hijacked him from the hospital Friday afternoon. BP is still fluctuating quite a bit. He goes to see a hypertensive specialiast next month. He is on a 3g salt a day diet and hasn't smoked for 6 days and 12 hours and 3 minutes! (but who's counting?!) Tough getting the diets adjusted, but other than that things are great. Thanks again!

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