Hey There Mover and Shaker —

Our first lil one bedroom apartment in Greensboro was on the third floor, and when we moved out we had a washer and dryer to sell. 

I have vague memories of how these machines made their way into the apartment. I know it required fancy dollies and prolly hydraulics, winches, and pulleys.

When we moved, I slapped those puppies up on Craig’s List for a good price, and I learned that demand for a solid washer dryer combo in Greensboro was high.

I said yes to the first person who offered to pay me and come extract these heavy metal boxes from our nest atop the wooden-staired tower.

Looking back, I wish I’d gone with the desperate-sounding single dad who emailed me second and kept badgering me that he’d come pick up that same day. 

He was motivated and sick of the laundromat, but I’d already promised the set to dude from up yonder’n Rockingham County.

The major appliance collection entourage arrived the following day—I believe it was a pickup and a domestic sedan, maybe a Buick. But check ✅ There was a pickup. 

The purchaser, a twenty-something fella who gave me Mountain Dew three-liter and too much Grand Theft Auto vibes, climbed the stairs to our door accompanied by a timid late-teens male accomplice, perhaps a blood relative, who’d clearly had other dreams for his day. 

After I gave them a moment to catch their breath, see the goods, and hand me cash, Melissa and I queried where their moving dolly might be.

There wasn’t a moving dolly.

With our palms and shoulders skyward, we asked, “Have you checked the Home Depot? Lowe’s? The email in which I specified you would definitely need a dolly?

The purchaser assured me that they’d muscle these cubes down the stairs no problem.

After imagining the seventeen ways I wouldn’t be able to contort my body alongside or under these items to help them, I said, “I wish you the best.”

They were not as successful as their models predicted. 

By the time the equipment made it on the back of the pickup truck, there was a distinct double track of shredded stairway leading straight to our door, and two very winded rednecks. 

I can say that. These are my people. 

You may be wondering about the Buick. That was Meemaw in the driver’s seat. She waited in the car with a little girl and the girl’s baby sister. 

We gave them the donuts we had left from the morning move, and we witnessed Meemaw pouring Bolangle’s sweet iced tea into the baby’s bottle and readily administering said caffeinated kidney glue.

We were about to bid our customers farewell on their journey to excretory and dental hardship when the heavy equipment moving boss said, “Hey, can I use your bathroom?”

We’d just cleaned the bathroom. He was big. But I was raised in North Carolina, so I said sure, help yourself.

When Melissa and I re-entered the apartment to do a final check, it smelled like a Wilkes County chicken farm smashed into a truckload of death-scented room spray.

I should’ve told him to go to Home Depot for that, too.

Melissa and I clamped our lips shut and bile-grimaced in a moment of eye-watering disbelief and mild trauma. We opened the windows and doors and fled the scene.

I know you see the clear connection of today’s story to building your vocal technique and crafting savvy career choices.

No?

Oh, okay, I’ll ‘splain.

There are several life takeaways.

Takeaway One—When you have an in-demand product like a used washer dryer set or your considerable artistic skill, wait a moment before you accept an offer. 

Even if it’s the first offer you’ve gotten in a month of Sundays, give yourself time to mull. This’ll give you a moment to consider, ask any questions, and make a choice that feels good to you.

It also teaches you that you deserve time to consider the choices you make. You don’t have to be in no hurry for nobody.

AND you might just get an offer from a company in the meantime who can come pick up the washer dryer the same day AND bring a dolly AND who’ll be really grateful to have what you have to offer. Still sorry, single dad.

Takeaway Two—Have some clear standards for yourself and write them down. 

I could’ve said, “No dolly, no dice.” (That’s a number from my new musical Matchmaker Gambler—it’s Hello Dolly meets Guys and Dolls!)

Sirrously though, it’s a really important thing to keep in mind, or even write down.

Have you been in a situation when you felt a little icky or uncomfy inside? Like you need to speak up or hit the wait-a-second button?

That’s your standards and boundaries department tryina contact you. 

And yes, you absolutely should hit pause and give yourself time to assess. Back to that give-yourself-time-to-make-choices thing.

This is auditions, this is meetings, this is relationships.

This is gonna be a whole ‘nother email, I can tell. 👆

Takeaway Three—Go ‘head and let the person use your bathroom.

I mean, he might notta made it to Home Depot, and I’m pretty sure no illegal activity transpired in there, though it shoulda been. Day-umn!

And if I hadn’t given him the go-ahead for terlet use 🚽, the experience would not have been rancidly sealed into my memory, and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to tell you —

⭐️You deserve time and space to decide things.

⭐️You deserve to have standards for yourself and hold to what feels right in your heart and guts (i.e. you deserve to be treated with love, respect, and dignity.) Why come? Because you’re a precious human who God loves.

⭐️And go ahead and love your neighbor especially if they have to go real bad and you have access to a functioning loo. Like most stinky things in life, this, too(t), shall pass. 💨

Takeaway Four—Don’t give sweet tea to a baby. Just don’t.

There you go!

Wish us luck and say a prayer this week—we are making our way Boston-ward tomorrow!

And remember— There’s only one you, and folks need to hear the story that only you can sing.

Love much,
Dan

ps Have you heard Brandi Carlile’s new single “Right on Time”? It’s good. 

I’ve been on a Brandi binge this week. Here’s her beautiful cover of “A Case of You,” and I also love this performance of “The Joke” from the Grammys a few years back.

Enjoy!

pps Had a sweet moment with the boys when I was taking my school computer back to Elon. 

Took them to the McCrary Theatre stage where when I was 18 I stood on the stage by myself one night and imagined getting to do shows in this big ole theatre. 25 years ago. 

It’s blurry, but we were there 🙂 fun full circle moment.