Thursday, July 24, 2008

The negatives of moving (and maybe a positive or two)

Moving is never fun. At least I don't think so. Which you already know if you read my previous long and whiny entry. I almost deleted it when I re-read it myself but I decided that I'd let the pity party stand and write a more interesting post about moving to offset it a bit. So without further ado, here are my too oft-considered thoughts on moving:

1. Having the contents of your entire house reduced to towering stacks of boxes arranged in incomprehensible mazes that you have to live with for several days, is not pleasant at best. Of course, if you have nice enough packers, they offer the keep the computer unpacked until the last possible moment. Or maybe they just take pity on me when they see the look of utter panic on my face at the prospect of two whole unconnected days (they left the tv unpacked for D. as well but since I'm in the resentful stage of the move, I would have told them to go ahead and pack that bad boy up asap).

2. Good packers will carefully label each and every box both as to contents and to room destination. This will ostensibly be helpful on the unloading end. In the short term, it is interesting to see what they call some of your belongs. In my case, the boxes tended to have "Books" on them and nothing further. Personally I would have been more explicit (unread hardbacks as versus already read paperbacks and the like) but sitting amongst all the boxes for so long, I had such a contact high from the smell of the Sharpie markers, that I was incapable of rational (okay perhaps obsessive is a better word) thought.

3. Each moving company (and I think we've used them all by now) has its own very bizarre lists of unacceptable-to-move items. This move, they wouldn't move my candles. Now, if I had asked them to move them lit, that would be one thing, but really! No candles allowed on the truck. I've never had to move the candles myself before and now the car smells like a Yankee Candle shop so I'm liable to get a wicked headache by the end of the drive. At one point the kids' crayons was also in the not-to-be-moved pile. But I think that was the work of one oddly overzealous guy--the same one who started putting all my silk plants in the no-move pile as well after telling me that plants can't be moved. I outsmarted him though. I just collected the plants and put them in another room that a less clueless guy was packing and he happily stashed them all for me. Ask me how smart my plan was on the other end when they are mashed beyond repair though! And if all the crayons melt into one unrecognizable clump, I'll probably be grateful for my fragrance-induced headache since that will mean I will still have candles for those times the electricity goes out (you'd never guess from the sheer number I have that this is about the only time I ever light them).

4. I swear there's one irresplaceable thing broken every move. I already know what it is this time (knock wood it's only the one thing) since I was rudely awakened from my second nap of the day by the crash. The packers had taken the slate coffee table that my grandfather built before I was born and propped it on its end. When the driver went to pick it up to take it out to the truck, about half of the very heavy slates crashed out of the top and clattered to the (wooden) floor. At least the floors were padded so the dent they made isn't so large the new owners will notice--at least immediately. And the slates didn't break so the table can ultimately be repaired (unlike the freeze-dried wedding bouquet under glass we lost in the last move). But knowing me, it'll be a very long time before it gets repaired so anyone who comes to visit will just have to ignore the wobbly slates and missing mortar on the coffee table.

5. If there was any doubt that I use food and sleep as coping mechanisms for stress, this move clearly put that doubt to bed. I have, in the past three days, eaten one bag of Reese's peanut butter cups (my favorite candy), a bag of hazelnut flavored wafer cookies (and I find I don't like hazelnut as much as I thought I did), some almond rocca (which I like more than I thought I did), and half a tub of brownie bites from Costco (and a tub from there would feed a third world country easily). This is all in addition to regular meals, of course. It's going to be bad if I have to roll down the road for the marathon because my legs no longer reach the ground! And as for the sleeping part, each day the packers and movers have been at the house, I have spent approximately 20 minutes awake at a stretch. Now it could be that I have been in intermittent sugar comas, but I don't think that's entirely it. Usually I'd be incapable of curling up and snoozing (avec copious amounts of drool, I mind add, so these are no small catnaps) on the couch in the family room while a crew of 4-5 strange men wandered around the house and past my sacked out little self. But it was more than possible this past few days. Between the food and the sleep, it's just a darned good thing I actually managed to roust myself for my daily runs or I would shortly have been like one of those 1000 lb. folks who can't even get off the couch without an assist from a crane.

6. The experience of moving makes it incredibly easy for me to channel my inner b*tch. I know, this one isn't *that* much of a strecth, but just imagine how bad it must be if I'm admitting to it!

7. Movers tend to be the skinniest, scrawniest men around, which still amazes me, even 7 moves later. I always expect them to be big and brawny. This move they were also quite homely, which turned out to be a good thing because I was so disgruntled by the whole thing (when I was awake), that I decided that the guy who was listening to the good music (for the record he had way better musical taste than D.) could rescue me from the box city I was living in. However, one look at his scary self in his wifebeater shirt and I decided that good musical taste wasn't the be-all-end-all.

8. It is always disconcerting to sign the final papers before the movers pull out because it gives them the right to convey your things across state lines and basically grants them your stuff until such time as you pay them for their services. I might have mentioned to our driver that books don't sell all that well on eBay. He thought I was being funny. But I was actually just trying to protect my library.

9. And for those who have seen my house or are just plain curious what kind of damage my book habit does, this move we officially had 176 book boxes. Surely not all of them were books but the vast majority were, as was evidenced by the swearing (good thing the kids weren't around to hear that people other than mom and dad use such atrocious language too) of the guys elected to pack books all day the first day and the guys elected to carry the boxes up from the basement and down from the sitting room on the last day. Always nice to alienate the people into whose care you are consigning your things! (Wonder how many will curse my name on the other end on Tuesday when I waffle on where all the books should go given the lack of a sitting room in the new house?)

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