Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

I'm just a little over a week away from personal move number 20 ?!? Sadly, I have counted the number of times I have physically packed and moved my belongings from one address to another since 1980. 3 times in the state of Ohio. 7 times in the state of California. 2 times in the State of Georgia. 2 times in Washington DC. 2 times in Tokyo. Germany only once. London only once. And now back in California and I'm working on move #3 (to be rapidly followed by #4). That's 20 moves in 30 years (not yet counting move #4 to occur some time in the future). Holy moving boxes batman!

I (obviously?) don't mind the concept of moving. Any sane person who couldn't tolerate moving would not do it over and over and over again. That would make them stupid or a bit of a masochist. I'm neither (in my own mind anyway...) But,what tends to get me a little riled up is the pre-moving phase. The day of the move is a piece of cake - or as close to that as one could get considering that a bunch of strangers are putting all your stuff in boxes and wrapping your furniture with incredible large rolls of saran wrap. I mean, they're working. You just moving from place to place supervising and drinking Chai Latte. But the pre-moving stuff wears on me.

Where is the furniture supposed to go in the new place? How in the world I am going to cram all our stuff in to 3.5 smallish closets in our tiny little townhouse? What stuff can stay in the house here safely while they jack it up, set it down gently on steel beams and pour a new foundation? Will it get stolen? Does it matter if it gets stolen? Why did I just buy a ginormous package of toilet paper that now needs to be moved? Where do you put "garage" stuff in a townhouse without a garage? Do you need to keep it in the living room? Do you just clutter up your back patio with that crap? And if I'm going to do that, shouldn't I have an old washer or bathtub or a car without tires or something out there as well? Why, for the love of Pete, did I not put XYZ in storage before? Why, the love of Pete, did I put ZXY in storage when I could really really really use that right now? And finally, how did we amass so much additional claptrap over the last 8 months??? I have about 7 million boxes of books in a very dark, very secure storage space somewhere here in SF. We've already got a whole 'nuther bookshelf full of books since then. We're gonna ban reading at the new place. Sorry kids. No more new books until next January. Just play on your computer instead. Call of Duty is good for you.

And so, the next days will be consumed by rooting through all our belongings to separate the flotsam from the jetsam. As I write, my car trunk is already filled with the out-grown clothes of two boys. I forced them to do that this weekend. A miserable chore for both parties. They don't want to try anything on, I want them to try everything on. They whine and I threaten bodily harm. We got through it. But, gosh golly, they got bigger fast. I could clothe a village with what they shed from their drawers.

Well, I'm off to it. The basement is next on the agenda. There's a pile of old roll-up blinds I want to take to Goodwill as well. They've been sitting in the basement for 8 months. Sitting there day after day, gathering dust, and probably lots of spiders. Hmmm? Maybe this is better left for the trash? Spiders in my car? Perhaps this is one jetsam that doesn't need to be separated from its flotsam.

No comments: