Friday, July 25, 2008

Moving Days: The Last Great Epic Tale from the "Liberry"

Pay attention, cause this is going to get tricky.

I've lived in a lot of places over the past 20 years. My first apartment, as such, was a rental house I shared with three and then four roommates in college that we nicknamed "Da Crib." (Yeah, I know: how utterly white of us.) And while that experience ended badly, it certainly taught us all plenty of lessons along the way and I have few regrets about it. Next up was the Festering Hellhole, a rented set of rooms in a big house near in Tupelo, which I shared with about 250 roaches who were always late with their portion of the rent and who were eternally trying to mooch my food. It was also where I met my future wife, so I can't have all that many regrets about it. After turning it over to the roaches in order to move to North Carolina and be nearer to my future bride, I lived in a Avian camper trailer in back of my future in-laws house. The future wife and I soon married and moved to Charlotte, where we lived in a couple of different apartments; one a standard crappy apartment in a not great part of town and the other a quantum leap in quality to an amazing, super-swank, bachelor pad, garage-apartment owned by my then boss Jimmy. We were only there for around six months before moving state to West Virginia where we moved into a small two story townhouse apartment with a great view of a scenic hillside cow pasture. We were there for a year and a half before moving into our first rental house that had an even better (and considerably less "mooey") view of a river valley.

I spell all of that out because with each and every one of those moves, I and then I and my wife had to do all the packing and moving, with all the backbreaking labor that entails. And with each of those moves (particularly the ones where we had to deal with my extra-heavy, ugly green, gravity couch) we swore that not only would we never buy another stick of furniture, but that the next time the sticks we already had were to be moved someone else would have to come and do it all for us, cause damn if we were moving it all again. And, of course, two weeks later we were off to buy more furniture and the next move down the line was again accomplished by us.

Now we're set to move into our very first home that we will own in our new city of Borderland and for the first time in our existence our dream of having other people come and move all our crap has become a reality. (Ironic, really, since we finally got rid of the gravity couch last year.)

Being unaccustomed to having our moves done for us by others, though, this quickly became a situation that made us both giddy and apprehensive. Never having gone through the process, we didn't really know how it was supposed to work. I mean, on paper it seems pretty simple--Guys come over, pack up our crap, move it to the new house, unload our crap, go home--but there can be a lot of play with each level of that equation.

The moving company we chose was local to Borderland. They sent a man named Bud over all the way to Tri-Metro to have a look at our crap in order to estimate how much he'd charge to move it all. His company had done a lot of moving for the hospital the wife will be working for and they knew the whole drill. Bud the mover guy assured me that they had been in the business for 50 years and knew how to pack up fragile and valuable things (of which we have very few) and rarely had any problems with breakage. But the sheer amount of crap that we have made us feel guilty at having anyone else deal with it.

So despite the unnecessary nature of it, for days before the move, the wife and I had been sneaking around in our own house, packing up various bits of our possessions so that the movers wouldn't have to bother with it. I think our secret fear was that they would show up, look around and announce that they'd only been hired to move boxes, why hadn't we packed more? This was silly, of course, but that's how we thought. In reality, the only things the movers had suggested we pack ourselves were our prescription medicines, jewelry and firearms.

Bud's timetable was to arrive on Thursday, pack up the whole house and haul it away to Borderland. Then on Friday, they'd unload it at the new place. Seemed a pretty fast timetable for the amount of stuff we had.

The night before the move, the wife and I had been up until nearly midnight still prepping and packing away and trying to keep Sadie from "helping." And no matter how many boxes we already had packed, when we looked around at the rest of the place, it seemed as though we'd done nothing at all.


Maughta said...

I feel for you. In my most reoccuring nightmare I'm trying to pack at the last minute with a serious deadline looming and my stuff keeps multiplying. I hate that dream!

jd881 said...

I am feeling so much camaraderie right now. I'm packing up and moving, too. I don't yet have a guy coming to get all the stuff I'm keeping, and I'm going overseas... but yeah... right there with ya. -JenB

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.