I moved out of my apartment of three years last month, and the experience made me never want to move again. Still, though I like my new place, I’m not sure I want to stay here for the rest of my life. My ideal solution is to have a number of furnished houses across the country that I can move to and from as my mood dictates, packing only my toothbrush. If anyone would like to donate to this worthy cause, I promise you can come visit me in one of my many houses someday.
I already own enough kitchen implements to fully outfit several kitchens. This is a problem, since I moved into an established household of three people who already have enough spatulas, coffeemakers and cake pans, and have no interest in mine, even if I think they are nice. I tried to integrate a few of my things into my new kitchen in the beginning—can you ever have too many spatulas? It turns out you can. I recently calculated that all four people in this house could hold a spatula in each hand at the same time. I can’t imagine a situation in which we will need to be able to do this, unless we are under attack by a mob of angry pancakes.
In the days leading up to my move, I began to grow alarmed at the number of possessions I actually owned. Where did all these things come from? I wondered, digging piles of long forgotten junk out from under my bed. I lead a simple life! How did I end up with nine different kinds of lip balm (all indispensable)? Do I really own four down vests?
In desperation I tried that useless exercise where one sorts into two piles all of the things one didn’t even remember owning until Moving Day rolled around: You are supposed to make a Save pile, and a Toss pile. At the end of this exercise I had a Save pile, a Maybe pile (which is really a sneaky Save pile for things you don’t want to admit you’re going to keep) and a Toss pile made up of newspaper clippings from articles I wrote in high school. I ended up keeping those, for their sentimental value. Ah, sentimental value. The lifeblood of Moving and Storage companies.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (see above paragraphs), in my head, I pictured the move taking around forty minutes. In my head I think I may also have pictured the move involving a young Angela Lansbury and I climbing on my bed, turning the bed knob, and disappearing in a flash of primitive special effects, only to reappear in my new bedroom, under the sea. Then we would use cunning and magic to steal my security deposit back from my landlord. None of this went according to plan. As a matter of fact, I’m still waiting for that deposit. Thanks for nothing, Angela.
Moving Day came. It became Moving Weekend. And finally, Never-Ending Moving Weekend From Hell. My bedroom was like a clown car. Garbage bags filled with winter coats, piles of blankets, and boxes of books seemed to regenerate and multiply behind my sweaty, aching back. I would lug one downstairs and load it into the van, only to find another two in its place when I returned.
Of course, as tends to happen, the moment I finished putting everything in its place in my new and fabulous bedroom, my nightmarish memories of Moving Weekend began receding into darkness. This convenient, human ability to fade out troublesome recollections is probably the reason why we gradually begin to wonder if we shouldn’t think about finding a place closer to work; maybe one with a little more closet space. Traumatic memories of hefting a queen size mattress alone up three flights of rickety stairs and packing and unpacking hundreds of books gradually diminish, and we begin to consider what our next move will be. I am not sure whether this trick of memory is a blessing or a curse. All I know is, next time I’m shooting for my own bathroom.