I Like to Move It, Move It…

Posted 3/18/10 by D-Mac

I apologize for taking a little posting hiatus over the past week. While in the past I was notorious for disappearing from W-D for weeks at a time Ha.. months, dude.  Okay, for months at a time.. but this little one week disappearing act has a pretty legit excuse. I’ll just sum it up in one sentence. “I was busy moving last week.”

“Moving” is one of those things that all you have to do is utter the word to people and you really need to say no more. Everyone knows how much of a pain in the ass it is boxing up all of your worldly possessions and transferring them to a new location. I was thinking about it over the weekend and this new house that I just moved into over the weekend will be my 8th residence since graduating college in 1996. Bryn Mawr Gables, Nutley, Manhattan, Morris Plains, Charlotte, NC, West Paterson, Rockaway, Dover. So let’s see, 7 moves in and out equals 14 moves.. plus this recent one equals 15 moves over 14 years. What the hell am I.. a carnie?

This isn’t even taking into consideration all of the times I have helped friends move over the years. And that’s the thing.. when you’re a guy in your 20’s, if a friend asks you to help him move, you have to take them up on it.. not so much for the gratuitous beer and pizza that they usually offer.. but because you know that somewhere down the line, you yourself are going to be moving and you need to build up what I like to call “moving collateral”.

With your friends, you can keep track of how many times you’ve helped them move and if you are ahead in the tally, you pretty much have carte blanche to call them up anytime you need help moving and they are obligated to help you.. unless they’re a complete douche.

This can lead to some pretty unique bargaining situations.. When I moved into Manhattan, I rented a truck and my Mom and stepfather came along. I needed a few more hands though and my friend Mike and his wife Julie offered to help. The thing is though, my apartment in the city was on the third floor of a four story walk-up. Needless to say, this went above and beyond any ordinary move. This was the type of move where stairwell bannisters needed to be removed to fit the couches up the stairs and with three flights of stairs, it made even bringing the lightest of boxes up to the apartment an effort in itself. At the end of the day, I pretty much told Mike and Julie that they never had to help me move again and I it was kind of just assumed that I had a “moving life debt” with them. They took me up on it two or three times but luckily they’re now at the point where they hire a moving company anytime they move.. but to this day, I am always on call if they ever even need some help rearranging furniture in their house.

I helped my friend Justin move three times in the late 90’s and he was never living in the same area as me anytime I moved, so I had built up three moves worth of collateral with him over a few years. Moving Justin was the worst too. The kid was never prepared and helping him move usually entailed helping him pack at the last minute too which isn’t what people sign up for when agreeing to help someone move. You should have your boxes all taped up and ready and the only thing your friends should have to do is carry boxes and furniture to the truck.

With Justin, there would just be stuff everywhere scattered on the floor and then all of a sudden someone would open up his storage closet and it would be filled to the gills with crap and you’d be waiting for a bowling ball to drop out of the top shelf onto your head like you see in cartoons. So not only did I have three moves of collateral with him.. they were three hard earned moves. Well, as life would have it, I ended up sleeping with his girlfriend. Two years of well deserved silent treatment, an apology and a reconciliation later.. my last piece of penance was that I absolved Justin of the three moves he owed me. We actually shook on this. In retrospect, the fact that he’s now married to a plastic surgeon and karma paid me back tenfold, given what I saved him from.. he should owe me, oh, I’d calculate it at about six moves right now.

Justin, if you’re reading this, I’m willing to settle for two moves to be reinstated…  and I’m quite certain I’ve earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.

So long story short (Haha! Too late now.. hey hey, ho ho, this penis party’s gotta go.*) I have a pretty good amount of experience when it comes to moving. Unfortunately efficiency gained with experience is usually offset the further along you move in life by the sheer volume of possessions that you accumulate. It actually took me a good month to get everything ready to go.. working from room to room, boxing up stuff and decluttering with my handy dandy.. noooo, not notebook you crazy Blue’s Clues fans. I’m talking about big black garbage bags. Oh stewardess.. I speak jive.**

With so many moves under my belt, I’ve come to recognize little quirks within myself that pretty much get played out time and again. I like to start with the kitchen and while this might seem counterproductive because for the next few weeks, I have to eat off of paper plates and actually use Solo cups for things other than Beirut.. but at this point, I know myself well enough to know that the further along in the move I am, the less I give a shit when it comes to packing. So, I make sure to do all of the fragile stuff that needs to be individually wrapped in packing paper before being placed in the box first when I still have motivation because if I did the kitchen towards the end of the move, chances are I would say screw it and just throw all of my dishes and glasses in the back of my car and hope that I don’t hit any sharp turns when I follow the truck.

The other thing I do is save the whole television/entertainment center setup as the absolute last thing because I need to listen to music and/or have the tv on for background noise up until the last possible minute. Also, at least once during packing, I need to play the Trainspotting soundtrack because when I moved into my first apartment after college, I spent the whole day unpacking everything in my apartment, listening to that cd and utilizing the big glass bong I bought myself as a housewarming gift. Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” never seemed so apropos and listening to that cd always takes me back to that feeling of the possibilities of life just getting started.. We were soldiers once.. and young.

Speaking of that television/home entertainment setup.. when it comes to my electronics, I’m like a god damn pit crew when it comes to taking it apart and hooking it back up. A casual observer might even deduce that I’m some sort of electronics expert based on how fast I can get all of the wires in the right places but that observer would be wrong. I only know what to do when it comes to my own stuff. 😉

Another thing I notice during moves is that I have a couple of boxes of old college notebooks, my baseball cards and comic books from my youth.. One night I’ll usually get distracted and sift through it all and have a good laugh, especially at the old college journals and daily planners. I’ll also debate itemizing all of my comics and baseball cards and maybe going to a store to try and sell some of them once I settle into the new place. Then I’ll retape the boxes and bring them with me.. never to be opened again until the next time I have to move.

So once again, I apologize for the week long hiatus.. I would say that it won’t happen again anytime soon.. but the law of averages says that I will be moving in 1 year and 9 months, at which time, I am sure I will open the aforementioned boxes  and probably look through my 1994-95 daily planner and have a good chuckle at the fact that in the month of October I missed about 60 out of 72 of my classes (I think I kept track of my daily class attendance because I just knew it would be good for a laugh someday.. only explanation for it.)



* Why typing out “Haha” made my mind automatically jump to the Womynist’s protesting scene in the movie PCU is beyond me..

** Airplane! reference.. big black garbage bags made me mentally jump to “Cream?” “No thank you.. I take it black. Like my men..”

7 Responses to “I Like to Move It, Move It…”

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