Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Diaspora in Reverse: Weirdest Boxes Packed by Blackmon Mooring

(I have abandoned "Countdown to The New Old House" as a title, because the countdown has technically expired.)

In no particular order (because, seriously, how can you pick a winner out of these gems?):

12-x-12-x-16 carton containing (only) two 5-x-5 blown glass swans.  First of all, where did the swans come from?  They appear to be vases.  I have never seen these swans in my life.  Wondering if someone's chocolate got mixed with our peanut butter.  In any event, the BM packing ladies thought that they were important to someone, because they were swathed in yards of bubble wrap and lovingly nestled in a ridiculously oversized box.

12-x-12-x-16 carton containing (only) two lightbulbs.  Perhaps they mistook them for swans.

12-x-12-x-16 carton containing ten CD's.  Seriously?

Waist-high crate labeled "Bats".  There was, in fact, a baseball bat in the crate, along with a sugar mold (photo below for reference) and a wooden wall plaque that hung in PJ's (cowboy-themed) little kid room that said "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys."

Ummm, okay, all of these things are long, and made of wood . . . but "Bats" is stretching it, don't you think?

Individually bubble-wrapped rocks.  Not fancy rocks.  Smallish river rocks that the kids picked up on a lake trip.  Again, the BM women proceed on the assumption that EVERY TCHOTCHKE IS SACRED.  And, also, I am fairly sure that get paid by the box.

Individually bubble-wrapped wicker ball.  You've seen these at Pottery Barn.  They are fillers for really big vases, you know?  This one sat atop of a candleholder.  It was roughly softball-sized to start, but approaching regulation soccer ball (youth size 5) when all was said and done.

Individually bubble-wrapped votive holders.  CLEAR GLASS VOTIVE HOLDERS.  The kind that you buy at the dollar store . . . for a dollar.  They used SOOOOO much bubble wrap on these that I swear that I mistook them for double old-fashioneds when they were coming out of the box.

A Crock Pot marked "MBR."  MBR stands for "master bedroom."  No, we don't store a Crock Pot in our master bedroom.  But the former pantry is in the hallway that connects the kitchen to the master, and, naturally, when faced with a choice of assigning a Crock Pot to a KITCHEN or a BEDROOM, the BM packing women went with the latter.  Wouldn't you?

I could go on and on.  Seriously, I could.  It's soul-sucking.  In the coulda-woulda-shoulda category, we should have rented a POD.  But I didn't want to spend another dime on this little "project," nor did I want to haul 500-plus boxes out of the house, and then haul them back in.  So WE ARE DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM IN PLACE.  (What's the cooking phrase?  "Mise en place?"  More like misery in place.)

I am attempting to maintain my sense of humor about this.  But it's hard to maintain one's sense of humor when:
  • You cannot find your underwear, or your nail polish, or anything else that you need to get dressed in the morning and go out into the world not looking like a homeless person.  Somehow, exactly one-half of every outfit made it from the apartment to my closet.  If I have the top, I don't have the bottom, and vice-versa.  And the only brown shoes I can access are open-toed, but I can't find my nail polish, or nail polish remover, or nail clippers, so I'm forced to display my super-gnarly feet to the Western world (because (1) I refuse to get a pedicure, because if I go in for a pedicure, I will have to justify my jagged fingernails and multitude of hangnails, which I refuse to pay to fix until I'm done opening nail-killing moving cartons, and (2) I refuse on principle to buy duplicate nail polish, remove and clippers, because I already had to do that with underwear, and deodorant, and on and on).  LESSON LEARNED:    the proactive person who moves her stuff over first gets hosed.  My stuff from the apartment is trapped behind all of the moving cartons.  Spouse's stuff was hastily thrown into laundry baskets at the eleventh hour and resides on top of the moving cartons, in plain sight.  Grr.
  • Every time you try to use your cooktop, you remember that you cannot use your cooktop.  Said cooktop has a big sticker on the top that says (I'm paraphrasing):  "Before you even think of using me, you must rub me down with the Cerama Bryte that came with me, and you must buff me with the cloth that came with the Cerama Bryte, or I will be rendered horribly disfigured, and the world as we know it will end."  Small problem:  nothing coming close to resembling Cerama Bryte, or a buffing cloth, arrived with the range.  It took me a couple of days of unpacking boxes in the kitchen to confirm this.  And then it took me another day or so to remember to look up Cerama Bryte while I had Internet access at the office.  You can buy it at Lowe's or Home Depot.  Hey, no problem, we go to each of those places at least once a day, right?  Wrong.  The daily McGlinchey Shuttle to the Big Box Stores ceased to run the very day that I remembered to look up Cerama Bryte.  Seriously:  I called Spouse with the good news that I NOW KNOW WHAT CERAMA BRYTE IS AND WHERE WE CAN GET SOME, and he informed me that he had just purchased the last shelf bracket necessary to complete his closet reorganization project (and, in fact, had just pulled into the driveway on his return trip from Home Depot) and had no compelling reason to step foot in a big box retailer in the foreseeable future.  Since this conversation, we have both failed to make a pilgrimage to Lowe's or Home Depot solely to purchase Cerama Bryte.  Instead, when our macaroni-and-cheese-obsessed Big Kid asks for Velveeta shells, my response is, "Okay - wait, no, WE STILL DON'T OWN CERAMA BRYTE."  (If my sweet oldest child ever goes postal, my money's on "CERAMA BRYTE" as the words that will escape his lips as he plummets from the clock tower after being taken out by a sniper.)
In the personal growth category, I am pleased to report that I have become a ruthless downsizer.  If I don't have an immediate need for something, or if I can't find a rational place to store it, it's going in the trash, or in recycling, or in a box marked "Garage Sale," "Double Exposure" or "Goodwill."  This makes me happy.  Except that God, who has a RIDICULOUSLY WICKED sense of humor, decided that this week would be a great week to bury North Texas under a bazillion gallons of rain.  (Particularly ironically delightful when a drought, followed by a deluge, is the original source of your troubles.)  Last night, it rained, HARD, for six hours straight, and it was still drizzling when I left this morning.  Thus, the cartons bound for charity, or the carriage house, remain inside and underfoot.  So I'm shedding stuff . . . directly underneath me.

Serenity now.

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