Moron moves

Not as unpleasant as moving.

by ANDREW HICKS

I’ve never had a prostate exam or root canal, but I’ve moved residences plenty of times. I imagine moving to be the most unpleasant of the three. At least you get drugs with the root canal. At least the prostate exam is over in minutes. When you move, you’re dead sober, and you have that metaphorical finger in your ass for weeks.

This was my biggest move yet — moving out of a four-bedroom house — and it made even my minor flaws become glaringly obvious, to the point where my wife and I were either having a hard time getting along or just plain not getting along. Worse, moving made me stupid. Here are some high(low?)lights:

  • Our plan was to get rid of as much stuff as possible before the move. I spent hours going through old boxes of personal stuff, downsizing papers and movies and CDs. The things I went through represented probably 1 percent of our total belongings. We still have a ton of secondhand furniture and duplicate junk that the time crunch forced us to move with us anyway. I could not see the forest for the trees, and speaking of which, I probably did not need to waste time digging up and moving all the trees from the old house, as the new house already has trees. What’m I gonna do with all these extra trees?
  • When gathering a handful of trash from the car with car keys in hand, I threw the whole pile of stuff in the trash, keys included. Next morning, exerted all kinds of time and effort looking for the keys, then thought, What if the keys are in the trash? Then thought, Nah, I couldn’t possibly have done something that stupid. Then thought, Better check anyway. Found them under a used, grounds-filled coffee filter. Then thought, I certainly could and did do something that stupid.
  • While heading out of town in the car on one of the frequent drives from the old place to the new place (a 125-mile journey), I got a moment of creative inspiration and directed about 20 minutes’ worth of verbal brilliance into my hand-held digital recorder. Then I put the recorder away, looked out the car for the next mile marker and realized I’d been driving the wrong way on the highway. I was 23 miles north of my starting point when I should’ve been traveling south. More time and resources lost, and I’m willing to bet the stuff I dictated into the recorder was really not all that brilliant. I haven’t listened to it yet, because guess what? The digital recorder got lost in the move.
  • 12 hours earlier: "Yes, thank you, I think I WILL take the insurance on this vehicle."

    When backing the 24-foot U-Haul truck into the driveway of our destination, half the truck was several feet off the driveway. It was dark, it was raining, and the back wheels of the truck got stuck in the mud. Spinning and spinning, working their way deeper into the ground. I had to call a tow truck at 10 pm to winch me out. Evidence of this transgression still glares at me from the torn-up grass. I haven’t yet introduced myself to the neighbors whose property immediately borders this tractor-pull aftermath, but I want to befriend them. They’re an upstanding black family, and I can already picture my first conversation with the patriarch. (If his name is Cliff, I’ll crap myself.) I’ll say, “Hi, I’m Andrew, I just moved in. Sorry I turned this beautiful green grass into an ugly brown mess.” He’ll furrow his brow and ask, “What’s so ugly about brown?” And I’ll never have the chance to get comfortable enough around him to crack There Goes The Neighborhood jokes. Which is a shame.

  • While returning the truck, it was still late at night and still raining. I thought it would be no problem to find the U-Haul dropoff store from memory. In the process, I ran a yellow light and lost my stepson, who was caravaning behind me. He got lost and frustrated and went home, then my wife came out to meet me. Meanwhile, I couldn’t find this place, so I looked up the address on my phone and used that info just to confirm I was on the right road. The place I had thought was the place was some other truck facility. Then we got directions on my wife’s phone to what turned out to be the wrong U-Haul store, and I got us lost trying to find that. An hour later, exhausted and defeated, after packing, cleaning, loading and finally unloading in the rain, we finally got directions to the right U-Haul store, which was a mile from where we’d started. No joke here. It just all could’ve been avoided and was a dramatically pathetic end to a monumentally sucky move.

Now it’s time to unpack, settle in and promise myself I will never, ever move again.

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