In the past, I’ve outlined all the things I will do for you, my friends. I will watch bad TV shows with you when you are sick or sad, drop you off and pick you up at the airport at any hour of the day or night, serve as your wing woman and/or bodyguard when we go out, and will basically be a walking first aid kit for anything you might need, from Kleenex to kazoos. But there is one thing I will do my best to avoid.
I will not help you move.
This may seem extremely selfish on my part, but hear me out. I hate moving. It’s the worst. You have to pack up everything in your whole life, lug it out of your current location, put it into a vehicle of some sort, drag it into your new place of residence and then figure out where everything goes now that you have more or fewer closets. Invariably, packing starts out being fun, until everything but the odds and ends are left, and you have umbrellas sticking out of tote bags stuffed with a pair of shoes you never wear, a box of granola bars, some picture frames and your insurance information. (This cannot just be me who manages to mix together the least and most important items I own and then misplace their receptacle within minutes.) By the end of moving day, or as I like to call it, Never-ending Agony, everyone is sweaty, regardless of the season, and grumpy, and just wants to go to bed but OH WAIT you have to put your bed together first and find sheets but that’s impossible so you’ll sleep on the couch but it’s covered in boxes filled with your books, so this beach towel in the bathtub will just have to do because this day just needs to END and FAST.
Trust me on the horrors of moving. My college years could neatly fit into my Honda Civic, Nelly the Dream Wagon, which was awesome, but those years are gone. Now, I’ve added a queen-sized bed, four chairs and a couch. When I moved to Milwaukee, my mother and I hired two movers to help schlep my worldly possessions up three flights of un-airconditioned stairs into my tiny apartment, and I still had to be sent out to take a walk around the block in search of pasta salad and fruit so I wouldn’t melt into a pile of whine and sweat. When I came back, mollified by cheese, the couch I had fallen in love with was stuck in the stairwell and refused to make the trip up to my apartment, leading to a mad search to find another before we had to turn in the UHaul. Later that same night, I attempted to put a bookshelf together without a screwdriver before giving up and going out to buy a basic home repair kit with four screwdrivers, none of which I have used since that day. I think my mother and I may have also argued over dresser drawers before falling asleep clutching frozen water bottles because it was 1AM and 85 degrees.
Here’s what I’m saying—moving always sucks, and I make it worse. 70% of the time, I am calm under pressure. The other 30% of the time I’m worrying about the future or moving, which are kind of the same thing. Moving brings out the absolute worst in me—I get frustrated, distracted, bored, hungry, tired, whiny, devious—I basically turn into an impolite toddler. If you get me to help you move, I will carry in three boxes, and then either turn into the Drill Sergeant of Moving, in which everything must be finished in 35 minutes or less, or (and this is more likely), I will plunk myself down in the middle of your new kitchen floor and give your pots and pans names while writing haikus about Presidential history on a box. I just want to get this s#&t over with or prolong it until the sun goes down and I can claim it’s my bedtime and I need to sleep so I can be helpful. I am an expert at the Moving Stall.
So, for your own good, don’t let me help you move. Tell me your moving date so I can come to your new place three hours before your stuff arrives and clean it from top to bottom, then quietly leave until evening, when I will arrive to take you to dinner and politely ignore the crazed look in your eyes. If you plan on painting, call me, because I love painting and will gladly don my brother’s bright yellow 9th grade gym shorts and a gigantic shirt covered in bleach stains to turn your walls from taupe to mauve. I will accompany you on many a trip to IKEA, Bed Bath and Beyond, The Container Store, Goodwill, Target and Lowe’s, helping you choose bathmats, Rubbermaid bins, curtains, salt and pepper shakers, and hammers. Just know that I will be thinking of you when you find your phone charger and favorite pair of socks packed with your ice cube trays and your grandmother’s vase. I love you as much as I hate moving, and I think we’ve established that’s a lot.