Last week I remembered that my deep freezer would need defrosting before the move. Actually, a frost-free deep freezer should be defrosted once a year or so. So naturally, the last time I defrosted it was sometime in 2002. I’m talking there was stuff on the top shelf that was frozen TO the shelf and then covered over in a frosty freezer- snowbank.
Defrosting the freezer means the freezer needs to be emptied out. Which means I needed to get over the fact that yes, it’s wasted money to throw away the burritos I bought on sale in 2004, but it needs to be done. Likewise with the bag of frozen corn that fell behind the petrified pork chops, and the BLUE ice cream that my ex-husband bought and I shoved to the back of the freezer.
I did find a sweet potato pie in the freezer that appears to have been bought within the last year, so I went ahead and baked it. Because I didn’t want to throw away any more food than I had to, you understand.
At the rate I’m currently going, the entire pie will be gone in another day. But it’s NOT MY FAULT. My weekend has just been very PIE-WORTHY.
Yesterday, I ran around packing for most of the day. In the evening a couple of women from church came over to help me, and that was good for about two hours until I couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Well! Thanks! I think I’m in good shape now!”
I felt like I was perhaps being ungrateful, but picture it: The first woman showed up, and she is completely laid back and ready to do whatever I need. So we started in the kids’ playroom and I sorted through some stuff and she packed things as I handed them to her and that was all great. When the second woman arrived, everything changed, because she is one of these HURRY UP AND GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD kinds of people.
I would say “I think I need to sort through this stuff before we can pack it,” and she’d say “Well that’s okay, go ahead,” but then she’d KEEP PACKING STUFF even while I was trying to sort through it. And WORSE, she’d throw stuff away that “looked like trash.”
Believe you me, I like nothing better than being able to throw something away instead of packing it, but not everything is trash. And after the third time I fished something out of the trash that I wanted to keep, I decided it was time for them to stop helping me and go home.
Today I had a (different) friend come over to help and she was PERFECT, helping when I needed it and just sitting and working on her own stuff and chatting with me while I went through stuff that needed going through. We got another good chunk of packing out of the way, and if that had been all that happened today I would not have had to eat so much pie already.
The other thing that happened today was that I sold my dining room set. Huzzah! Guess how long it took these people to take it away. GO ON, GUESS!
Did you guess one hour?
Did you guess two hours?
Are you now gaping at the computer screen and saying, “Mir, it did NOT take two hours! Tell me it didn’t take two hours!”
Well, don’t worry. It didn’t take two hours.
It took THREE AND A HALF HOURS.
The (very spacey) woman I’d been dealing with shows up with her husband, daughter and a moving truck. The three of them come inside and start examining and discussing the dining room set. (Keep in mind, they’ve already agreed to buy it.) In the meantime, my friend and I are packing boxes, and they’re all just standing there, having a conversation.
“This right here is solid wood, I think.”
“Yes, but see over here? That’s a veneer.”
“Hmmmm, you may be right. What about this? That feels like it’s solid.”
“Well, it’s a solid piece with a veneer backing.”
And then I stood up and screamed “OAK AND OAK VENEERS, TAKE IT AND LEAVE!” (Not really. I wish I had.)
After a lengthy discussion, the trio approaches me and asks for directions to the nearest bank. They were short on cash to pay me, you see.
Off to the bank they went. When they return, the husband comes in and offers me 20% less than the agreed-upon price, because the set isn’t solid wood.
I never said the set was solid wood.
I start looking around for a hidden camera.
I split the difference with him, kicking myself for being a sucker, but hoping this meant they would now take the furniture and leave.
He gives me a fistful of small, unmarked bills and then he and his wife start DISCUSSING how to move the furniture.
While all of this is going on, their daughter—who is just a little older than Chickadee—is weaving her way around the downstairs of my house, in and out of boxes, touching everything. She is taking things OUT of boxes and picking things up that aren’t packed yet and leaving them in other places.
Her parents don’t say a word about any of this. In fact, at one point, I hear her complaining of being bored and the mother says, “I saw some books in on the desk in there, go find something to read.” Because I live in a library, you know.
I start fantasizing about smothering her in ketchup and EATING HER.
(Somewhere in here I began to wonder if this child was… I don’t know… quite all there. Because really, there were only two possible explanations for her behavior: Either she is mentally much younger than she appears, or her crunchy-granola parents with their hemp shoes believe she will be stifled if they ever teach her any manners. I suspect it was a little of each.)
Eventually the couple gets the table to the door and discovers that it will. not. fit. They must take it apart! With hex wrenches! Do I have any hex wrenches? No, I do not. Hey! I know! Let’s have a whole discussion about hex wrenches right here at my wide-open door while every bug in the tri-state area comes inside. Okay!
They leave to go buy hex wrenches. My dining room chairs are left in a neat line along my driveway.
When they return, the wife asks if it’s okay for the daughter to climb my maple tree. I say that’s fine and am relieved she won’t be wandering the house anymore.
The tree climbing lasts about 4 minutes. Then the daughter commences going in and out and in and out of the house. While her parents discuss how to move the furniture.
My friend and I pack some more boxes. After about an hour the couple manages to move ONE HALF of the china cabinet out to the driveway. My friend manages to repackage my Cuisinart perfectly into the factory box, and I am filled with awe and admiration. For a moment, I forget how much I hate the people in my house who are strategizing every corner as if the fate of civilization hangs in the balance.
The daughter begins opening my pantry doors and poking around inside on the shelves.
My children are back from their weekend with their dad! Hooray! They are sticky and dirty and delighted, which is just how I like them. They want to know who these people are, and where is our furniture going?
I direct my ex to the carload of items I have thoughtfully set aside for him to take back to his house. He manages to load it all up in the time it takes this couple to readjust a strap on the dolly they’ve brought with them to assist in the glacial pace of moving my furniture. My children run around like crazed weasels and the couple’s daughter opens my basement door and peers down the stairs.
I briefly fantasize about bumping into her. Ooops!
At LONG LAST the couple has ALL of the designated furniture out of the house and lined up on the driveway. They are now discussing how to best situate it inside the moving truck.
My ex leaves and I direct the kids to start their showers.
The couple’s daughter comes back inside the house. I ask if she needs anything, and she says no, then wanders into the playroom and starts poking at my kids’ computer. I comment to my friend that I’ve never had a feral goat in the house, but I imagine it would be something like this. Just when my head is about to explode, the girl wanders out of the house again.
My friend is now about ready to leave, and as she packs up her stuff, the daughter comes inside AGAIN.
At this point, I cheerfully inform her that We! Are! Going! Outside!
The couple are inside the back of the truck, discussing the furniture. Of course.
“Hi!” I wave to them from my front steps, where I’ve just shoved their daughter out of the door in front of me. “My kids are getting ready for bed, now, so I’m going to lock the door.” The husband took no notice of me, but the wife looks at me with a funny expression. “Yes, well, your daughter here keeps coming in and out, and I need my kids to settle down, and…” I trail off.
At the base of my maple tree sits our birdhouse. Earlier, said birdhouse was IN the tree, as I know of very few birds looking for a house on the ground.
“Wow, I wonder what happened to the birdhouse,” I say.
“Oh!” says the wife. “I think GoatGirl may have kicked it while she was climbing. Sorry!”
“I DIDN’T KICK IT!” the girl screeches in indignation.
“Don’t worry about it,” I respond automatically. “Anyway, um, so we’re going to go get ready for bed. So, um, thanks, and enjoy your furniture.”
“Have a good move!” the wife calls after me, as I head back into the house.
For all I know, they’re STILL out in the driveway. I’m afraid to look.