Moving is never simple, but thanks to Purgefest 2010, I’m down to my essentials so vacating Linda Land is no big deal. My beloved Michael, however, is a bit of a pack rat. He has a ton of possessions he’s collected over the years as well as all the stuff that goes with having little kids. We’re moving into a big house, though, and there’s room for everything. Almost.
It’s fun putting a new place together; I look at it as a creative endeavor. Sure, lugging heavy crap up and down stairs is a pain, but I consider it exercise. Something has to make up for my atrocious nutritional habits lately—it’s hard to cook when you’re moving, so we’ve been eating out and hitting the fast food joints a lot lately. I feel fat as Elvis after Christmas dinner.
I’m digging it, though, especially the challenge of merging our two different—make that polar opposite—tastes in home décor. I don’t have time to post pictures today, but I go for vibrant, playful Southwest colors and designs and Mike’s taste is pure medieval. I’m talking giant heavy brass mirrors, statues, and swords. Lots of swords. And shields. I fully expect to come home some day to find he’s installed a moat and drawbridge.
With the exception of the TV and the sectional couch in the family room, every bit of Mike’s furniture looks like it was from a nineteenth century New England estate sale. I know it’s all good, expensive stuff, but I find it so depressing. Everything—everything—is some shade of brown. Okay, his ensemble in the formal living room is a cheery brownish, tanish gray.
When I saw the glass sofa table and Victorian wing chair arrangement he set up in one corner, I said, “I’m looking for the guest book.”
“You know, the guest book you sign when you walk into a wake.” I pointed to the candelabra. “We can lay out the body over there.”
I’m talkin’ total 1942 funeral parlor, people.
So you can see it’s a bit of a challenge. Like where exactly do I put my crystals and native American sand paintings and Kokopellis? Where’s the best place for the funky green shag carpet I bought a couple of years ago at Walmart? How do you think my beloved fake dog, Stiff, is gonna look next to Mike’s statue of Joan of Arc on a marble pedestal? (Stiff would look awesome on that pedestal, BTW.)
These are the challenges I face. To put it in perspective, all Obama has to do is fix the economy.
Mike is so, so good about my crap. It has to drive him nuts, but (unlike me) he never says a word. Seriously—this is no exaggeration—except for my car, TV and laptop, I might not have one possession worth more than fifty bucks. But it’s all priceless—it brings me joy.
And you know what? I’m not so sure that Mike’s possessions—as fine and aristocratic as they are—bring him joy. Sure, I know he’s fond of a few things, but I get the impression that most of it was purchased to fill space. He holds onto stuff because he got a good deal on it, not because he loves it. So in a way, my crap is actually more valuable. My crap brings me joy.
Still, Mike’s a freakin’ saint. Just for yuks, last night I told him I found this really cool decoration I want to buy.
“You know those pictures of dogs playing cards?” I said, brimming with enthusiasm. “It’s like that except it’s battery operated and—get this—the dogs’ cigars actually light up.”
I shouldn’t do that to him. He has small children and I’m not current on my CPR.