01 June 2010

Grounds for...

Divorce. Yes, divorce.

There are only a couple things that have pushed my husband and I to this precipice.

Not exes.

Not cheating.

But Ikea.

On a Saturday.

With all those people trying to get the carts out into the parking lot. Which. They. Can't. (They're called parking slabs, people.)

Nothing incenses the two of us like a trip out there.

It's too stressful. Too crowded. Too, too much.

We end up arguing about silly things, snapping at each other, feeling like we'll never escape.

Yes, Ikea is a place we've successfully avoided the past few years.

Because we know better.

The other cause for divorce? Moving.

As in: packing every single piece of crap you own into "labeled" boxes, and paying surprisingly small, but strong men to move them a mile north of where you currently live.


Moving has not one redeeming quality.

From start to finish, it's stressful, it's nerve-racking, it's time-consuming.

Let's start at the beginning: packing is terrible.

Because as conscientious as you try to be about labeling the boxes, inevitably you start wrapping your jeans around dishes and your underwear is shoved in and nestled around a vase.

And suddenly kitchen is crossed out.

And bedroom is crossed out.

Then living room is crossed out.

And everything ends up back in the kitchen.

And you realize just how much stuff you have.

It multiplies. It's never-ending.

Packing is terrible.

Then... there are the phone calls.

To the utilities, to the credit cards, to the magazine subscriptions.

"We're moving," you say.

Then, all you have to do is confirm your identity, give them your new address and you're done.

That's all you have to do.

1,000 times.

And then there's the actual moving part of moving

It's almost unbearable.

The anticipation, the last-minute details, the dropping off of the kid at daycare and the dog at the kennel. (Wait, did I just drop the kid at the kennel?)

It's like choreographing an intricate dance, where no one is allowed a misstep.

It is one of those instances that brings out only the worst in people.

The happiness of moving to a new place, a new life, is somehow clouded by...the move.

It's hot or cold or raining or snowing.

The movers are late. Or slow. Or break things.

And on our moving day, it was, of course, raining cats and dogs and elephants and hippos.

It was pouring (but of course, it stopped once the movers got everything into our new apartment).

We were unshowered, sweaty, hungry, shaking from exhaustion, and tense.

And the move itself wasn't that bad.

The movers were not only on time, but an hour early.

They were not slow.

Nothing was broken.

They were friendly and efficient and finished within three and a half hours.

Piece of cake.

But we were stressed. And snappy.

I admit that most of the stress was due to me putting pressure on both of us, not to mention the overwhelming mountain of boxes that eclipsed our new living room.

And I am not one of those people that likes to unpack slowly, figuring out where things should go, by living in the space for a while.

Packed suitcases do not have a long life when I'm around, and when it comes to packed boxes...I'm an assassin.

I just can't take it.

I can't "leave what can be done tomorrow..."

I will stay up until 5am, if it gets the job done.

Which means my husband will, too.

So herein was the root of the stress: me.

I could not relax, not even to sit and finish a 6" sub, for more than three minutes, without jumping up to unpack yet another box filled with flip flops, towels and a frying pan.

I know I have some control issues.

But this is a humongous one (trust me, my therapist tries valiantly to talk me down from the ledge, time after time).

I need to have things in order or I lose my mind.

Which makes my husband lose his mind.

And makes us tense. And snappy.

And so the boxes were unpacked and recycled. Within 18 hours of moving in.

After all the anxiety, all the work, all the sweat and all my husband's tears, we were in our new place.

We were tired.

But we were giddy with happiness to be in our new place.

Hours later, after we'd forgiven each other the nothings that occurred earlier, we toasted our new home.

We are finally here.

And we are unpacked.