Friday, November 7, 2008

Sore Muscles

Next time I move, I’m hiring someone to do it for me. After dragging four suitcases from Minneapolis to the DC suburbs, carrying countless boxes from my storage space in the adjoining building across the courtyard and up a flight of stairs, and three days of non-stop packing and unpacking, the thought of sitting back and watching while someone else does all that is incredibly tempting. Especially when I picture myself with a cold drink in hand.


The truth is, nobody likes moving. Mentioning to someone that you are getting ready for a move usually garners responses such as “moving is such a pain,” “I hate moving,” and “you have my deepest sympathies.” But while hauling your material life across the country or even across the street is one of the most unpleasant tasks we can undertake, we have become a society of perpetual movers. I know very few people my age who have stayed put for more than a year or two over the last decade, and many, myself included, have moved more frequently than that. With job opportunities, university studies and even the desire for a change of scenery encouraging mobility, we’ve had to grudgingly become professional movers; boxes and packing tape are on hand at all times.


Of course, telling myself that next time I’m going to hire real professional movers to lug my stuff is something I do after every move. “Never again!” I say, but my declarations always ring hollow. The next time a move comes along I forget how bad it was last time and opt to undertake the task on my own. Maybe we get some kind of perverse satisfaction from moving on such a regular basis. It’s as if complaining about it makes us feel part of the brotherhood (and sisterhood!) of disgruntled travelers. We wear our moving experiences as a badge of honor, proudly sharing the mishaps and hardships that occurred along the way. As I unpack the last of the suitcases and boxes I think wistfully at what could have been if only I had called in reinforcements. But alas, there is no glory in hiring help. There is only a little more sanity.

6 comments:

Greg Wesson said...

Right now, having been in my current flat for 4 months, I am torn between my desire for the new and the general laziness of not wanting to move again (ever). Based on past experience, no doubt I will be finding myself a new place to live soon. Such is, as you pointed out, modern life...

Tanya said...

Greg: I'm with you on this one. Just this morning I found myself thinking about how I could get back to Europe...the boxes aren't even fully unpacked!

Jan said...

Admit it - there is only one reason to move yourself - that reason is money. You're just not willing to pay to have it done!

Nomadic Matt said...

so can i stay with you for the inauguration then? as a government employee can u get us tickets to the ball? lol

Tanya said...

Jan: You've got a point, there. Money is definitely a factor! And moving is expensive even if you don't hire movers: boxes, travel costs, buying everything you need to set up the new place, etc.

Matt: I actually did think about renting out my place for the week. Apartments in the area are going for pretty nice sums for inauguration! And anyone can get tix by contacting their senators or congressmen/women. But they're going fast...

Jan said...

Tanya - does NM's reference to you as "gov't employee" mean you got a job with the state department? I spent a lovely half hour at the AF chatting with a gentleman inquiring about you!! Turns out I'm about the only one left who worked with you. I get all your reference checks. If you got the job, I take all the credit!