They say a great photograph should tell a story. I’m here to prove them wrong!
Or, in my own inimitable manner, I’ll present a series of photographs that tell a great story.
This is a tale of karma, good intentions, and the ups and downs of a single day within the Abyss. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be using the double-entry system of karma accounting. That system requires two entries for every transaction, a debit and a credit.
How does our tale end? Meh. I’m rather neutral about it.
Moving is change. Change is stressful. Moving requires packing. Packing is exhausting. Marriage is change. Stress increases volatility within marriage. Therefore, changing packaging during moving exhausts marriages.
Sorry. I’m tired. My logic may not be up to its usual standards.
They say, “Choose your battles.” The implied message is simple. Fight the fights that need fighting and let go of everything else. Apparently, during moving and packing, all disagreements of opinion, no matter how small, are the fights that need fighting. “I say, I’m going to take that hill.”
“Oh no you’re not!”
Allow me to illustrate this concept with a real world example. I decided to lay some books flat in a rectangular box. “You’re not going to pack like that, are you?”
Alert! Hackles up! Battle stations! This is not a drill. Respond carefully, though. Don’t give anything away.
“Oh? How so?” I cleverly replied with maximum subtlety.
“If you stack them with the spines pointing up – like so – then we’ll be able to see more easily what they are when we unpack.”
No doubt that is some very interesting information. Written down like this, in black and white, it sounds eminently reasonable. What a great idea. However, if your back is rippling like a flag in the wind and you are caked with one-quarter inch of dust (tiny bugs, dead skin cells and more) and your face is blowing snot bubbles and a sneeze every three seconds racks your body with pain, those words take on a dire and ominous life of their own.
In that moment your brain decides those are fighting words. This is indeed one of those moments where battle must be chosen. The line must be drawn here. This far! No father!
The decision to fight is remarkably easy. Then comes the hard part. Deciding the proper response that is eloquent and contains just the right amount of pith. It’s best to take no more than three milliseconds on this important part of the marital process.
“So now you’re going to tell me how to pack a box? I think I know how! Stick it in your pointy ear!”
I should point out that I am, in fact, a purebred gypsy. As such, I’ve moved a few times in my life. Recently I decided to try to quantify once and for all just how many times I’ve moved. It turns out that I’ve moved at least once for ever year I’ve been alive. Yep, 96 times! So I think I know how to pack a box thank you very much. It’s in my gypsy blue blood.
And so the weekend went. I was truly amazed and awestruck at the minutia where we were willing and eager to disagree. Seemingly there was no limit.
At one point during the day I remarked, “You know what? We could take this banquet table, stick it at the end of the driveway, put a FREE sign up, and get rid a lot of our crap.”
“No,” she said. “I’d rather give our stuff away to the thrift store where it may do some good.” Ughg. Shot down again.
But then, a little later, something weird happened. She warmed up to the idea. And then some.
“Let’s do it,” she said. “And you can put out that old piece of shit computer monitor, too.”
“No one will ever take that busted old thing. No one wants broken electronics!”
“Just put it out.”
“What a monumental waste of time.”
“Why not give it a fucking try?”
“No! It’s stupid!”
“What’s the harm in making the attempt?”
“A few of my vertebrae squirting out of my back like frisbees for nothing, that’s what!”
“Mark my words,” I said. “At the end of the day that fucking thing will still be here. And I’ll be schlepping it back in our garage. And then I’ll likely die of spinal trama. And you know what’ll happen after that? I’ll say I told you so!”
Long story short, the broken busted POS monitor went out. No one bothered to take it.
I did, however, put out another monitor. This was a 14″ Compaq monitor that worked great. When my old monitor died, I picked it for $25 and it was a godsend. I was too poor to afford something new and it got me through some dire straits. I was a little sad to see it go.
But, it was important to both of us that we try to be green and squeeze more life out possessions we no longer needed. We were hopeful our stuff would go to a good home and be of some small use to someone else.
Two monitors, hats, speakers, boxes of magazines, wood, half of a crock pot and a lot of other potentially useful items were all put out with the free sign.
We also stuck out my old comfy chair. My wife was beyond thrilled when that thing disappeared.
Later during the day we saw a pack of kids lingering around the end of our driveway. It was a time of excitement. After they left I peeked out and saw my trusty monitor was gone. And all of the magazines, too.
Karma +1 for us!
They did, however, trash our driveway pretty good. They wrecked some boxes, dumped stuff out of the good boxes (which we needed for moving) and took those as well. Our free items were strewn all about.
Rude punks. Still, I felt fairly good about things for a short time. And then…
My wife informed me she had found a broken piece of monitor at the end of our driveway. Right where it could be driven over and likely blow out a tire. Like we have money for that! This must be how the universe says thank you for our good intentions.
It got worse from there. My wife’s legendary detective skills kicked in. She did some investigating then came to me and said, “You know what? I think those kids dumped the monitor in the empty lot behind our house. I’ll bet they were throwing rocks at it.”
Sensing a photo-journalism opportunity, I grabbed my camera and hit the trail. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
Karma -1. Everything balances out.
I apologize there are so few pictures in this pictorial. Fittingly it began to rain (perfect accompaniment to the metaphorical downpour) and I had to cut the expedition short.