Thursday, May 13, 2010
Cardboard Mystery Boxes and the Military.
In case you haven't been paying attention (and really you should) I am an Army spouse. It is one of life's little ironies that proves the Creator indeed has a sense of humor. I am also convinced that pure evil exists due to the knowledge that every couple of years the Army makes us move. They provide movers, but one these movers are the people have submitted the LOWEST bid. This leads to some rather harrowing situations which so far have NOT included moi camping out at a five-star hotel, sipping on a refreshing cocktail, while Juan, the pool boy, paints my toenails. Instead my husband, the Bulldog, supervises the movers, while I hide out someplace far, far away. I usually withhold this information from other military spouses because they have a tendency to turn ugly really fast if you mention this marital arrangement. Before I sound like I am just lazy and shirking my duty: I have had open-heart surgery. What is the point of having a chronic health condition if you can't milk it for all it's worth? Besides, the Bulldog values his job, his marriage, and wisely intervenes during moves, so I don't wind-up somewhere heavily sedated, drooling in a straight-jacket, while still clutching a handful of hair from some unfortunate packer.
The last move we refer to as "the best move we've ever had". This may sound good, but do keep in mind that the bar for this achievement has been set rather low. We once had to argue with a mover who tried to unload all of our stuff in the front lawn. I guess he thought we could move the stuff into the house at our leisure (she said sarcastically). Just when I thought things were about as bad as they could get, it started to rain. Meanwhile the mover argued with the Bulldog about how he had to be "somewhere else", all the while I would almost swear his eyes were rolling around in his head like Wylie Coyote on crack.
The result of numerous moves, some more eventful than others, is a huge pile of boxes in our garage. These are the sum total of what we have FINALLY given-up trying to get the movers to actually unpack them, like THEY ARE PAID TO DO, and instead giving-up just to stop having to argue with these people. Seventeen years of marital bliss and military moves have resulted in a stack of mystery boxes that filled our garage. Some boxes were labeled, but the label is rarely an indication of the contents. During one of our many, many moves, somebody got funny and decided to mark multiple boxes "lampshades". In the giant pile of crap in our garage we found two lampshades total and about 10 boxes marked "lampshades".
For the past couple of years, during our yearly termite inspection, the termite inspector tells me how "we" need to move the boxes away from the walls of the garage because they attract termites. Every year I tell the inspector how my husband is never home, I can't move the boxes by myself because of the heart thing, and there are just too many of them. Well, this year we got termites. Seems the termites really LOVED the missing roll of butcher paper the movers stuck in the corner of the garage. Butcher paper is, apparently, the akin to bait for termites. (See 4/17/2010 post for that tale of woe.) I knew the roll was missing, but couldn't find it because it was behind boxes stacked at least 10 feet high. So upon the Bulldog's recent return, it was decided to use some of his precious leave time to dejunk the garage. This was an arduous task in which we took mountains of stuff to the Salvation Army (I also lack the patience necessary to conduct a rummage sale.) It took the two of us four days to go through every thing and cart it away. Few boxes gave us any clue as to the contents. We ran across stuff we thought had gotten rid of YEARS ago. Is it just me, or do you think the the movers packed all of my recipe books with a CASE of Slim-Fast on purpose? (I am still fat and the Slim-Fast expired back when John Edwards was a viable candidate for president, but I am glad to find the recipe books.) We did find some stuff that had been MIA for quite some time -- quilts my grandmother made and my husband's collection of military coins -- things we are glad the termites didn't get and we will pack with more care the next go around. One box contained stuff neither one of us recognized -- some other military family has been missing a blue skillet for a LONG time. Sorry about that. I found a vintage white punch bowl from eBay I don't remember ordering, but was in a box addressed to me. It's nice and I am keeping it.
The weird thing is, the more stuff we got rid of, the better we felt. Unloading all of that crap was rather refreshing and we kind of had fun. Especially when that box of records fell on the Bulldog's head. Still, I hope we don't have to do this again for a very long time.
Now where is that pool-boy with my cocktail?