Moving possessions from one house to another is one of my few legitimate loathings, and it’s second only to exercise on my all-time red crayon list of doom. Today, I did it twice.

Maybe it’s because I was lucky enough to live in the same one-story ranch house from birth to high school graduation, but I consider moving a rigorous, hateful ritual. Everyone involved seems to agree on moving day, whatever they say after the fact. I, however, am not afraid to fess up before, during and after moving day.

Even so, I just about always help my friends move. I recommend helping.

Loading up the U-Haul will evoke a one-way trip into the undiscovered country, and Tetris-ing together mattresses, lava lamps and long-forgotten tchotchkes into the cramped trunk of an already bulging sedan will begin more headaches than it cures. You’ll hate every moment, even though you have no tchotchkes here and you’ve never owned a lava lamp — there’s a lot more to hate than the bitter nostalgia of finding a postcard from an ex-girlfriend.

After 12 hours of menial labor, even the most energetic college kids have tired feet and aching backs. By the time you get your cheap mass order of pizza, you’ll have crankiness only salved by a multi-hour soaking bath, and yet, if given the chance, you’ll nap instead.

Help move not for the free pizza, and not because you’re doing your friends a favor to be paid back reciprocally. Do it because the chore is lightened the more workers there are to share it, and the fewer workers there are, the heavier burden there is for the rest. Simple charity, and simple goodwill. There is no catch, and there is no quid pro quo.

The worst-case scenario, easily, is that no jokey banter will lighten the mood when nobody else is there to banter back. I’ve moved alone enough to know that much.

Today, I helped move one household to the far southern boonies of the local valley, and as soon as possible helped move another to the rich town adjacent to my own. I count 12 hours worth of frustrating-itude, split between each friend in need.

That’s a lot of exercise. I do it gladly.


  1. Ima Peccable

    I like the turn your blog has taken, although I have been reading it regularly and appreciated it when you were teaching.

    Now I can relate to more of what you post, since I have never been a teacher. (I did try assistant teaching for the Special Ed department and found it rewarding yet thoroughly exhausting!)

  2. Thank you most kindly. This message, then, was for all those teachers who had been reading off and on — I didn’t want to scare them away slowly.

    From what I hear, teaching is undoubtedly one of the most exhausting white-collar jobs extant. From my experience, I don’t doubt it at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: