The School of Hard Knocks

As I was stuffing my earthly belongings back into cardboard boxes for the second time in three and a half months [aka moving, again] I thought about the futility of higher education. The four years for a Bachelor’s Degree. The two years for a Master’s Degree. Which translates into six years of sitting on piano benches and pretending to understand quantitative methods whilst wearing cheap ‘power suits’ and attempting to look professional.

Or was that just me?

There’s not one useful class among the forty or so different ones that appear on my transcripts. Where, for instance, was the ‘how to move’ class? And I’m not talking about anything from the physical education and wellness departments, I’m talking about the art of dumping your belongings into brown boxes in an efficient and organized manner. So as to minimize breakage and/or spending weeks going ‘where IS……’ during the inevitable post-move chaos. When boxes are strewn across your new home and you find yourself hard-pressed to find ‘the right place’ for that 24 x 48″ roll of cork you’ve been schlepping around since 2005.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

But in all seriousness, I’ve moved close to a zillion times now (or at least a dozen) and a moving class would have been all sorts of useful. [In addition to courses on how to keep your minivan free of decomposing produce, how to remember to pay your bills on time, how to maintain your composure when your two year old screams bloody murder in the library and every.single.person is staring at you because how can they not.]

I was standing in my closet today, an open brown box poised to receive all the clothes I never wear. The same clothes that I’ve picked through at least six times in the last four years; each time setting aside a bag full of the least desirable items for Goodwill, whilst hanging on to the other moderately undesirable items – for reasons unknown.

So I folded shirts and skirts and dresses into neat-ish piles and placed them in the box, and I was about to tape it shut (now that would be a useful class: ‘how to operate the freaking tape dispenser without maiming yourself on the sharp edge or unwittingly using three times as much tape as needed’) when I stopped myself.

No more. I was not going to cart a box full of ill-fitting, uninteresting clothes to the next house – just so I could have something to hang in my closet. I dumped everything on to the floor and made hard and fast decisions. The sleeves are too short, it barely covers my belly button, the sleeves are too short, the sleeves are too short, it’s covered in fuzzy sweater-pills, I will never wear that ever again, I should never wear that ever again…..

I ended up with more clothes on the floor than in the box. I taped it shut, suddenly nervous that I might literally be wearing the same shirt and jeans for the foreseeable future. [Until such time as I can go and buy more ill-fitting and uninteresting clothes at Target or the Superstore.]

The ‘good’ thing about all this moving is that if we keep going at our current pace, purging  a tenth of our belongings every time we switch addresses, we will soon be able to move our entire household…..with just the rusty Venture.


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