4.06.2009

Moving, Ugh

<-- Stella at IKEA

We're moving again. I counted moving 33 times after college and before moving to Portland. It's exciting, like travel. It's a way to see the world, to experience life the way the locals do. We localled our way through Montana and Idaho, Bury St. Edmonds and Hopton (U.K.), and California and Atlanta. I moved eight times since moving here about a decade ago. You'd think I'd be used to it.

A friend told me once, "Three moves is as good as a fire." I didn't understand what that meant. He said, "Your crap can't take many moves." He said this when crap wasn't so cheap and could probably hold up better than crap nowadays. A lot of my crap is IKEA, so it wouldn't take much for it to fall under the "fire" category. My crap is cheap crap. What do you expect for someone who has moved so many times? Heavy stuff? Who's going to lift it?

Charlie lifted everything from the Portland moves, since that's where we picked up, and he has a back to prove it. He wants to sell or get rid of everything and start over. We acquired several very heavy pieces during the last year, heavy glass tables and things. These, I recall, weren't my idea. But I'm used to them. I like what we have. He does, too. He just doesn't want to pull his back lifting these things. Nothing's enjoyable when it hurts that much.

He's got the CraigsList ads all ready.

This is typically my position. He's usually the one hesitant to CraigsList our lives. Maybe after forty moves I'm becoming normal and I just want some familiar crap around me when we move. I know the next round of crap will be worse because we don't have money to buy good quality crap. We'll be replacing the non-IKEA stuff with, well, probably IKEA. If our apartment ended up looking like a showroom, I'd be okay with it. It won't. If I had enough money to buy all the accessories to make it showroomable, I'd buy something else. Something really heavy.

Trouble is, our stuff fits our condo now. It's all contemporary with lots of glass and clean lines like the design of the building, the lobby, the finishes everywhere. The glass of our tables looks great with the black granite in our condo. The clean lines of our furniture goes with the flat, sleek surfaces of our condo. It's harmonious in a Dania sort of way.

We're moving to my Dad's apartment in San Francisco. His grandparents lived there when they retired. There weren't a lot of sleek surfaces to be had in 1930 when it was built. Instead, the place is filled with curves and arches and William Morris details. I'm having a hard time thinking about juxtaposing clean bright red Billy Bookshelves against hand-painted tilework and 90 year-old rounded wall corners.

Moving is freeing. You can sell or give things away you don't use. You can share things with people who like your stuff and who will take care of it much better because they won't move so often. You can start over.

Isn't that what moving is all about? Starting over? I'm excited to move and to start over. It's just hard to start over with everything, all at once, with nothing, again.

I'm thinking of compromising on everything but the bed. It's a new bed, for us anyway, bought two homes ago and still fireproof. It's the only bed we've actually bought and it's not from IKEA. Beds are one of those things you can usually find for free from someone's Grandma or somebody who doesn't want to move it. We had our share of free beds and the free beds keep on coming. There's one waiting for us in our new place, discarded from someone who got a new one and didn't know what to do with it.

Starting over just doesn't seem as fun in someone else's bed, even if it's free. I must be getting close to settling down. Right?