So I am starting a new feature to this blog that will read in a similar way to Dear Abby or Ask Billy (Graham) that will come when readers direct questions to me. This week…
Question: “So Whit, what was it like selling all your stuff, renting a U-Haul to move what was remaining to store at your in-law’s house?”
Great question. There is a short answer here, but you need details. When I suggested to Lindsay that we simplify our lives and free ourselves from our accumulated stuff, I guess I thought we could pack up a rented van and move a few boxes in with our parents. But when push came to shove, that is exactly what didn’t happen. I knew we accumulated plenty over the last year and from the wedding, but nothing prepared me for moving day. Though we described our new lives together as “living like monks” after selling our cars, couches, dinner table and other assorted goods, we were telling a blatant lie to ourselves and others.
Lindsay initially ordered a 14-foot U-haul fan, but I laughed at her. “We at least need a 17-footer,” I stated with confidence, “I mean the washer and dryer are going to take up a great deal of the space.” (FYI: holding onto a washer and dryer is no way to live like monks.)
We arrived at the U-haul in Asheville excited to pick up our new chariot, and move another step closer to Korea and a simpler life. It was monsoon season in Asheville, a fact that did not seem to prompt any sort of training ride with our 24-foot U-Haul. They didn’t have a 17 footer on site, but this goof-up didn’t seem out of place in this shady business. While we were in there another customer was yelling about his truck’s faulty gas gauge. Consequently, I am a little worried that they stole my credit card number. But nevertheless we were not annoyed by the mix-up as they gave it to us for the same price. But this did nothing for my confidence about driving a rig on 40 through construction-laden Knoxville.
All day Saturday Lindsay and I loaded all of our worldly possessions box by box in the rain. There were numerous arguments about what should be thrown out or given away. Lindsay insisted I throw out a Redskins helmet lamp (a family heirloom, I explained) while I insisted on getting rid of the washer and dryer (an expensive replacement, she insisted). So instead of simplifying further we packed it up. Though our vehicle was 10-feet longer than what we originally anticipated we filled up every square-inch and then some. With junk. “Last time I moved,” I said with a slight air of arrogance, “I packed it all into my Honda Accord.” This time, however, I was moving plants, dressers, and umpteen clothes on hangers. But when you are married, I am told, you co-own everything.
We tried to explain to Lindsay’s parents that our talk about getting rid of everything was pure hogwash. They said they understood, but the looks on their faces when I raised the back door of the truck conveyed that they weren’t truly prepared. Though I convinced Lindsay to give away her $50 pawn shop TV, we still arrived with a futon, a washer and dryer, a Redskins helmet lamp, enough women’s clothes to supply a large orphanage and more books than the local library. To make matters more embarrassing the neighbors helped us move in. We lifted, shifted, moved, grooved and sweated for 2-3 hours. Somehow, we moved everything in, even the washer and dryer.
So in short, I don’t recommend it. My in-laws have been saintly in their free storage, and all of their help, but there is nothing quite as humiliating as showing your family the stupid things you hold on to. Clearly my mother-in-law is not a Redskins fan, as I have been asked more than once why in the world I would hold onto such a thing. She rolled her eyes when I explained it was for Lindsay’s and my first born son.
Leaving Monday without my stuff.