Moving, part 4:
When relocating oneself to a different place of residence, it’s important to take time to anticipate the unanticipated expenses that will be associated with said move. How does one anticipate the unanticipated, you ask? The answer is simple: you do not. You cannot. You will not. You must simply resolve yourself to the fact that, even if one has set aside a “moving budget” of, say $20,000, one will somehow find a way to exceed said budget.
But how does this happen, particularly when one is moving from one fully-furnished and appointed home to another? The answer to this question is a bit trickier, but can be summarized thusly: it is magic.
1. You will lose something while moving and need to replace it.
The lost item in question can include, but is not limited to: your watch, that extra box of batteries, the remote control to your Blu-Ray player, your shoes, that garbage bag full of winter hats and gloves, a deck of cards, your sofa, your John Travolta movie collection on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray, the copy of Atlas Shrugged that you’ve been reading since age 18, a pet, a favorite pillow, various canned goods, your keys, or your Spongebob Squarepants alarm clock.
It is gone. Deal with it. Get out the MasterCard now and get thee to a Wal-Mart.
2. Turns out the stuff you thought you could live without is stuff you cannot live without.
Paying rent and utilities is an expensive affair, so you might have convinced yourself that you will “cut back” in other places in order to offset this financial strain. Common spending targets and the associated lies we tell ourselves include, but are not limited to:
“I can live without cable television.”
“I can just go to the public library to use their internet.”
“I have a fan, and do not need to turn my air conditioning below 74 degrees in the summer.”
“I do not need four different types of breakfast cereal from which to choose.”
“I will unplug all electronic devices when I am not using them.”
“I will bring my lunch to work every day, and only go to the super-convenient Subway located fourteen feet from my place of work once a month.”
Lies, gentle reader, all of them. Though you may have never watched cable television in your entire life, you will soon be overwhelmed with a burning desire to watch TBS all damn day and nothing – nothing! – can fill the void in your soul where reruns of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” could be. You will take a brisk walk to the local library, only to discover that you are sharing computers with a collection of local vagrants and perverts, and that the mouse you are using is uncomfortably greasy and well-worn. You will come home after a long, hot day at work to discover that the paint is melting off of your walls and that your fan has packed its things and left you a downright hurtful goodbye letter. In the morning, you will grow weary of Hunny-Nut Toastee-Ohs and long for Bran Flakes With Raisinz.* After one day of moving furniture just to get at the outlets, you will pull muscles in your back that did not previously exist. And, wincing in pain and suffering from the early symptoms of heat stroke, you will forget to pack your lunch.
It will happen.
3. Everything will need to be reorganized.
A new place brings the promise of a fresh start. For many folks, that means becoming more organized. And if the Rubbermaid Corporation has taught us anything, it’s that to be truly organized, you must run to Target and get yourself a shit-ton of Plastic Organizational Devices For Every Goddamn Room Of Your Home (PODFEGROY for the uninitiated). Though your system of index cards in a binder clip worked perfectly fine before, you will now need a recipe box. A milk crate on the floor of the closet will no longer do as a place to store shoes. And heaven help you if you just put your shampoo and bath soap on the edge of the tub – you’d be depriving a metal-bath-shelf-maker his meager living!
4. Falling victim to Wal-Mart
This particular chain claims to have low, low prices; this is true – to a point. These “rollbacks” are a bit misleading when one finds oneself trying to push-pull two loaded carts out of the store and to their waiting Ford Pinto. The pillows might only be $0.50, yes, but do you need seven of them? Those lamps do match the curtains, which matches the duvet, which matches the chair pad, which matches the placemats, which matches the soap dish, but HOLD UP. You’re officially caught in the Wal-Mart Cycle, and it’s best to just leave your cart where it is and flee the store. When you return, bring a CLEARLY WRITTEN LIST OF THINGS YOU NEED and a friend (preferably a “I don’t need material possessions to keep me happy and I wear hemp skirts” kind of friend) to keep you in check and remind you that starving children in Cambodia made that lovely set of linen napkins.
…But they match the shower curtain rings!
*For the record, if you do not buy off-brand cereal, you must be crapping money into the toilet each morning.