This weekend two wonderful, fabulous friends of mine drove all the way up to Mulletville to help me pack. There was just one problem: They were rearing to go; I was not. Yes, there’s a for sale sign in front of my house and yes, we are moving, but the distance between getting ready to move and actually starting to move is, like, from Connecticut to Tokyo.
They were persistent fuckers, though. They grabbed cardboard boxes, markers and tape and attacked my built-ins. As they packed, the questions started:
“Do you really need a bottle of sand…
…Christmas napkins from 2006?
…a Zagat’s Restaurant Guide from 2005?
After a while, I started to feel like I was on that TV show Hoarders, and that I was being called out. I admit it: I’m a crammer. If I don’t know what to do with something, I cram it into a drawer or closet and I never look back.
I happen to be a neat crammer though. If you ask me, it’s an underappreciated skill. Not everyone can cram without unsightly overflow. My cram never bulges. It’s well contained and often well organized. I even throw in scented candles so it smells nice.
Who’s better than me?
My friends weren’t buying it. They set aside a box and labeled it “junk.” Good-bye sand in a bottle.
Then: “Mrs. Mullet. What.Is.This?”
“Aw! My Great Aunt Maryann made that for my wedding. She made it.”
"Clearly." They rifled through it. “It’s empty.”
“I never got around to putting pictures in it,” I lied. The truth is, the album always reminded me of a pretty toilet bowl seat cover—the kind that would itch your ass if you had to sit on it. The album would never hold pictures. It might, however, look nice in my bathroom...
“Toss it!” they chanted.
“But she had arthritis when she made it! And she was half blind. Look at the lace and beads! It’s a labor of love!”
They were animals, I tell you. Like something out of Lord of the Flies.
I didn’t put up as much of a fight over this sign:
Though it is catchy. Or this, a bottle of massage oil Chuck bought me 10 years ago, when the word massage was actually part of our bedroom repertoire.
The cork top is crusty and crumbling, and there’s algae on the herbs. It should keep the Connecticut Department of Public Health busy for a while.
When my friends left at 7, I was exhausted—and we'd only packed up half of the living room. I think part of my exhaustion (the part unrelated to working full-time, having a toddler, being pregnant and watching Jersey Shore) comes from knowing that no matter how well I purge my own home, there's a new house waiting for me that is full of even more stuff.
See, my parents are crammers too. My clothes from fifth grade are waiting for me when we move into my father's house. Remember, he's the same man who hid the legless people and the lesbian in his basement for 30 years. And my mother, in addition to giving us furniture, is also giving me 30 years of stuff she's crammed into boxes. Like my Bunsen Burner license from eighth grade.
I can't seem to escape myself. Literally. This move out of Mulletville is supposed to be about new beginnings; instead it's like watching "The Life of Mrs. Mullet." It's kind of creepy. I don't want to be Albert Finney at the end of Big Fish just yet.
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