Monday, February 1, 2010

Movin' Out (Josh's Story)

Don’t you just love it when a friend asks you, “Got any plans this weekend?”

They’re not asking because they all of a sudden care about your personal life. T
hey’re asking because they have something that they want you to do for them.

If you say “No, I don’t have any plans”, it’s never a good follow-up to the original question. They never say, “Oh good, because I have an extra court side seat to a basketball game,” or “I know this girl who looks exactly like Scarlett Johansson that would be perfect for you,” or “I found a tree that grows money, wanna go help me pick a few bushels?”.

Instead, it’s always something terrible that you do not want to do.

You’re lucky if it’s only “Would you be able to babysit?” or “Can you help me fix the sink in my house?” but we all dread the king “got any plans this weekend” question:

“Will you help us move?”

Unfortunately I recently had to propose that very question to a few of our new friends as my Wife and I moved to a new apartment this past weekend. What made me nervous about this particular move is that since we haven't been in the area that long, we don’t really have that many friends yet and can’t afford to lose any to “will you help us move?”. I’ve moved many times in my life and I’ve noticed that you lose roughly 3 percent of your existing relationships in the process.

I can’t help but think that our friends are judging us and resenting our possessions as I force them to lug our junk around town. When you think about it, helping someone else move essentially means losing a day out of your existence to physically beat yourself up as you move someone else’s stuff from one residential location to another.

And all you get out of it is a couple slices of pizza.

How did pizza become the socially accepted standard of payment for helping a friend move anyhow? I’m with the guys from The Big Bang Theory; it should be your choice of a video game system or a mountain bike.

At the very least.

On the other hand, moving is no pizza picnic if you’re the ones actually having to make the move. Besides providing food for all of your friends that now hate you, it costs a small fortune to get from one door to the other.

Sure the price of renting a truck may only be $19.95, but that’s before you add insurance, pay $0.79 a mile, and have to fill the truck up with gas before returning it.

That $19.95 gets to $50 faster than NBC can take The Tonight Show away from you.

Then there are your utilities and other bills. Not only do you have to contact all of them to change your mailing address but now they charge you for changing addresses. One of my utility companies calls it a "transition fee" and is charging me 15 bucks to keep using a service I already have to keep using.

Thanks... I guess?

Thankfully, most of our regular trivia team came out bright and early on Saturday to help my Wife and I move to our new place. Everything was going surprisingly smooth until The Bull and I were loading our box springs mattress up on the truck. We were carrying the mattress a little too high as we were going up the ramp and the high corner of the box spring hit the top of the truck and rocket launched back into my face.

It must have knocked some sense into me because as the cartoon birdies were circling around my head, I suddenly realized two very important things.

First of all, I had completely underestimated how strong my friends are, which caused me to underestimate how long the moving process would take. Since I base everything on my own level of strength (or lack thereof), I just assumed it would take two guys to carry every piece of furniture. But these guys were carrying the big ticket items all by themselves. I’m even pretty sure that at one point, my buddy Jesse had our coffee table under one arm, a bookcase under the other, and a small horse on his shoulder.

Second, and more importantly, as much as my Wife and I have held many pity parties over the past year about not having good friends out here in our new homeland, here we were completely surrounded by people… helping us move!

In my book, that’s one of the basic definitions of friendship.

After everyone left, we crashed on the couch and surveyed the damage. We were exhausted, broke, and surrounded by boxes that I can only hope will all be unpacked by Easter. But we know we are genuinely blessed and the new apartment already feels like a home.

So, got any plans for this coming weekend? We have a lot of boxes to unpack.

There’s plenty of pizza left.

1 comment:

Sara S said...

Love the Big Bang Theory reference, but honestly why do you subject your friends or trivia team to this? Why don't you look on Craigslist for good movers? All you have to do is pack up your belongings. I live in Seattle and have moved about 3 times, always use these guys I found online -- they come over with their big truck and trailer, do all the lifting, and charge $60/hour. They go it all over there in a few trips and 2 hours. I tipped them $20/each, and it's the best $160 I could spend!! They even move big companies like Microsoft. It's worth the money and lack of guilt you feel for making your friends do hard labor for a few hours on their day off.