Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self-Discovery Through Packing

I think one of my friends once told me that he or she--seriously, I have no idea, and I don't discount the possibility that I hallucinated this conversation-- really likes packing before a move. Something about cataloging all your belongings, taking stock, something like that. Like I said, the details are hazy, and this concept of packing as an enjoyable activity is so foreign to my sensibility that I can't seem to piece it together.

I admit, however, that packing is an excellent opportunity for disturbing revelations.

1. I am even more idiosyncratic than I thought. I saved some of the boxes from my last move, and tonight I filled one of them with a few framed pictures and a variety of extra pillows, sheets, and towels. As I sealed the box, I noticed the label from the last time, two years ago: "Extra blankets, pillows, towels, sheets; pictures."

2. I attach sentimental value to objects, including hideous objects. Today, I finally threw out a 9-year-old tee shirt that I kept because it was from our high school production of The Heidi Chronicles. The final straw was when I put it on at the gym and attempted to stick my arm through a hole that I confused with the sleeve. And let's not even start on the neon green, strapless, terrycloth romper that we all bought as a joke for spring break senior year. I am parting with that, too, although in a possible crime against humanity I am going to donate it to a clothing drive.

3. I should not be allowed to buy any more shoes. Or bathing suits, oddly, but they constitute a much smaller problem than the shoes. The shoes have spread across the floor of my closet and slowly up the perimeter in stacks, in the manner of an invasive plant species. There were shoes I forgot existed. It's horrifying.

4. Finding shoes that you forgot existed is sort of distressing, especially when you read about anosognosia the same day. And then you find a bag of sweaters you never took to the dry cleaners. Talk about unknown unknowns.

5. The horror of discovering that you are a deadbeat who abandoned her sweaters and started a new life with her suit dresses and doesn't even send the sweaters a birthday card is easily forgotten when you find a fully functional umbrella that is at least four years old.

Tomorrow, I face the kitchen. I just hope there isn't a family of possums living in my 11x17 pan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Harvard Network

I have mentioned before the guy who sits on the Georgetown side of the M Street bridge. I don't pass him that often anymore, mostly because the things that motivate me to cross the bridge--sangria, cupcakes, Anthro-- are bad for me in excess. But yesterday, I needed to return some things, so off I went.

I should note that it was really hot and disgusting yesterday. I believe some people would say it was 'hot as balls.' I would say it was like living in a sock. Yeah. You feel like you need a shower now, don't you? Exactly. Given the simile options I have presented, I think you can understand my decision to dress for survival instead of cuteness. In my case, that meant gym clothes, and my teeshirt du jour happened to be my Harvard School of Public Health shirt.

Anyway, I dragged my sweaty, increasingly dehydrated self down M Street, considering various places I could stop to shop, by which I mean wander around air conditioned stores feigning interest in the merchandise. I noticed that, despite the heat, our friend was in his usual post, sitting on an overturned milk crate with a newspaper and a book. I stopped to say hello.

And then I noticed his Harvard Business School shirt.

"Heyyyy!" we both said.

He grilled me about my interests in public health for minute or two and then wished me luck, adding, "You have a wonderful personality; you'll do well in public health." (Note that he said nothing about a good personality having anything to do with Harvard-- I bet he really did go to HBS.) I'm going to miss running into him. Do you think it's too cold in Boston for people to sit on the sidewalk at the end of a bridge, just being pleasant?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kate Begins to Extricate Herself from DC

Just when it seemed I would never write here again, I am back. I have missed this, and besides, I am quitting my job, soon, so I'm going to have some time to kill.

Yes, it is the end of an era. In 17 days, my DC life will be packed away, and I will drive up I-95, have a little vacation (July and August lazing at the beach-- I feel so French), and then start my new adventure in Boston. I'm preparing already, getting my immunization records so I can prove to my grad school that I will not start a diphtheria epidemic and trying to become a Celtics fan. So far, both of these things are going well, although I am already a Red Sox fan, so I know that the Celtics' lead could blow their lead in the blink of an eye.

It's starting to sink in that I'm leaving. We had a going away party Friday night, since it was probably the last weekend night that we'll both be here, and today I showed the apartment to prospective tenants. It was actually kind of fun, even though no one took me up on my offer of a beer, courtesy of the keg that is still hanging out in our living room. Based on everyone's feedback, either our apartment is enormous and our decorating job is super cute, or every other apartment currently on the market is a catastrophic shit hole, making ours a beacon in the wilderness by comparison.

The best part, aside from the flattery, was meeting the people looking at the apartment. There were a few engaged couples and some girls who coincidentally went to college with my cousin, but my favorites were the girls who were looking for their first post-college apartment. As I showed them around and answered their (many) questions, it struck me that they are Marissa and me circa 2007. They had looked at a million apartments already, trekking around DC in the miserable heat, nervous about missing out on a good place, freaking out about the application ("What does she mean, "previous landlord?" Should I say 'college?' 'My parents?'). Granted, I have not really matured that much as a person in terms of apartment hunting ("Hi, Mom. I think I found my apartment, but you know how I am about snap decisions, so I just need you to talk to me a little and tell me that I'm not being a spendthrift or an idiot"). In fact, I guess the closest comparison I have is the week before the room draw in college, when the underclassmen would come look at our suite and try to figure out if their beer pong table would fit next to the futon. But it was nice to be on the outgoing side of the equation, assuring them that the utilities aren't expensive and that the other tenants don't mind the occasional party.

In any case, this feels like it was a good warm-up for the next big event, my last day of work on Friday. Fortunately, I don't think I have to give tours of my cubicle.