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.

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