I know from experience that moving to a new place is always stressful, no matter how prepared you think you are. But our recent move was not only stressful and exhausting in the expected ways – on top of it all, we had to deal with a series of disastrous and totally unexpected crises that made the weekend into a true nightmare.
On October 31st, Christine and I planned to move into a new home together – a condo near Oak and 13th and the first home purchase for us both. As the big day approached, we thought we’d done a pretty good job of getting ready. We felt prepared.
Oh, how wrong we were.
By this time I’d established a daily routine of making a run to Safeway and the liquor store on Robson at Denman, and bringing home a mix of small and large boxes. Then I’d fill them up in the evening. I even had a colour-coded sticker system. As you can see, the place was looking pretty well packed up. But looks are deceiving – there were still closets full of clothes, office stuff, books, and odds and ends that hadn’t found their way into a box yet. Just one of the stress time-bombs awaiting us.
Saturday – moving day – I was still sifting through stuff and figuring out what I could toss – a slow process, but I didn’t want to bring anything to the new place that I could possibly do without. Christine, meanwhile, steadily brought boxes down to the lobby, and soon it was packed and stacked to capacity (our building manager graciously looked the other way). Meanwhile, the movers were due at 2 and there was still tons of stuff to sort and pack up.
As a notorious pack rat, I impressed Christine – and myself – with my uncharacteristic tossing away of things… including some items I’d held onto for a long, long time. Yes, some Beta tapes from the 80’s finally hit the dumpster, along with (sigh) my old Beta machine I bought in 1986. Now, don’t get the wrong idea – I still am the proud owner of a sizable Beta collection. But once I took them all down from the closet and actually looked at the notes on each label (I’m a stickler for detailed content listings), I saw a lot of material that had lost whatever interest or importance it once had – or was now easily obtainable by other means. The Internet, DVD’s, and other resources that didn’t exist when I made these tapes had rendered them irrelevant. So Ren and Stimpy, Sex and the City, Fawlty Towers, and movies taped off of cable went OUT.
About half of my audiocassette collection also got condemned to oblivion.
But making these decisions took time – time we didn’t really have. Luckily the movers gave us a ring to say they’d picked up a small job that would cause them to arrive later – around 3pm. We were happy for the extra time. Unfortunately, their arrival would be the first of our true disasters.