www.baltimoresun.com/explore/carroll/news/community/ph-ce-better-or-worse-1223-20121217,0,3747824.story

baltimoresun.com

I know Santa Claus delivers, but would he also unpack?

For Better or Worse

By Cathy Drinkwater Better, cbetter@juno.com

7:28 PM EST, December 29, 2012

Advertisement

I've been wearing my husband's underwear for the past 14 days.

No, we don't have that kind of marriage. It's just that we moved two weeks ago, and no matter how many boxes I unpack, I still can't find my own underwear.

Doug had created a practical, helpful schedule in preparation for the move, prioritizing our belongings in order of size (smallest to largest) and necessity (least to most). All we had to do was stick to the schedule, and we'd be packed and ready to go when the movers arrived.

Yes, I said "movers," but let me assure you, we're not lazy. I'll be 61 next month and Doug's got a couple more years on him than I. If you list everything that hurts, creaks or aches on us, you'd get the Comprehensive Guide to Old-People Miseries, complete with footnotes. Besides, I've moved myself in the past, and it was no picnic when I was 30.

There was no way I was lifting a bookcase or armoire — much less a china closet and all its contents — again at 60. That was off the table. Which I also was not going to lift.

What's more, this is my 17th place of residence (or 18th, if you count the hospital I was born in) and I made it clear to Doug that the next time I move, it's going to be in a hearse.

In the run-up to the move, Doug's well thought-out packing schedule fell by the wayside. I was too busy running around excitedly purchasing necessary items (read that as "adorable decorating touches") for the new house. And, I was actively avoiding packing at all costs, because I hate it. I'm sorry, but I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and lived to tell about it. Again, why push my luck at my age?

Which is why, when the movers arrived that morning two weeks ago, they found three neatly packed boxes and the rest of our stuff still in every closet, drawer, cupboard and cubbyhole in the house — and under the bed. I almost forgot under the bed.

The closets were like clown cars. Things just kept coming out of them, and coming out and coming out. I started to suspect the movers were putting things back in when I wasn't looking so they could pull them out again, just to see the expression on my face.

Of course, every time I apologized for making them pack everything, they cheerfully replied, "No problem — it's our job!" But looking at them at just the right angle, in just the right light, I could see dollar signs dancing in their eyes.

It served me right that my shower gel and back-brush were in a box labeled "kitchen," my hair-dryer was under Doug's socks in a carton marked "living room" and my sweat pants were in a basket of cat toys.

Our first night in the new place, exhausted and dying for a shower, I searched for my underwear to no avail.

Sensing my frustration (was it the sobbing that tipped him off? or perhaps the swearing?), Doug suggested I put on a pair of his and toddle off to bed. "I'm going to stay up and look for the TV remote," he said. "I'm pretty sure I saw it around here somewhere, in a box labeled 'office supplies.' "

So here we are, two weeks later, and Doug and I are still sharing his underwear. At least he found the remote for the TV.

Now if I could just find the Christmas decorations.

Email Cathy Drinkwater Better at cbetter@juno.com.

I've been wearing my husband's underwear for the past 14 days.

No, we don't have that kind of marriage. It's just that we moved two weeks ago, and no matter how many boxes I unpack, I still can't find my own underwear.

Doug had created a practical, helpful schedule in preparation for the move, prioritizing our belongings in order of size (smallest to largest) and necessity (least to most). All we had to do was stick to the schedule, and we'd be packed and ready to go when the movers arrived.

Yes, I said "movers," but let me assure you, we're not lazy. I'll be 61 next month and Doug's got a couple more years on him than I. If you list everything that hurts, creaks or aches on us, you'd get the Comprehensive Guide to Old-People Miseries, complete with footnotes. Besides, I've moved myself in the past, and it was no picnic when I was 30.

There was no way I was lifting a bookcase or armoire — much less a china closet and all its contents — again at 60. That was off the table. Which I also was not going to lift.

What's more, this is my 17th place of residence (or 18th, if you count the hospital I was born in) and I made it clear to Doug that the next time I move, it's going to be in a hearse.

In the run-up to the move, Doug's well thought-out packing schedule fell by the wayside. I was too busy running around excitedly purchasing necessary items (read that as "adorable decorating touches") for the new house. And, I was actively avoiding packing at all costs, because I hate it. I'm sorry, but I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and lived to tell about it. Again, why push my luck at my age?

Which is why, when the movers arrived that morning two weeks ago, they found three neatly packed boxes and the rest of our stuff still in every closet, drawer, cupboard and cubbyhole in the house — and under the bed. I almost forgot under the bed.

The closets were like clown cars. Things just kept coming out of them, and coming out and coming out. I started to suspect the movers were putting things back in when I wasn't looking so they could pull them out again, just to see the expression on my face.

Of course, every time I apologized for making them pack everything, they cheerfully replied, "No problem — it's our job!" But looking at them at just the right angle, in just the right light, I could see dollar signs dancing in their eyes.

It served me right that my shower gel and back-brush were in a box labeled "kitchen," my hair-dryer was under Doug's socks in a carton marked "living room" and my sweat pants were in a basket of cat toys.

Our first night in the new place, exhausted and dying for a shower, I searched for my underwear to no avail.

Sensing my frustration (was it the sobbing that tipped him off? or perhaps the swearing?), Doug suggested I put on a pair of his and toddle off to bed. "I'm going to stay up and look for the TV remote," he said. "I'm pretty sure I saw it around here somewhere, in a box labeled 'office supplies.' "

So here we are, two weeks later, and Doug and I are still sharing his underwear. At least he found the remote for the TV.

Now if I could just find the Christmas decorations.

Email Cathy Drinkwater Better at cbetter@juno.com.