Life Lesson #347. Remove porno tape from VCR prior to moving to Texas. If I had done that, I would not have had to explain life lesson #348 to my two sons after I set up the VCR to play a movie for them. Apparently, the adult movie was left in the VCR the day the movers packed up my family’s belongings in New Jersey and had failed to discretely eject itself during the long haul to Texas. With several movers unpacking all my worldly belongings throughout my new home, I thought it best to keep my extraordinarily unhelpful sons out of their way by popping in a movie. Instead, I found myself explaining life lesson #348: CPR can only be successfully administered mouth to mouth, never mouth to a male’s private parts. But once I replace ‘Horny Potter and the Goblet of Desire’ with ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ I quickly leave my two amazed sons before they can ask any questions and return to monitoring the unpacking of my belongings.
Let me just say that Beirut was a fucking shrine to Martha Stewart compared to the disaster the movers created in each room of my new home. The movers spent seven hours the previous day dropping off boxes and furniture into their respective rooms, assembling all the furniture that needed assembling and placing the rest according to my directive. Today was the day the movers came back to unload all 200 boxes. Not that I had 200 boxes worth of shit, mind you. Rather, the first moving crew who packed my belongings in New Jersey painstakingly wrapped each individual item in a sheet of paper, whether it needed it or not, before placing the bulked up item into a box. They wrapped my stapler, my hole puncher, my paperclips! Each plastic container of spice, my plastic spatula, my nail clipper! Imagine my disappointment last night when I began the arduous task of opening boxes and unrolling sheets of paper, anticipating the long lost treasure I worked so hard to unwrap, only to discover a single light bulb, a stuffed animal or another piece of paper.
“So, do you really want us to come back in the morning to unload the boxes?” asked the Head of the crew of three movers who spent no shortage of time yesterday informing me how much they all hated to unpack boxes and how nice it would be if they could get an early start back to the east coast.
Let’s see. 200 boxes times the 100 individually wrapped items contained in each one of those boxes divided by the number of trips to the recycling center to discard 200 empty boxes and 20,000 sheets of 3x3 wrapping paper added to the three years it will take me to do it all, equals, “Fuck, Yeah, I want you to come back!” Plus, I wouldn’t want to short change the American taxpayer who is paying for this move which includes the unpacking of one’s belongings and removal of all packing items. To my way of thinking, the unpacking of one’s belongings entails placing one’s items where they belong, or at least off the floor. Unfortunately, I failed to read the fine print which read, “All belongings will be placed in accordance to the homeowner’s wishes UNLESS the movers, in an act of rebellious defiance, decide to dump your shit everywhere, making a concerted effort not to place a single item anywhere other than on the floor…even if it is inconvenient to do so. In that case, all bets are off.” As such, stacks of books were tossed into piles worthy of a Nazi book burning pyre, fine china was stacked underneath the dining room table because stacking it on top of the table would be crazy, and every article of clothing that hung on a hanger covered the closet floors beneath the hanging rods. In short, open up every drawer, cabinet and closet in your house, lift your house off the foundation, turn it upside down, shake it like you were a four year old with his favorite snow globe and flip your house back over. This is exactly how my house looks now. To add insult to injury, we suffered about $10,000 worth of property damage. Not from the actual move, mind you. Amazingly, only a lamp and a few cheap knick knacks failed to survive the trip; nothing more than a few dollars worth of damage. The other $9,950 worth of damage was caused by my blind dog who ran into all the breakable items on the floor faster than I could pick them up.
Eventually, I make my way to the master bedroom only to discover I can’t push open the door. This is because the door is blocked. I push and push until the door opens wide enough for me to pass through. I step over the pile of bras, underwear and pantyhose that block my door and wonder why my unmentionables have been unloaded here. For Pete’s sake, didn’t the mover look inside the box before dumping out the contents? How about a little courtesy! Couldn’t he at least have dumped my unmentionables on the closet floor?! As I stare down at the pink, polka dotted bra and red, Victoria Secret underwear with the word SPECIAL stamped across the ass, I thank God I’m not easily embarrassed. Hell, it’s only bras and underwear. It’s not as though the floor was covered with my truly unmentionable items; you know, the things I keep well hidden in a zippered blue bag underneath my bed, the bag that contains all the things I have entrusted my closest friend to immediately destroy upon learning of my untimely and tragic death. Forget the wake! Skip the funeral! Just break into the God Damned house, grab the blue bag under the bed and incinerate it before anyone finds it! I don’t care if you break a fucking window! I’m dead, for Christ’s sake! Just get the fucking bag!
But I’m not worried about my blue bag. Why? Because I am Cynthia: Super Genius. Days before the movers arrived in New Jersey, I packed my zippered, blue bag into an unmarked cardboard box and secured it with an entire roll of duct tape. I then placed the box in the master bathroom knowing that the movers would pack the unmarked box into an even larger one and label it “MASTER BATHROOM.” This box would subsequently be carried into my new master bathroom where one of the movers will carefully place my duct taped, smaller box on the bathroom counter top which I will open and subsequently return my blue bag to it’s rightful spot under my bed. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Wile E. Coyote’s got nothin’ on me!!
“What are you doing!?” I yell at the non English speaking, Hispanic mover after he dumps the contents of one of my Master Bathroom boxes all over the master bathroom floor and begins to use a box cutter to tear open all the small cardboard boxes that tumbled out in the sea of wrapping paper.
“Unload box?!” the poor soul who has been working his ass off compared to the two lazy, white men on the job tries to communicate.
“No! No! No!” I stop the melee, swiftly taking in my surroundings. Has he opened the box already?! Did he unzip my blue bag?! I don’t see it but how can I be sure? I study the mover’s confused face and immediately feel relieved. WHEW! There is no sign of the knowing smile that surely would have played upon his lips had he actually looked into my blue bag. “Grassy ass!” I thank the man in fluent Hispanic. “Me unpack-o from here-o!” I smile. After engaging in enough hand gestures to make Helen Keller confused, my hard working friend leaves the room. I’ll handle the unpacking of the master bathroom boxes.
Fortunately, the four out of five remaining boxes left in my master bathroom have not been opened. Unlike most women, I do not have a lot of beauty products. Thankfully, God granted me such extraordinary good looks that beauty products only detract from my sheer, natural perfection. I open the first box. Towels, deodorant and a hair dryer. I open the second box. Towels, bag full of out of date make up and Q-tips. Hmmm. Where is my blue bag? Third box. All the dermatological prescribed acne medications that never clear up my Irish skin, a bag filled with the best costume jewelry five bucks can buy, and a set of hot rollers to curl the hair I don’t have. No blue bag. Jesus, it’s always the last box, isn’t it? I open up the fourth box. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, razors and that’s it. No blue bag. My blue bag is not here. It Is Definitely… Not Here.
You know what I like most about my new home? It’s not the five bathrooms nor the ten foot ceilings, nor the Professor Higgins library nor the Media Room. It’s not the fact one could land an airplane in the master bedroom closet or that my over the top kitchen has five burners more than I’ll ever use. What I like most about my new home is that every room is wired for surround sound. With a press of a button, you can direct your favorite music to play anywhere you‘d like. Do you want to relax to Bocelli on the patio? Kick back! You want The Rolling Stones to blow out the upstairs windows? Consider them shattered. You want Marvin Gaye for encouragement? Consider yourself laid. And if you find yourself in a SUDDEN FUCKING PANIC BECAUSE YOU CAN‘T FIND THE BLUE BAG! You can listen to the male voice who now speaks over the bathroom speaker:
“This is your inner voice. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the blue bag, last seen in a cardboard box much like the other 200 boxes floating around the house, before either your mother who is at present unpacking kitchen dishes or one of the four movers discovers the bag’s explosive contents.” Just then a lit TNT fuse burns past me. “Go now! In less than 5 seconds, you may self destruct.” I take off running, the music from Mission Impossible blaring loudly in my head.
“What are you doing?!” I ask my mother way too urgently as she lifts out a tea cup from one of the boxes.
“Unloading this tea cup?” she asks confused.
“Good! Keep up the good work!” I lean over the box and begin to rifle through the paper.
“What are you doing?” my mom asks suspiciously.
“Oh, nothing,” I answer over my shoulder, my body teetering so far into the box my toes barely reach the floor. No blue bag. Safe to leave here until the next box is opened. “Good job!” I exclaim as I hurry into the next room.
“How’s it going?” I ask the friendly, tall African American mover who is placing all my computer components on the floor next to my desk.
“Excellent!” he flashes me a bright smile and returns to his work. I jump up and down behind him trying to glimpse over his shoulder into the box. No luck. The guy’s well over 6 feet. I try peaking around him as he bends over but his movements are so quick that I am like a boxer weaving and dodging his bend over and stand up moves. Eventually, I clandestinely work my way under his arm pit. He looks down at my face, so nicely nestled in the crook of his arm.
“Can I help you find something?” he asks bemused. What’s that supposed to mean?!? Oh my God! Did he find the bag?!? That would be horrible! I had placed the carved tribute to male fertility, a purely decorative item brought back from Africa normally kept in my living room curio cabinet, on top of my belongings in the zippered blue bag! I don’t know why I did that! It seemed like a fitting place at the time!
“What do you mean by that!?” I burst defensively.
“Well, you’ve nearly climbed on top of me trying to look into this box,” he explains.
“Oh! That!” I extricate myself from his armpit. “I’m just trying to be helpful. Looks like you’ve got in under control. I’ll just see what the other movers are doing,” I explain as I back out of the room as casually as possible. Once I clear the door to the study, I quickly pivot and race to find the next mover.
“What’s this?!” I hear the older white Head Mover ask his younger white coworker somewhere from upstairs. I take the steps two by two.
“What’s what?!” I yell in a panic before I even get to the top of the stairs. I sprint into the guest bedroom, panting.
“This!” he says as he holds out the artificial top of my younger son’s 7’ Pirates of the Caribbean inspired palm tree.
“Oh! That goes in my younger son’s room,” I explain. “How’s it going in here?” I ask, stepping over the piles of crap dumped onto the floor, peering into all open boxes.
“Well, I just hope we can get on the road soon,” the Head Mover replies snottily as he turns over another box to make his point. Photos and knick knacks and breakables spill out onto the floor. My preoccupation with finding my blue bag is such that he could have dumped a 14th century Ming vase on the floor for all I cared. I quickly take my leave.
“What’s going on?” I ask the hapless Hispanic mover who is stacking CD’s onto the Media Room floor. He bolts upright, terrified as to my next move. Excellent. He hasn’t found the blue bag.
I continue in this panicked fashion for the remainder of the day, rushing from one room to the next, checking boxes and making a general, intolerable nuisance of myself. No doubt, had I clocked my steps, I would have ran the better part of a marathon. Still, my physical exhaustion paled in comparison to my emotional exhaustion. The stress was tremendous! By the time the movers began to clear out all the empty boxes and load them into the moving van, I was as close to self destructing as I ever came! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY BLUE BAG! Had I left it in Jersey as an accidental house warming gift for the new owners?!
Maternal unit putting her feet up for a well deserved rest, sons off playing in the back yard, I thank the movers for a job poorly done. The Head Mover glares at me as he leaves, his protégé delivers a likewise withering stare, the Hispanic male runs out in fear and the tall, African American mover stops to shake my hand. The knowing smile on his face lets me know that I did not leave my blue bag in Jersey. Beat red, I shut the door behind him and take off to find the bag. Not in the kitchen, nor the bathrooms; not here in the playroom nor the garage. Where the fuck is it?!
I walk into the master bedroom and there, in the middle of my bed, sits my blue bag, upright, contents still within, the zipper wide open. I walk over to the side of the bed, pull the bag towards me and remove the large wooden, black African phallic that rests on top of all the Hostess’ cupcakes, chocolate bars and packets of Oreos. As I open up the curio cabinet door and place the phallic back into position, I take solace knowing that in one way or another, everyone keeps a dirty, little secret under his bed.
I'm sorry. What was that? You thought I kept what in the blue bag? Don't be ridiculous! I keep that shit in the green bag.