By lex, on March 31st, 2007
That’s what we’ve felt like for the last cuppla decades, and that’s the life of a naval family. Over the first 20 years we moved 11 times and lived in 18 different houses, and each time we moved there were packing boxes that we never quite got to the bottom of piling up in the garage. Not a particularly efficient way to live: Never mind the repeat purchase of redundant power tools simply because we hadn’t a notion which box the original was lying in – and power tool technology has come such a long way over the years – the packing boxes do tend to add up in time, with the net effect that I haven’t parked a car in a garage since I was a lieutenant.
Which, no big deal, we’re off again in a year or two and what would be the point of it all? Anyway?
But it’s coming on six years we’ve been in Sandy Eggo this summer, and five years in the current crushing burden of debt, and it was far past time that we accustomed ourselves to the idea that we actually, you know: Live here. And maybe ought to act like it.
Now, my inadequacies in the domestic domain are more than compensated by the super-efficiency of the Hobbit in that same corner of the performance curve. For my own part, I could quite contentedly sit on the living room floor in my boxer shorts, surrounded by towering stacks of pizza boxes, Economist magazines and empty margarita pitchers but the lady says thank you, she’ll have none. For all that she runs a taut ship within the lifelines however, the garage has been officially labeled a no-woman’s land and her ability to maintain a serene moral equanimity in the face of the heaping chaos therein has always been a subject of curiosity bordering on fascination for me.
What’s the rush, after all these years we’d ask ourselves, and “maybe next weekend,” and off you’d go on other business entirely. But there’s always been a part of me that holds his manhood cheap that cannot park even one car in a three-car garage, and remembers with envy the wallboard my dear ol’ dad had hanging in the garage, complete with outlines painted for to match the tools that hung there, a place for everything and all that.
Too, we live in what is euphemistically called a “gated community,” but which would better be described as a kind of police state wherein busybodies busy their bodies by noting who is, and is not, parking the requisite number of cars within their garages. It appears that according emergency orders for the preservation of the state community standards, two-car garages require at least one car to be parked within, and three-car garages must house two or else it’s stand tall in front of the Board of Directors and explain your failure to be a Team Player Who Is On Board For The Big Win, under the threat of paying to the tune of $500 (and where does that money go?) I can tell you from personal experience that standing in front of the board and carefully explaining that “this is horsesh!t” – while unassailable perhaps in logical terms – gets you nowhere with the neighbors, the fascist b@stards.
So shortly after hitting “Publish” on yesterday’s sturm und drang, it was off to the U-haul store for to get a pick-up truck and trailer combination. Avoid, gentle reader, if you can the end of the month when seeking a U-haul rental. Everyone who is moving from one place to t’other runs the clock out for that last weekend before shifting their digs and you’ll be in competition with the lot of ‘em.
The “eaches” of this our movement from garage to Goodwill to the Miramar landfill – where the old saw that “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” was vividly enacted in front of my disbelieving eyes – would be nearly as tedious to relate as it was to execute (and we were under a tight timeline too, the truck being reserved this morning by 1000). The sum and difference of it all is that we can park not merely one, but two cars (and a largish motorcycle) in our garage, and your correspondent breathes deeply the aroma of manly satisfaction.
We’re from someplace now.