Thursday, August 6, 2009

Must One Pack Egg Noodles?

Admittedly, yesterday was a success. The kitchen is packed. For those of you who know my kitchen, please rest assured that all important goods, the tapioca maltodextrin, the bizarre juice pressers, the 697 spatulae, have found a new home in a labeled box. This means that around 95% of all items in the house that are going into the moving truck have been packed. It also means that the remaining 5% is assorted crap. The boxes are big, the assorted crap, if sorted, too small, by theme, for any box. This is the part of packing, or cleaning, I might add, that I hate - the leftovers.

Adding to this, I learned yesterday that my darling will not be home this evening as I had assumed, but will rather be arriving tomorrow evening, as he is taking the red eye from the west coast tonight and going straight to work. After seething a little, I have decided that all the truly horrible remaining tasks will be assigned to him - I think it's only fair. Whatever lives under our bed? Him. Cleaning our bookshelves? Him. This is only slightly comforting.

It's 8am and I'm having second thoughts about my stoop sale. Do I really want to sit outside in the hopes that someone will want our George Foreman grill for $5? Do I want to find and clean off all the stuff to be sold? Will several hours of my day yield anything more than half a tank of gas money? From a procrastination standpoint, it's terrific - several hours sitting outside instead of locked in the humid apartment discovering more places mice have evacuated their bowels; but from a practical standpoint, perhaps not so much. It's just that some of the remaining chores are, well, so petty.

1. The ginormous plastic tubs of chocolate and sugar should have their casters removed and be duct taped so they will survive the journey.
2. The liquor needs to be boxed.
3. Makeup, unguents, jewelry, knick-knacks must find a home in a box.
4. Some decision must be made about the garbage bags of old clothing.
5. Printer paper, tax documents, computer accouterments, those need packing too.
6. The floor: what's on it? Do I care? Shouldn't I just swoop it all up, put it in a box and worry about it later?
7. We're missing a cordless phone. I don't want to go looking for it.

But the biggest single task ahead is foodstuffs. My shelves are mostly bare - they've been pruned and much has been thrown out i.e. the half cup of rice in an enormous container, spices so old they resemble dust more than aromatics, rancid oils, etc. But now what remains must be either pruned or packed. Will this stuff survive? I have about 1.5 quarts of homemade vanilla extract in mason jars - it has taken over a year to get the flavor concentrated and I'll be pretty upset if they spill. Which spices do I keep? What about noddles? Even if the package is unopened, isn't it better to toss it and spend the buck fifty sometime next week? Does one really need to pack egg noodles? What about a box of kosher salt? Surely my parents, in the age old tradition of bizarre old country customs, will be providing me with new salt when they come for the first time. Also salt costs a dollar. Can't I throw out the salt? These are the questions which are plaguing me and making me consider just one more cup of coffee and 37 more cigarettes.

Oh, and there's the rub.

I'm quitting smoking on Saturday.

See, I left that little pearl for the end. He quit four weeks ago on his last day at the old job. I said I'd follow suit on the first day we slept in our new house. So every cigarette between now and then is bittersweet. I've been smoking for quite some time. I love to smoke. Ask anyone who knows me. I don't actually want to quit. I hold out hope that the news will break tomorrow that they've found a cure for all the ails smokers and they have started to add it to all cigarettes. Yes, yes, I'm going to quit. It is the right thing to do - it just also happens to suck. I weaseled in a caveat to the deal: that I have the option to smoke on vacation, because driving through foreign countries without a cigarette in hand seems somehow barbaric, but who knows if I'll follow through on that. I don't fear a relapse, I'm stubborn as hell, but what fun will the smoking be if it's just for that week? Then there's the weight gain. I've made some downward progress in that department over the past year and I'm not super enthusiastic about yielding it. But that's all nothing compared to the honest truth that I love smoking. I will miss it terribly, and should therefore really spend the day sitting in front of my computer smoking.

Shouldn't I?


  1. I made $400 at my stoop sale last weekend.

  2. Why don't you pack everything and have a garage sale as soon as you get to Greenwich? It'll break the ice with the neighbors and you can tell them all the crap is imported! You should get a few extras $$$ for that.