Friday, August 29, 2008

KFC = Faster, Higher, Stronger Movers

When I returned home at 8:45am Friday morning after taking NavyGuy's car into the shop (because it's not like we could have two working cars during this debacle...), I found the moving company already in my house ready to tackle our biblical quantities of books and other "junque." Apparently the moving company had a hunch what they were in for, because they sent three no-nonsense black ladies. I now have three new friends: Felicia, Alicia, and D'Wan (uh huh, you heard me).

The packing triumverate attacked the kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom first. Poor D'Wan was stuck with our bedroom, which consists of 678 concrete block computer books, my entire collection of purses (which I've been keeping since 1999... cuz you never know what might come back in style!), two dressers and a closet worth of clothes, and obscene amounts of other stuff. We became fast friends though when she discovered my crazy neat closet organization system (yes, anal-retentive DOES have a hyphen!), and it was smooth sailing from there.

Our friendship was cemented though over lunch. Having done my homework ahead of time, I was informed that if you offer the movers lunch (and sodas throughout the day), they tend to take a little more care with packing your grandmother's punch bowl and other irreplaceables. So, NavyGuy and I plied them with sodas throughout the morning, and then offered to order pizza for lunch. Well, Felicia and Alicia were fine with that, but D'Wan needed her pizza without cheese (despite our new best friend status, I didn't feel comfortable inquiring). Thinking quickly, I offered to stop and get her something from the Kentucky Fried Chicken (on the way to the pizza place) after I picked up the pizza. You'd have thought I offered her an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. She was thrilled and immediately began folding my clothes a little bit neater before she put them in the box.

Well, once word got around that I was willing to hit up the KFC for lunch, Felicia and Alicia jumped on the bandwagon and next thing I knew, I was harassing the drive-thru attendant because they didn't have the honey mustard sauce that Alicia was craving, and checking to make sure that Felicia's mashed potato bowl came with a biscuit. The ladies were extremely grateful, and the afternoon sailed along swimmingly. Perhaps our politicians should heed this lesson; next time they're trying to broker some kind of negotation with North Korea or the Russians, take some crispy chicken and potato wedges along - you can never underestimate the power of the 11 secret herbs and spices.

Anyway, the only other major incident during the packing process was NavyGuy's tv. He recently acquired a 55 inch plasma screen monstrosity (I believe the exact words were, "Well, hun, since you got me the Planet Earth DVDs for Christmas, my old TV just won't do it justice!"... which sounds suspiciously like the kind of half-cocked logic I would use to justify an entirely new bedroom set based on the new wastebasket I got for the room.) Anyway, the TV is hugenormous, heavy, and cannot be held anywhichway but perfectly straight up and down. He had listed this item on the initial inventory sheet for the moving company, so they allegedly knew ahead of time that they would need to pack this. Well, Felicia (who seemed to be the queen bee), was ready to beat on someone when she saw this giant TV. Quicker than I could offer a soda to calm her, she called up the moving company and raised holy hell. From what I could tell on my side of the conversation, Mr. Abbott was supposed to have called the "crate guys" who would come out and crate the TV, but Mr. Abbott was too busy (cheap) to do so, and Felicia was sure as hell not going to try to pack that TV on her own in a wardrobe box, that's-for-dang-sure-son!

So, the moving company sent out a man with a box, which Felicia quickly deemed "still to dang small," and called the company office back again. This time she asked for "Jason." The name sounded familiar... (oh yeah, he was the guy that was supposed to come to our house on Thursday to look over all of our stuff and send the packing ladies with the appropriate packing materials... somehow, "Jason" never made it, but did have the brilliant idea to call NavyGuy around noon on Friday to let him know he'd "run out of time on Thursday but could stop by later on in the afternoon." NavyGuy gently informed him that the packing ladies had already finished several rooms, and that his services would not be necessary.) Apparently, Felicia had the same opinion of "Jason" that I did, and eventually, it was decided that the crate guys would come on Tuesday when the movers were loading the truck.

Nine hours and 176 boxes later, my triumverate left. All in all, it was a much better process than I had expected. The ladies were very considerate about asking if we wanted stuff packed or set aside (only exception - my comb disappeared into one of the 176 boxes... better the comb than the toothbrush I suppose). And they loved my lemonade (Alicia proclaimed Crystal Light the best thing since Southern Comfort...). Our house is now an obstacle course with small pathways carved out between rows of boxes (our bed was completely surrounded when we got back late last night, so I suggested we throw a blanket on top of the boxes and make a fort... you can guess NavyGuy's reaction). The movers don't come until Tuesday to load the moving truck, so we're living like very materialistic nomads for a few days, but there's still a TV plugged in, and the internet still works, so I'm in a good mood.

Oh, did I mention that after the stress of this packing day, we still had to go to a winging party that didn't start until 9:00... pm? I'll post about that later - I'm going back to sleep in my fort, er, bed.


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