You know that phenomenon where it seems faster and easier on the return leg of a road trip? I think the same thing applies to moving: I think it’s a lot more fun to unpack than pack. And since I had all my earthly belongings in storage for more than a year, it was simultaneously like Christmas morning and embarrassing to unearth those things that do and don’t apply to my situation anymore.
For example, I somehow left my coffee pot and any cleaning utensils in storage in Jacksonville, but I sent my shot glass collection; my flask collection; all manner of Waterford sherry, martini and red/white wine glasses; wine cozies; bottle stoppers and gag cocktail napkins with sayings on them such as, “Dinner is poured” and “You look like I need a drink”. They are now taking up precious cupboard space where things that are more germane to my new lifestyle could be stored. Things like gloves and hats and heavy weather hiking boots – the accoutrements of, as one friend put it, “the great, white north”.
The happy part was finding my Barbie dolls, the Stuart Weitzman boots I have been looking for since 2012, memories from my travels and the gifts I have received over the years (see flask collection above). One of the things that made me laugh out loud (at 3:00 this morning – hysterical?) was a cache of small books I have gotten in Christmas stockings and attached to packages for birthdays when I was still in my cups.
I made some questionable choices in men after my divorce. I made controversial choices when I was drinking, period. The book titles are telling, and now I wonder if Kim and Dee and my children were trying to tell me something subtle. Tongue in cheek messages, so as not to get my drunken dander up.
Here are some of the book titles:
- Excuses and Lies – Lines for All Occasions
- How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is the Antichrist
- Lovers I Had and Liked
- Who Will My Lover Be?
- The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook – Dating and Sex
- The Girl in the Box
- American Psycho
- My Dysfunctions – A Journal
You get the picture. Now that my head is clear, I get it too. I was a mess and a mark for the type of men who smell vulnerability like garbage hounds sniff leftovers…
Maybe it’s a good idea I sent these memories and shot glasses to myself. Maybe it’s okay to keep these reminders in the cupboard, gathering dust, taking up space and harkening to a different, darker time. I’m so damn happy at the moment, so bone-deep giddy I can actually look back – and laugh.