Most people spend Valentine’s Day going out to fancy dinners and showering one another with pink and red cards and flowers and candies. I previously posted that the February holiday holds very little for me and Batman other than standing in the candy aisle and staring down the heart-shaped box options for anywhere between ten and fifteen minutes. We buy something, go home and maybe pop open an average priced bottle of wine instead of the five we normally spend.
This Valentine’s Day was different.
It was my decision, as I couldn’t wait to get out of our old apartment. Lovely as it was, Batman and I were being suffocated by the overwhelming amount of stuff that accumulated in the past four years we’d been living together. Boxes on top of boxes shoved away in closets and piles of things—games, gifts, knick-knacks and paddywacks—all lining the floor so that I’d trip just trying to get to the bathroom or the panty or anywhere that’s not sitting here in this recliner. We could’ve picked anytime in February, but I wanted as early as possible. Let’s get it over with sooner rather than later and if that means moving in on the nation’s holiday to buy love, so be it.
Valentine’s Day is the day.
It was only Batman and me. Moving a one-bedroom-one-bathroom apartment from an upstairs unit to another upstairs unit. How hard could it be? I’m not a quitter. I’m also not an athlete either, or blessed with any sort of physical ability other than being able to beat double-dutch any time I wanted to jump rope. Uh… that’s about it. I can also reach my toes, but I attribute that to the short, hobbit-like legs I possess. Because that’s what I am. A hobbit. And that’s what I kept yelling at Batman all day Friday when I continued dropping things and during a few close encounters, when I nearly killed him.
The day started out with a decent panic, when we moved my grandmother’s old wooden hutch. The thing, to me, was beautiful. A solid piece of cedar or oak or some really heavy wood that still had a drawer to hold cassette tapes (remember those?) and slots for records. Records! This thing was old-school but vintage. I LOVED it. It was a bastard to move though. As in, even to relocate around the room. I remember one time I was running from Batman in a tickle-fight I started and laughing, I glanced over my shoulder to see if he was following me and I ran straight into the solid beast. BAM! Fell down. Nanny’s hutch was an enormous block of wooden heaviness but it was beautiful and part of the family and I loved it. Of course, I didn’t actually participate with hoisting the thing up when we moved into the old apartment four years ago (I believe it was Batman, my stepfather and my ex-brother in law.) So I had no conception of the weight. And I repeat—it was only BATMAN AND ME.
Once we got it out of the front door, I stared down the very narrow and incredibly steep stairs. I thought was going to wet myself. For real. Because I thought, well, this is ironic. I don’t want to kill Batman on Valentine’s Day. But death, at this angle, is inevitable. How the HELL are we supposed to move this thing down those steps with only us? The caped crusader and Frodo? Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Well, we’re not turning back now. Heart disease runs in my family and I was pretty sure I was having some sort of malfunction in that area when Batman went down the stairs first and, holding the majority of the weight on himself, he asked me to grip onto the other side of the hutch and gradually walk it down the stairs. WHAT? That’s when I broke into my chorus of “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Let’s stop. Let’s go back. I don’t have it!”
But he was already down a few steps and there was no turning back. Gripping the wooden edges in my little fingers, I was at an insanely difficult angle and thought—really thought—that due to my incredible unbalance, I was going to go toppling forward with the hutch and squish Batman at the foot of the stairs. Almost near death experience NUMBER ONE. Thank GOD I quickly figured out I could go step by step, sitting next to the hutch and holding it that way. Obviously we got it down the stairs and I didn’t kill him. YET.
Next was the couch. Batman lied to me and said it was light. Again, since the furniture company delivered it four years ago, I had no frame of reference. Sure, I’d wiggled it out of place to vacuum every now and again but that was just a shift. It wasn’t a lift. I was all geared up to move the couch because, hey—we moved the Hutch and no deaths yet. I got this! Except when we lifted the couch, I dropped it again because my idea of a “light” couch was something I could actually manage, like a futon of pillows. It wasn’t. It was the exact opposite of that. My arms were already spaghetti and this thing was long and awkward to move out a doorway, turn a right corner and down the same narrow and steep steps. Yup. THIS was going to be when we died. Er—Batman, not me. Because again, he was on the bottom. I had to hold the other end as he walked the couch down the stairs. But this bastard was also very, very heavy and I’d already used up the little strength I possessed not killing Batman with the hutch. Oh boy, this was going to be a LONG day.
I dropped the couch every few steps, blaming it on genetics and the fact that I possess an innie instead of an outtie, because I’m sure if Aragon or Gandalf were here instead of me, female Frodo, it would’ve been a lot smoother. After Batman continued demanding I STOP dropping the couch and after I repeatedly disobeyed him, we finally reached the bottom of the stairs… where I let out a blood curdling scream because one of the couch staples punctured my hand and I thought that was it. The end of my carrying-career for the day.
Oh, how I was sadly mistaken.
The television came next. It’s one of the older, early 2000 models that still has a bit of a tank ass on it. Fat. It’s incredibly, incredibly fat. And not as lightweight as I would’ve believed. We moved it with the same fear of Batman’s death and me having to set it down every few steps because at this point, my arms were pretty much useless—short little hanging limbs that did nothing other than swing. I only mention moving the television because of the one casualty that was endured the entire day—when I dropped the giant bastard on my finger. The top digit of my ring finger—you know, the most important finger. Yup. Dropped it right on there. It swelled up to a lovely purplish-blue hue and even as I look at it now—two days later—it’s still an ugly faint yellow.
(earlier in the day Friday)
I’m really happy I didn’t lose it because it probably would’ve put a damper on the already long and painful day ahead. But it’s really not that bad. There was no broken bone and the skin wasn’t even ripped. I just really value my fingers because I’m always typing. And I’m sure it would’ve taken some getting used to with a short ringer finger. I’d keep missing the W’s, E’s, R’s and S’s and like, three out of those four are the most commonly used, right? And with my missing S key… I don’t know what I’d do. Probably drink a lot more. So THANK GOD it’s still there. Swollen and a little ugly, yes, but still kicking.
Friday lasted for days it seems. We started around 7:30 and went until about 5:30, so we’re looking at TEN HOURS of moving shit. Well, not shit… just stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Endless amounts of stuff that I didn’t realize we had or even used… or even wanted. I’ll admit, we have some cool things. I’m looking at an Empire poster and a Bob Marley tapestry and the leg lamp we got on New Year’s Eve, but in the end, it’s all just stuff. Things. And after carrying it down one stairwell, loading it into Georgie, driving four buildings over and hauling it back up a set of stairs, I’m surprised we didn’t just toss it all. Next time we’re hiring someone. Multiple people. Hopefully the next time we relocate, we’ll be going into the Castle- Mansion so Fartswell will have hired someone to do the moving for us. That sounds about right.
Needless to say, I didn’t kill Batman (although there were a few close calls) and we ended up doing it in one day—Valentine’s Day. Just in case you’re wondering, he brought me home two yellow roses (my favorite) on Thursday evening from the fundraiser at the school where he works. My gift to him? See above: Needless to say, I didn’t kill Batman.
And so, Batman and Frodo lived happily ever after in their new two bedroom apartment.
(Just to gross you out—I took a few snap shots of my Dalmation-esque figure last night. Yes, I know I look somewhere between a battered woman and a crack addict. But this just proves I was working Friday. Moving things, dropping things, picking them up and moving again. Please ignore the plumpness of my thighs and sagginess of my arm—what do you expect from a hobbit?)