25 December 2010

The Move That Wasn't | Thanksgiving 2010

22 November 2010
I maintain moving is the worst thing people choose to do to themselves, aside from drug addiction. I've hated every move I've made for one reason or another, and after the BU, I could not bear the thought of adding a move to my list of lamentations. Still, I couldn't very well sit in our apartment, pretending his mark wasn't on everything. So I decided to convince the senses I had moved, with as little actual moving as possible. I designed the apartment I wanted. I gave myself a budget. I created a spreadsheet. I downsized.

I can't begin to explain the stuff I had. I can't begin to explain why I had the stuff I had. I had apparently gotten so wrapped up in keeping things organized and stored, I lost track of what I was storing. At the end of November, I went through every box and every folder, removing what was not necessary and questioning everything I decided to keep. I sold a few things but mostly gave things away through Craigslist. Purging felt great. I gave people good stuff to use, while creating much needed space that was all mine. And as the old vanished, the new appear.

I tried to go area by area, finishing one room before moving to the next. But it didn't quite work out that way. I was addicted to buying. As soon as I was sure I was seeing what I wanted, I bought it. I kitchen items. I bought storage benches. I bought a few clothes. And then it was Thanksgiving.

Storage bench. Worth every penny.

I tried to not make it the most depressing Thanksgiving ever. I went to work, where nearly all of coworkers spent the holiday. I took part in the traditions I had missed the past few years. Of course I would have rather been in Devils Lake, eating too much and marking Black Friday deals. Still, I really got a kick out of these turkey treats from my general manager. He passed them out as a thank-you for working on Thanksgiving. I gobbled mine before taking a picture. Fortunately someone had a little more self control.

Dinner. It was really good. I had two of three types of pie.

And then, ladies & gentlemen, I did it. I did my first, proper Black Friday shopping. I woke up at two in the morning. I drove to Target. I waited in the cold for almost two hours. My goal was to take in the experience, and to walk away with an HDTV. More than once I questioned my decision. I promised myself several times I would never do it again. It was just dumb. People were out there improperly dressed and with children. Families were devising strategies. We were all after the same TV, and there wasn't much else to say but "head to the back." It took ten minutes after the store opened for me to actually get inside. I followed the crowd to the TVs and saw the last of the biggest deal go to the woman in front of me. No, I did not need a 40" television. That was obvious in the fact that I didn't get one. I got a smaller, more expensive option and was free to shop. It turns out Target at 4 in the morning is still Target.

I bought Pyrex. I bought towels. I bought groceries. I browsed. I bought sheets and a router and everything else that had been on my list. I called my mom, so we could discuss the futility of my Black Friday adventure. All the money I saved on that TV went toward something else. The adrenaline wore off as I got warm, and I found myself getting very sleepy. I may have kept my composure, but on the inside, I was whining. When all was said and done, I had spent nearly five of my precious sleep hours driving, standing, spending, driving, parking and unloading. It would be months before I would say the ordeal was worth it.

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