Monday, June 09, 2008

Moving couches, stealing babies

When you have kids, besides signing up for a lifetime of being a caregiver, mentor and science-fair-project-completer, you also, as a reward for surviving their teens, get to carry their couches every year from one apartment to another. Your kids won’t have their own couches, though, so you’ll actually just be picking up the couches that used to be yours and lugging them to an apartment where the shower rod falls down when you turn on the fan.

My parents probably thought they’d gotten out of the business of moving my stuff around the country many years ago, but last weekend they started the enterprise up again, driving nearly four hours each way to deliver their pre-owned couches to our house. They did this because, besides being exceptionally generous people who pass along only the finest of furniture and genes, they saw the state of our previous couch, which was of course also their previous couch, and which had served for many years as a ferret burrow for our late varmint Chopper, making it rattier than a scratching post and holier than the Pope.

So when my folks ordered their own new couches, they volunteered to rent a trailer and bring their old couches up to us. Incidentally, did you know that U-Haul won’t let you hitch one of their trailers to a Ford Explorer? You’ll probably never need to know that, but you also don’t need to know what Tom Cruise’s baby’s name is, which makes it even worse that little Suri Cruise now occupies the shelf space in your brain where the quadratic equation used to be.

My wife Kara recently became a bit of an expert on hauling things herself. Before going to her cousin’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, Kara decided that we should go purse shopping, which is my favorite thing to do when I can’t find a grease trap to clean out.

“Ooh, what do you think about this one?” Kara said, holding up a large black bag with buckles or something on it. I can’t really say for sure what it looked like because I was staring off over the racks, wondering which video games my single friends were playing. There’s only so much purse shopping a man can be expected to handle. It’s like looking through someone’s photo album when you know there aren’t any pictures of you. One can only stay engaged for so long.

“You don’t like it?” she asked.

“Oh, no. It looks like it could hold stuff,” I said.

She ended up purchasing a purse so big that our friend Anna dubbed it a “baby-stealing bag.” The theory was that Kara could put her wedding flip-flops in the purse to carry around until the reception. Apparently, the shoes that women wear to wedding services are just the starting pitchers. They have a whole lineup of middle relief that they call in after the reception begins.

As we drove to the wedding with Kara’s family, she set her new purse in her lap.

“Oh, can I put these in there?” her sister Jill asked, holding up her own flip flops. Her other sister Sarah and her mom looked at the bag and their eyes grew bigger. Pretty soon, every female member of Kara’s family began producing flip-flops that had been hidden in jackets and, presumably, ankle holsters and throwing them into Kara’s bag. By the time we got there, Kara looked like she had enough provisions in her bag for a through hike of the Appalachian Trail. At least she had comfy couches to rest on once we got home.

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  1. “Oh, no. It looks like it could hold stuff,” I said.


    Dude, you're funny. How much did she pay for that bag?

  2. Baron von Perlstein -- Thanks man. You could have stopped after a couple of HAs, but you didn't. I appreciate that.

  3. Did I ever tell you about my revolutionary fashion idea that merges two hot trends in footwear?


    Here you go...check this out.


    The best of both worlds.

  4. After 13 years of marriage, my husband and I still happily inherit hand-me-downs when the opportunity arises. Some people may call us "bottom-feeders," but I prefer to think of us as "recyclers." :) Why get new stuff when you have kids who are just waiting to write on it, spill grape juice on it, or throw up on it?

    And on the subject of the purse, you don't seem to appreciate the gravity of choosing JUST THE RIGHT purse. It's a serious, and downright nerve-wracking, decision. But I'm impressed that you actually agreed to tag along on the purse-shopping expedition. I can tell that you two haven't been married THAT long...And one more thing, what's the deal with wedding flip-flops? Never heard of that before, although it's a great idea. I guess we just ain't that cultured here in Iowa...

  5. Allover -- Dude, you just gave it away! Want me to delete that comment so nobody steals it? That idea is the money. Seriously.

    PJ -- What, you don't have male companionship when you're purse shopping? I thought my attendance was mandatory. I'll have to look into this...

  6. For expeditions of shopping for clothes, shoes bags and accessories may i suggest to use hubby-dubby the robotic clone.Its the most intelligent robot. It answers "yes dear that looks great" to almost any question and thus is ideal for our replacement as a shopping buddy. It follows my wife at shopping and beeps me when she reaches danger zones like the jewelry counters :). i wish some techie is listening!

  7. Hey, Prashant -- Dang, man, how many years has it been? Glad you're still around. Excellent to hear from you. And I think you should write that idea down, put it in an envelope, write "Sony" on it, drop it in a mailbox and see what happens.

  8. Mike, you know I adore you.... really, you're like the little brother I never got to torment.

    But, dude... sometimes I just want to hug Kara and say, "There, there, dear... in 24 years you will WANT him to go play video games..."

    Although, in all honesty, I only have two rules for buying a purse: 1)that it cost less than my car and 2)that it looks like it can hold stuff....

  9. I can safely say that in our house attendance is NOT madatory. In fact, I'm rarely informed of the purse shopping trips. I don't think that my wife has actually purchased a purse they migrate to our doorstop.

  10. Miss Ann -- She's gonna WANT me to play video games? Dude, I'm stoked. Thanks for the uplifting words.

    Art -- Dang, man, how'd you work that deal? I try to be the crappiest purse-shopping companion I can be, but still no dice. You must have figured out how to really suck at it. I'm envious.