The time had finally come to play the game of “Stay Behind or Come With Us.” We were preparing to start a life somewhere else. Moving was the goal, and the only means to arrive at that goal were harsh.
Objects that were once valuable to us were now considered clutter by the rest of the world. Could we really dispose of treasured memories? How heartless! How could we toss away the precious segments of family history?
Where do we begin? We can’t make all the decisions by ourselves. Neither of us is that unfeeling, uncaring or cold hearted.
“Get help!” everyone said, and thinking that was good advice, we hired a specialist called a moving organizer. She took the place of aunts and uncles, who would have been the people of choice to ask for advice if we lived in a different generation, when everyone lived in the same neighborhood.
The organizer met us at the house we were about to hard-heartedly abandon. After looking at the house room by room, taking notes each step of the way, she took painstaking detailed measurements. I secretly thanked my lucky stars that she wasn’t the person who measured me for my bridal gown, a special dress for a blockbuster occasion or for any other reason anyone would have for taking my exact measurements.
Then, consulting her numbers she made schematic drawings of the rooms, windows and door spaces.
She then measured the dimensions of each piece of furniture. That saved us an
irritating experience. It would be typical of us, if we were left to our own devices, to plan to put a couch in one place, only to discover that in the new house the proposed couch-space actually was right in the middle of a doorway.
The organizer’s drawings also indicated where furniture, paintings and photographs were positioned. She was so thorough I half expected her to measure the cracker crumbs on the floor and include those in her plans too.
When we got to the new house, she measured all spaces, spots between the spaces, wall space, windows and door spaces until I felt spacey myself. She drew where each piece of furniture would fit. And the left-overs, like contestants on “America’s Got Talent,”were coldly and impersonally voted out; they did not advance to the next round, new house, or new life.
Moving day arrived. Several of our neighbors gathered around the moving van, offering their good wishes. Or were they perhaps hoping to get a furtive look at some personal objects not visible in the common areas they’ve seen? Furniture survivors and wall hangings of thirty-one years of living with us triumphed as they were hoisted onto the moving van.
And then we were off!
Finally, in the new house, as the movers unloaded the moving van, they knew exactly where to put everything, thanks to our organizer’s drawings. Beds went where beds go, sofas went where sofas go. And my imagination pictured a fantastical scene:
Our pretend Alexander Calder sculpture would be placed near the front door to greet,
surprise and delight all our visitors.
Our imaginary Rembrandt portrait would follow everyone around the room with its eyes from where it hung, over the sofa.
The Salvador Dali fascinated everyone from the wall behind the easy chair, where it would stimulate many interpretations.
Awaking from my dreams, and getting back to reality, I started to place kitchenware. That task was more challenging than the furniture placement was: all the small stuff; pots, cutlery, glassware and dishes were obvious to put in their respective places. But mechanical kitchen devices posed the quandary: “To see or to hide?”
Do I want free, glossy magazine-attractive counters? Or lived in, homey, happily cluttered ones? Should convenience cooking devices such as blender, food processor, and toaster clutter the top and be easy to use? Or, should I hide them in lower cabinets for the sake of a neat, organized kitchen appearance? Should I strive for a new kitchen that forces me to bend down, lift the coffee maker from the cabinet underneath and put it up on the counter every time I needed a caffeine boost? Then put it back under the cabinet after drinking the mug of coffee, or would I rather have the ease of reaching the machine easily on my own level to make and enjoy a quick cup of the brew?
So now I presented myself with a new problem. I faced a moral dilemma; what is more important: the look of a room or the utility of it?
If the purpose of this move was to make life easier, magazine-perfection would be discarded in favor of convenience, and the machines sensibly went on top of the counter. It may not be the most attractive decoration or use of a counter space, but it will make life so much easier.
Throughout the ordeal of planning, measuring, placing objects in their proper places one problem still bothers me, and I can’t find a suitable answer for it. There is a place for everything except one small ever-present thing. With all the sketching and drawing each item’s new position one small one stands out no matter where I put it. It ruins the color scheme, protrudes and looks out of place everywhere.
Where do the bananas go?