Wednesday, June 24, 2009
My life has been rearranged. As you all know I have just shifted house and whilst I was prepared for a certain amount of physical upheaval, the arrival of the Formidable Pair a couple of weeks ago was an event completely outside the experience of my sheltered inner-urban working-class existence. The moment my house went up for sale I was targeted ruthlessly via mail by marketeers pimping removalist companies. In the end I chose the one whose motto was simply 'Pros that Care'. This hardly prepared me for the dawn assault of Dan and Stump, a crack squad of lifestyle police who would break my spirit and force me to re-evaluate my entire belief system.
'Come on in boys and have a prowl around. I'm making coffee. Who wants one?' The Formidable Pair assess the surrounds and tell me I have far too many possessions for a single woman. Some seventeen cubic metres to be exact. 'All this yours, is it? And it's just you and your kid? Far out lady...we're gonna be here for hours. Hope we bought a big enough truck....shiiiiit...I've got four kids and we haven't got this much stuff!' Oh and apparently the milk tastes off. What could I say? I'm a hopeless pack rat with a penchant for heavy second-hand furniture and large musical instruments. But in the end I saw their point. The hallways were narrow and they'd have to be lugged up a flight of stairs at the destination and here I was with seventeen cubic metres of shit. I also realised that most of my furniture is substandard. As the pair loaded my gear into the container they shouted out the sorry details on the condition report. 'Double seater lounge: chipped legs, torn seat, unidentified stain behind the right cushion. Doesn't look like she's ever been to IKEA.' Check. 'Small bookcase: once a nice piece of timber,now scratched, total disregard for Australian hardwood.' Mattress: ripped on the left hand side, springs had it. Looks like it's been used as a trampoline.' Check. 'Cheap knock-off painting by some French dude. Think it's a Ren...a Ren...Ren-wa. Issat how ya say it?' According to the Formidable Pair I have lousy taste too. 'Hey Stump! Have you loaded that weird picture yet?' 'What, the weird one in the lounge or the one my six year old could have painted in the hallway?' I also see now that I have an unnatural attachment to heavy furniture. 'Jesus Dan. Feel the weight of this. You have to wonder how she got it through this doorway in the first place. You know they have some nice cane furniture these days which is cheap and functional...and chipboard is light and durable. Ever been to IKEA?' 'Ah yes Stump...but I don't much care for it' 'You know you've got about fifteen cartons of books here. That's about 200 kilos of books. Now that you're living in a split level house you should really consider reading those paperbacks lady.'
It's all too clear now. I've lived my intellectual life as a dilettante. Perhaps I should live in a yurt, my possessions easily loaded on the back of a donkey: a prayer rug, a shawl and a hymn book. A simple nomadic lifestyle. I hereby renounce all the attachments I have to worldly goods. And to think...I may never have met simple good folks like Dan and Stump. Nor risked the inherent dangers of shopping at IKEA last weekend. Oh...and apparently Stump (the one with the missing front tooth) thinks I'm really good lookin'...thanks mate.