Friday, June 09, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - I Packed The Food

I just had the funniest conversation.

Two of my co-workers and I were discussing the various unique stresses in our lives. One of my friends has been building a house for – forever. If you’ve ever built a house, or remodeled one, you know what I mean. If you haven’t….the life stress scale assigns values to types of stress. The number of life areas touched by building or remodeling puts it in a high category. Everything is tweaked by the process.

Because my friend is frugal and trying to stay within the budget to fund said building project, and because she doesn’t want to pack, haul, and find a location for a million pounds of stuff in their new home she’s getting rid of what she can.

Months ago she started giving things away. She’d bring bags of goodies to work and hand them out.

Then she decided to stop collecting all the eye-catching, nose-candy lotions and candles that we are so apt to buy. Last month, she announced she’d dwindled so low in personal products that she might actually have to purchase some hand lotion. A little victory.

Today the two of us listened to the latest update, responding with raised eyebrows, frowns or growls, as she shared. Closing is less than two weeks away. The deck guy needs to be creatively coaxed daily to show up and finish the handrail, and he’s a master in the art of spinning excuses. Tilers and painters fight over who has rights to what room. One contractor called her and said he planned on becoming an alcoholic as soon as her house is done.

Her rapt listeners have survived remodeling, we understand her pain.

Finally, she threw her hands in the air. “And I’m going crazy. These are my fat pants and they’re getting tight! You know how I don’t want to pack anything that I don’t need to? Well, I’ve started doing that with food. ‘I don’t want to take that, I better eat it! Oops, I better eat dessert I only have two weeks to finish cleaning out the freezer.’ Am I insane?”

It took awhile to answer since we were bent over, laughing at knee level. Then we peppered her with comments.

“What about condiments?” I asked.

She had a ready answer for that one. Hubby left a jar of horseradish on the counter, and she refused to put it away and let it sit out overnight. Then the next morning she looked at it, decided it was bad since it sat out all night, and tossed it. Another victory.

“I guess its easier carrying all the kitchen contents on your rear-end than in boxes.”

“Hey honey, I did all my packing, the rest is yours.”

I love people. Especially crazy ones like me.