Tuesday, April 26, 2011


In July or August, God Willing (sorry to get religious on you, but I’m not certain it will happen until it happens) I will have a “roommate.” And although I have had roommates before, I haven’t had one in seven years and never one of this sort.

To prepare, I have been going through old things and throwing out what I need and don’t need to make room for said roommate and his belongings. However, he won’t have many belongings, so this task isn’t actually physically necessary, but more spiritually so.

Cleaning for me is like losing weight. If I plan to do it, I never will. So I take advantage of spurt of energy and motivation (which is usually just procrastination of something else I don’t want to be doing) and go through the large plastic cartons I must have bought from Target years ago.

I hate moving, and for someone my age who is not married, I haven’t moved all that much. But when I moved seven years ago I felt like a fugitive. Very quickly I had to leave a place where I was living with roommates (one who was my brother who was getting married and moving into a house with his wife) find a somewhere to live and settle in. The funny thing about this is that for at least six months prior, I knew I’d be moving, but I thought I’d be moving to Israel with my then fiancé. However, I never made a plan for the interim, which I don’t understand. I had no plan from June 1-September 1.  This makes me wonder if this is yet another sign that perhaps deep, deep down I knew I wasn’t going to be moving to Israel and I wasn’t going to be getting married.

[In honor of the last day of Passover, perhaps the Hebrews deep down knew they would be fleeing from Egypt, but still put bread in the oven just in case Pharaoh changed his mind again.]

So when I moved out of my brother’s condo in June of 2004 I didn’t clean out much of anything, just placed unnecessary remnants in plastic containers, and maintained this pattern since. I’m not a hoarder or anything, but as I sort through the big plastic boxes of documents, bills and sometimes random items, I’m forced to confront my past.

Since I started cleaning (which was embarrassingly enough last August – I know, I know, like I said, it’s not my strength) the boxes are (not surprisingly) stacked in order of years like an archaeological dig. This is accidental, because if I had an organizational prowess, I wouldn’t have the stacks in the first place.  So today I cleaned 2007. What I found (of interest):

1.  My parents’ trusts
2. All of the manuals to my kitchen appliances and car
3.       A pearl necklace. The box makes it look like it’s valuable. Who gave me a pearl necklace in 2007?  
4.       A wrist radio that I worked out with (I know that sounds like 1997, but it was in there).
5.       The medal from riding the M.S. 150.

This week In Israel, my roommate-to-be explained to me the process of construction in the country. (I knew this already, but because he is a tour educator he sometimes adds interesting facts, which he did.) Because there are so many artifacts, all construction is stopped and delayed if any antiquities are found during the process of digging. Once the site has been properly excavated and recorded, construction can continue. This makes the process of building anything in Israel long and arduous (also add in the nightmarish bureaucracy)

It makes me laugh to hear people complain about the amount of time it’s taking to open a Trader Joe’s on Clark and Diversey, just as it makes others laugh that it’s taken me 7 months to go through four years of boxes.

What can I say? I guess I’m on Ramses II's time table.  


The Knitting Bea said...

I love this post. I love your writing!

Caroline said...

I think you're awesome. I'm nearing the end of excavation, too... I have written some interesting (I think) stuff about it at http://myhomewillriseuptomeetme.blogspot.com.

Also, I opened a large rubbermaid bin that I was certain was empty the other night. To my shock, I found all of my bedding from college... UM, YEAH. That was donated to an animal shelter right away.