Moving tests tempers

| March 31, 2011


Prior to last week, I anticipated that the biggest hurdle to living with my boyfriend would be the daily trials of coexistence. Little did I know how telling the actual move itself would be.

Four consecutive 15-hour days of parking, loading and hauling from points A and B to C would take a toll on even the most physically fit. Couple that routine with a jungle of logistical issues, and talk about utter exhaustion.

It was when we found ourselves disposing of an unwanted mattress that tempers were tested.

It was one hour until the tip-off of the UK vs West Virginia game, so the stakes were high. I had a 32-year-old mattress (better described as giant dead-weight taco after three decades of use) that needed to be removed from my apartment. It’s the kind of job only someone who really loves you would even consider volunteering for.

I had searched online for the proper disposal venue; I just needed an extra set of hands to coax that beast down a flight stairs and into an SUV to get it there.

In doing so, the fundamental differences between the male and female thought processes were exposed.

In my mind, a mattress and box spring go hand and hand like salt and pepper; one would imply the presence of the other. But my boyfriend took my request at face value and about lost it when he discovered a box spring was also part of the deal.

After two full days of moving under my belt, my place was just about barren of any useful household items that could double as twine to secure the hatch to the Jeep. Honing my MacGyver-like intuition, I offered ribbons and even the drawstring to an old pair of cargo pants. He opted for my television cable and a roll of his eyes.

I sat shotgun holding the cord to the back of an oversized computer monitor circa 2002. We had wrapped it oh-so-securely through the bed rails and mattress we had in tow, and I was gripping it like a leash as we rode to the dump. I tried to put my best face forward because by this time I had realized I am the most annoying person in the world.

Looking back, it was straight from a sit-com, but in the moment we both focused our frustrations on the GPS that repeated “Turn left, then turn left” at every intersection we passed as it tried to guide our mobile junk-show onto to I-65.

So I learned a few things from this experience.

There are going to be fights. It’s inevitable when two people spend a lot of time together that life will not always be a picnic. But it’s not that you fight or even how often; it’s how you fight that determines the success of a relationship. I created the most inconvenient of circumstances from beginning to end and had he screamed at me, I don’t think I would have blamed him. I wanted to scream at me! But we worked through it, and although I knew he was angry from his body language, he still treated me with respect.

A sincere apology can go a long way. We all say and do things in the moment that we regret. The key is knowing what’s appropriate and never taking it too far. Some words cannot be nullified with a request for forgiveness. So do your best to control emotions in the moment and recognize when you are in the wrong once cooler heads have prevailed.

When we arrived at the dump, all discord was forgotten. At the sight of a three-story-high pile of discarded odds and ends, my boyfriend leaped at the opportunity to add to that mound. It was reminiscent of some sort of redneck Olympics as he javelined the bed rails and launched the computer monitor like it was a shot put. As we drove away he announced, “I wish we had more stuff to throw away!”

So the final lesson I took from this experience was: boys will be boys. Why didn’t I think of this? The opportunity to be a few feet away from a bulldozer shoveling a heap of Louisville’s most unwanted should have been the charm I dangled in front of him to get him through the ordeal.

On the bright side, I guess it won’t take much convincing to help me dispose of my next ridiculously outdated household item, and I now have a useful bit of information to help spin future annoying chores for male assistance.

Category: Dating and Relating

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