A Moving Experience


You know how the night before your movers arrive you’re Generally Anxious, because there’s so much at stake? You’re spending insane money, everything you own is vulnerable, there’s a whole schedule thing that has to happen, etc.? And then you know how, when the move is over, you go, “Whew. See? Everything turned out fine. All that worrying for nothing”?

Yeah, I didn’t have the second part of that experience. I should have worried MORE.

I should have been waiting for our movers with a shotgun, and told them to go back.

They dropped our antique, much-loved, we’ve-had-it-for-25-years Duncan Phyfe-style dining room table OFF THE BACK OF THEIR TRUCK, and split it like a bad infinitive. They ruined our down-filled couch: hugely deep gouges and rips galore. They broke one of my bookcases. My office furniture looks like someone attacked it with a hammer and wood file. They did about $1,000 total worth of damage to the interior of our apartment, AND the apartment across the hallway from ours, which at one point the landlord had to open in hopes of it helping them unjam our couch from our doorway.

Anyway: Awful. REALLY bad. SO much of our stuff is damaged.

It was like watching The Three Stooges — only not funny.

And (having used this company before, and been delighted with their service), I basically waived the supplemental insurance option going in, so, if I’m lucky, I’ll get maybe $150 for the stuff it will cost me thousands to fix or replace.

I have a thing in my head, where if I’m upset about something — if something’s gone wrong, or has become inconvenient for me — I think “First World Problem.” If I’m out of butter: First World Problem. Sound of leaf blower annoying me: First World Problem.

My down-filled couch trashed?

First World Problem.

Have to ride someone’s unprotected wifi signal in order to post something on my blog because AT&T is two days late turning on my internet service?



"Save souls, nourish them as the devil roars for opportunity to steal, kill and destroy. ..."

My mom died late last night; ..."
"Sorry for your loss."

My mom died late last night; ..."
"We will see our loved ones but only those who had a relationship with jesus ..."

My mom died late last night; ..."
"If you accept the Torah and New Testament of the Bible as true you can ..."

The rational genius of Christianity

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John,

    Couching my words carefully here, I'd like to offer my condolences on the furniture and applaud your moving blog entry.

    "They dropped our antique, much-loved, we’ve-had-it-for-25-years Duncan Phyfe-style dining room table OFF THE BACK OF THEIR TRUCK, and split it like a bad infinitive."

    That has to be one of my favorite metaphors.

    Could restitution be pursued in civil court?

    Also, could you expand on the "First World Problem" statement?

    I equate this to mean either the problem is temporary as you are going on to a better world someday or people in the Second and Third Worlds, i.e. developing and impoverished nations, have a lot worse problems.

    Or it could be that your world is so different we may never get a firm grasp on it no matter how hard we try and how many of your works we read.

    God's peace and love to you during this moving experience.


  • When you ponder the movers, just imagine them all as Muppets. It may help. Might not – but it works for me when I'm bored listening to people.

    So sorry!

  • Supplemental insurance? They don't have to pay to repair/replace things that they broke? Did you sign some sort "not responsible for things our stooges break; hire us at your own risk" clause? That doesn't sound right. If you have the time and motivation (which if you don't is OK–I get annoyed with this type of thing real quick), sometimes persistent hounding

    I move enough that I feel the First World Problem-ness. In my opinion, it's not that you've lost perspective on hungry people so much as the fact that moving sucks. In addition to the physical transition of your habitat being disassembled and reassembled entirely, there's the emotional transition of (in a way) your life being disassembled and reassembled entirely. [shudder]…

    Even the Meerkats were all out of sorts when they had to relocate because of those dang Lazulai thugs.

    Go buy some butter. You'll feel a little bit better.

  • Sorry…it would help if I finish all my thoughts before hitting the post button–Sometimes persistent hounding can pay off. Going to supervisors, etc. Depending on your style of confrontation, they might not even recognize that they're being hounded. Unfortunately I don't have that skill, but if you do you can probably wrangle an amount closer to replacement value out of them.

  • Leif Sr.

    Moving is like slamming your big toe with the front door and thinking your flip-flops were going to save you. It definitely hurts at the moment of impact and for weeks your limping around with the memory of it.

  • Dang!

    But that "and split it like a bad infinitive" part reveals a splintered poet within. I bet with just a couple more moving experiences you would morph into a poet. You know, like how your dining room table morphed into firewood.

    How broken is it? Can you take a picture and post it? Some furniture restorer types can do seemingly miraculous work.

  • Hey, all! Thanks for writing! How fun. It's … good to be back. Which I know is a weirdish thing to say. Anyway:

    Sam: I do mean "First World" as opposed to Third World.

    Grace: But Muppets are fun and cute. These were lazy stoners busting up my stuff. But I do see what you mean–and I like it! I think I DO see people as Muppets! Thanks for helping me understand the perceptions under which I'm already operating.

    Skerrib: You're such a sweety. Thanks for all you've said here. I pretty much Joe Tactfully Scare People when it comes to Ye Oldye Controntations, and am doing what I can by way of being recompensed (if that's a word). I'll lose–but I'll try.

    Leif: Good one! That's just how it is. Except for us, this particular time, we'll be limping for years. We sure did love that table.

    Ric: It's so broken I had them haul it away. I DID save one of the busted leg pieces, though. I'll post it. You'll crack up. It's …. sooooo broken.

  • arlywn

    it wont replace this badness….. but baking sugar cookies and frosting them is always so much fun at getting out anger and turning it to fun. Is the landlord going to sue for damages to the second apartment? How did they get gourges in the sofa?

    Sadly, no one ever cares as much about your stuff as you do. But, maybe this is a sign that you needed to aquire new memories, and get rid of those 2 peices of furniture? A horrible way to die, but maybe thats natures way of saying its a new place, new memories… new stuff. Maybe.

    Or maybe you picked a really bad day to move….

  • This post and discussion makes me think of the car insurance commercials their running where the "buddy" asks nonchalantly, "So, what's the insurance on that." while the guys car is getting totally totaled 10 stories down. Such the sympathetic buddies we are.

    I have an old couch that my wife would be overjoyed to see something like that happen to it.

  • Arnette

    I'd love to give you a bunch of lovely philosophies and morals of the story and soothing words…butcha know what? I know from experience (last September) that as you sit looking at your gouged walls and bent picture frames, scratched file cabinets and broken crap, that the last thing you need to do is put your fist through your monitor. So John…I'll just say…I feel ya man.

  • I knew when I heard you speak we were a bizarre sort of 'like-kind' sort of scary isn't it! (Oh, yeah, you don't know me yet.) When can you and Mrs. Shoreland come over for burgers??

  • "Split it like a bad infinitive." I have to put that in my file of trite metaphors along with "more baloney than an Oscar Mayer warehouse," which I used in my last blog post.

  • Dan Harrell

    So John,

    What is that old bromide about loosing the very thing you're hanging on too tightly to?

    The movers, if insured, are only responsible for the actual cash value. Your policy, if you have one, may pay replacement cost and subrogate against the muppets.

  • Peter

    Hey, they knew you were a Christian and wanted you to practice forgiveness! Not!