Thursday, April 14, 2005


I type before you a boxed-in woman, for The Move, she looms.

This will account for my fifth address in three years. Each apartment has become progressively less dormish, to the point where two or three moves down the line I may actually set up housekeeping without first unpacking, as a priority item, the life-sized cardboard standup of Han Solo.

The place I currently sleep and apply Clearasil is 510 square feet and $645 a month and designed by a man. I know this because the main feature of the bathroom is the ability to watch myself pee. I enter the bathroom, I pull down underwear, I take a seat, and there I am, reflected mightily and full-lengthfully in the panoramic mirror on the opposing wall. It is the worst way possible to greet oneself at three in the morning. “I’m going to watch myself pee”—this is now how every single female friend who has relieved herself at the Blonde Bachelorette Pad, Orlando Branch, now announces her need to take a powder.

We notice these things, we women. We not only nest, we sponge-paint the twigs an adorable shade of dusty rose. We own Dusbusters; we are fully aware that a futon is a fold-out couch and not a person currently appearing on American Idol. Our Monet posters, our stuffed animals, and our throw pillows match the curtains, the inside doormat, the outside doormat, the functionless bedstand, the photo collages of college friends we have not spoken to since graduation, the smelling salts, the dust ruffle, the dust bunnies, and the twee little hardback books with inch-long pages that only delicate female fingers can turn. This is civilized.

Not so much in other arenas. When I was employed at a guest ranch in Colorado, the very first item the employer told me to bring was sheets.

“The ones I have are about a hundred years old,” she told me. “They’re avocado and balled up and wrinkled and the contour sheets don’t have elastic anymore.”

“So why do you still keep them?”

“We use them on the beds in the wranglers’ bunkhouse,” she said. “Also for birthing cows.”

Guys simply do not care. They make zero attempt to coordinate the squalor in which they live. Most men my age heave into the master bedroom the eighteen-foot speakers, the two slivers of Irish Spring which will serve as a universal cleansing agent, the fits-in-a-duffel bag wardrobe, and pronounce themselves moved in. The rest, they are well aware, will come courtesy of the apartment complex dumpster.

You will pardon me now. I must wash, fluff, and comfort the stuffed manatee collection before the movers arrive.

please send boxes:

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