There is such excitement in our lives right now, we move house in 5 sleeps! Even though my friends did most of the packing up, over the weekend Jon and I (well, Jon, while I laid back and told him what to do) packed up the crap lying around in drawers of the kitchen. Six large boxes later, we were only half way done. But wow did we come across some memories:
- When I met Jon, he could hardly boil an egg. He lived on those gross steamed fish in packets that you microwaved, or he’d chuck Woolies chicken schnitzel and roast veg into the oven. He had never learnt the art of spices or herbs, so his food tended to be quite bland. Both of us picked up waaaay too much weight in the beginning, because I started to teach him how to cook amazing things like creamy cheese sauces, pastas and worst of all, I passed on my love of carbs on carbs. On a hangover? Nothing beats leftover pasta on toast. But my family got in on the action and started collecting recipe cards for Jon for months on end and presented him with a homemade little booklet of recipes at Christmas. We found the crumpled and dusty booklet and both awwwed over the effort from my Mom and Wok so many years ago.
- 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets. We kept them as a joke because on the day of the match, Jon was being so bitchy about me potentially losing the tickets, that he clutched them himself and wouldn’t trust me with them. Until we got to the gate to enter the stadium and realised he’d lost the bloody tickets. We eventually found them a few meters back, but it’s been a standing joke between us ever since. I get to keep the “world cup (any and all) tickets” forever more and he’s not allowed to say a word. We debated keeping the tickets and having them framed for the new house – but decided that in the greater scheme of things, we have enough crap already.
- A few years back I convinced Jon that the white walls in the house were boring and needed some colour. He let me pick the paints and when the painters arrived Jon took one look at the spare room’s proposed colour and got nervous. “It’s bright pink!” he said, to which I confidently replied that he needed to leave the house and stop being such a control freak. It would be a very light red, with a dark red feature wall. Ahem. I’ve since lost all rights to ever choose paint colours again:
- A bright neon pink plastic flower. This came from the car roof ariel of 1 x Durban blogger Briget Young – who so very kindly donated it in 2009 as part of the Nerdies auctions for charity that the old SA Twitter and blogging crowd used to get involved in. Briget used to drive a bright pink VW that could be spotted from Mars. The flower was a token of her precious car that we all loved so much. It brought back such laughter and reminded me of how much the social landscape in SA has changed, we have somehow lost the intimacy, I think.
- A geek-poetry filled treasure hunt clue that I had put together for mine and Jon’s very first Valentine’s Day years and years ago. I got all puffed up like a proud pigeon when Jon went all mushy reliving the memory. I basically put together really ridiculous poetry, paired with photos of us as a couple, printed them out as individual clues to send Jon around the house searching for the treasure. Clue: I was the treasure. Grrr!
- Taking down the photos and frames off the walls had us in stitches looking at Jon’s prowess with a drill over the years. It started in 2009 when he was still learning, and the major chunks out of the walls with 5 screws surrounding the holes really reminded me how far we’ve come as individuals. Jon used to be wayyyy more stuffy than he is today – if any handy work needed to be done in the house, his idea of fixing things was to hand over his credit card to someone else to do it for him. Eventually he decided he’d listen to me and give it a bash himself. We’ve left many paint chips, chunks and way too many screws in little clumps throughout the walls now. But all this shows is that my man has taught himself how to do handywork. With many hammer/thumb injuries and swearwords later, it’s a transformation that I’ve loved watching.
Packing up a household you’ve built together is one thing. But letting go of what my friends considered crap was probably the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn. At one point in the great pack up session with all the girls, Tam held up a wooden cat with dangly legs and movable arms. She positioned the arms to look like they were wiping the cat’s eyes, and she herself was crying with laughter narrating the cat “Look at me, I’m so ugly, I’m crying! Please throw me away, please!”. I couldn’t part with it. I don’t even think I’ve looked at the bloody cat in years, but I just couldn’t part ways with it.
And that’s one thing of about 20 other things I had to debate and plead and make a case on why it needed to stay. I lost a lot of battles that day. And I got into bed realising that I am indeed a hoarder.
I think we’re going to miss this little home of ours. But we’ve moved past dwelling on that and now I can honestly say that we cannot wait to have more space, our own pool and garden, an outdoor entertaining area that will fit more than 8 people squashed around a table. We will have privacy and I can finally wee in peace with the window open and not worry about the neighbours walking their dogs right outside at the same time.
Most of all, I can’t wait to watch the son Jon and I have created running around the new house making noise, dirt and memories of his own.