I will forever remember this day as the day of pain. No, not any emotional stuff today, all physical pain.
Well, maybe my wallet got hurt a bit too. We started the day with a quick trip to Costco to resupply our kitchen for the month. I'm very proud of our ability to stock up for an entire month for under a hundred bucks (this includes things like paper towels and toilet paper. Then we wandered to Wal-Mart to get some essentials, like curtain rods and curtains, bathroom mats, a garbage can for the trash men, a filter for the air conditioner, and so on.
With our "essentials" and groceries packing a combined $250 punch into my wallet, we headed home to set things up before we had to pick up the truck and begin the real pain. I kept the wallet bruising to myself.
At about 4:45pm, we arrived at the U-Haul place and stood in line for fifteen minutes. I guess lots of people move on weekends (this was our first effort to accomplish a move on a weekend). For a $19.95 rental, they sure pushed that damned insurance hard. They wanted $14.95 (all but doubling the rental fee) for insurance. They pointed out my car insurance wouldn't cover their truck. They argued that even if I did somehow already have coverage, I'd have to pay them up front and go after the insurance company for payment myself. She even had the nerve to ask me how I'd be paying for damages, cash, check, or charge, as if I'd already incurred them. Bitch. I explained that the truck will be driven less than 18 miles, on a single street (it's literally a straight shot between our apartment and our new house), and that I would try very hard not to drive the truck off any cliffs. She completely and utterly missed my sarcasm, and I'm surprised she gave me the keys.
We arrived at the apartment around 5:30pm, and the physical pain began immediately. First, the little "EZ-Load ramp" wouldn't go back up onto the mount once I'd slid it out from the truck like I was supposed to. My wife, helpful as ever (hey, there's more sarcasm), offered lots of unhelpful (and/or obvious advice) as I struggled with the thing. She attempted to help, but did "dumb" things like pushing with her knees (hurting herself without actually doing anything productive). I pinched a finger in the process of schooling the ramp in the art of "quit fucking around", but the ramp was conquered.
We (smartly) decided to get the mattress, box spring, and couch into the truck first. I said "smartly" because, as you'll read in a bit, these three items and the exercise bike were the last items I got any help with moving, at all, period. We got the big stuff into the truck without incident. I wiggled our washer and dryer out from the irritatingly cramped laundry area, inexplicably adjacent to the kitchen of all places (what the hell were these designers thinking? They shoved the water heater into that little room too!), and dollied them to the truck. I was reminded at this point how much heavier the washer was than the drier, and I whimpered, knowing I'd have to get that washer up the stairs of the new house soon.
The rest of the furniture, like the bedroom set, was easy to cope with by comparison. At least, despite their weight, I could get them off the ground without aid from a dolly. I could carry them acceptable distances without hurting myself.
It was dark by the time loading was nearly finished. Note that after the exercise bike, my wife remained inside, either lamenting how "tired" she was or doing a bit of packing (she packed a total of three boxes that day, and helped move the couch and the bike). She decided I was getting a bit too grumpy about her general non-helping state, so she'd "show me" by bringing a token box out to the car to load up so she could claim she'd done something.
Before I continue, I should note that I did expect this; I didn't really expect to have any help, so I wasn't too annoyed. Just ... bummed a bit.
Whoever's in charge of doling out ironic or coincidental goofiness was working overtime tonight as my wife chose the only box in the apartment with breakable stuff in it to carry out to the car, and as she tripped on a rock, pitched the box (rightly so) in an attempt to catch herself, and sprained her ankle badly as she fell to the pavement.
I'm ashamed to admit that my most prominent emotional response to this event was irritation, not concern. I'm not a doctor, but any idiot can see a broken ankle. I'm sure someone will point out "maybe she broke something else", but before you do, note that she's walking just fine on it now without pain; it was just a sprain or twist (whichever of the two hurts like hell but is non-permanent and heals quickly). She officially went nuts (understandably at first, due to the horrid pain I'm sure she felt), but unfortunately she stayed nuts. She spent the next two hours, while I loaded the rest of the truck, crying and wailing about the pain. We got ice on it, and wrapped it as best we could, and I impressed even myself by staying supportive and not getting angry at her. For once, she had a legitimate reason not to be helping.
Thankfully within a couple hours of her injury, she was able to drive again (it was her right foot that got whacked). This meant I could at least complete the night's efforts without spending yet more money for bus or taxi service.
We got home, and I helped her to the couch where she elevated her foot and nursed it...while I faced the entire truck, full of things that even two people are weary of moving together, that I had to deal with by myself.
The mattress was a bitch to get upstairs because it's heavy. The box spring was a bitch to get upstairs because it's rigid and inflexible (our stairs make two turns on their way up). The headboard, dresser, chest of drawers, and mirror were much easier to get upstairs -- they're heavy, but smaller, and they slid on the carpet.
I was too tired at this point to move anything else massive over any great distance, so the couch, washer & dryer, and everything else heavy spent the night in the garage. Somehow, I actually managed to get it all out of the truck without killing myself or breaking anything. Thankfully, my wife felt up to the task of driving me back to the U-Haul place to drop off the truck. We came home, I set up the bed, and we went to sleep.
I was already feeling the oncoming pain of over-worked, under-prepared muscles, but sleep still came easily given the stress of the day.
The house was slowly filling up with our stuff, making it feel more "permanent" somehow.