This week, my family moved across town to another house. We apparently did this because wed forgotten that moving is a big old pain in the butt.
It's not so bad in the military. In my four years in the Army, we moved four times in four years, and every time we'd be sitting in the house like it was any ordinary day and then the movers would swoop in and box everything up and whisk it all away. Then we'd go to the nearest hotel or gasthaus, on Uncle Sam's nickel.
If we left a peanut butter sandwich on a table, they'd box it up.
No worries, except maybe for the smell of old peanut butter when our stuff arrived to the new place.
Then I became a civilian and life got tougher.
The first time we moved ourselves we were living in married student housing in Athens, Ga., where we'd been attending graduate school.
My wife, Bess, suggested the size of truck we should rent, but I decided to save some money and get a smaller one.
Not to stereotype genders or anything, but it's been my experience that in addition to being able to navigate without stopping every minute to ask for directions, men are better packers than women.
In this case, I did a brilliant job of fitting all our belongings into the truck, except for the two huge ugly bamboo chairs that my wife found on a street corner in Germany and had insisted on toting around with us on every move.
I had no choice but to drag them across the parking lot to the Dumpster.
When I finished, I looked up and saw Bess heading toward the Dumpster with something in her arms.
It was my Vanderbilt beanbag chair, perfect for sitting in front of the television with a plate of nachos and a cold beverage.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm throwing away the Vanderbilt beanbag chair," she said.
"But it fits in the truck," I said.
"If my chairs don't fit, then your 'chair' doesn't fit," she said.
Note the quotes she put around my chair, as if a beanbag chair is not a real chair with an important household function.
So we left the bamboo chairs and the beanbag "chair" by the Dumpster, and nobody was happy.
This time around, we decided to pay a team of movers by the hour to move all our furniture, but have the four children we've since acquired pack our stuff in boxes for me to move in my pickup.
Six hours later, the movers had moved all our furniture into the new house.
They smiled when we paid them, but they really weren't happy.
Two days and about a thousand trips later, we'd moved all the boxes and cleared out the old house.
The children weren't happy. Bess and I weren't happy.
Nobody was happy. Another successful move.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.