Sunday, July 31, 2011

the terror that is unpacking

i'm not sure why unpacking is always such a chore for me.  you would think i would be so excited to move into a new place, to make it my own, that i would just yank everything out of boxes and throw it all any and everywhere.  instead, i'm ridiculously slow at it.  i think too hard about where things should go, about what the ramifications of putting baking items in that cupboard as opposed to this cupboard will be, forgetting all the time that if i don't like the first place i put it, i can move it!  this time i'm also faced with my passive-aggressive mom-ness.  i'm hating that for whatever reason, no one feels like they need to do anything unless i ask.  for some reason, the task of unpacking and making house decisions is all mine, and that feels bogus to me.  i'm not a dictator in an apron, i promise.

instead of unpacking i'm looking at boxes and making plans, and doing some knitting. there is nothing more fun that starting a new project and watching it grow.  it's especially fun to work on something that's going to be a present.  i'm not terribly superstitious (i like to think) but i do subscribe to the idea that thinking good thoughts while working on something translates into the finished project.  that's why a lot of things i was working on when my dad was going through radiation got scrapped in the end.  doing the actual knitting and embroidering while waiting for him at the clinic was good for me in that it kept my hands busy and gave me something else to fuss over, but whenever i finished something i had to get rid of it because all i could think of what them poking and prodding him, his discomfort, the nasty radiation burn across his cheek and neck.  it felt like it would be bad juju to give those items to anyone else, too, so i threw most of them away.

i've been thinking about my dad a lot lately.  the other night while unpacking i ran across a xmas gift list he'd sent me, and it reduced me to tears.  i miss those little lists, how detailed they were, how he'd tell you not just what he'd like to get, but about how much it would cost and where you could find it.  D thought that was a bit fussy, but i explained that for my pop that just made sense.  he bought the things he wanted for himself, but knew we wanted to buy him things for xmas, so he made it easy on us.  he didn't want us to feel like we had no idea what we were doing, and he was open to getting things that weren't on the list.  he also wasn't a dictator in an apron.  it's funny the things that make me think of him, the things i miss.  the sound of his boots on linoleum, the smell of his aftershave, the way he would always announce "bump!" in the car when he saw a sign warning you of the same thing.  the pain of losing him isn't as overwhelming now as it was in the beginning, but it does kind of hide out and wait for me some afternoons.  grief is a strange monster.

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