Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mother's Day Thought

I got quite the workout yesterday. It had nothing to do with the gym however.

One of our newer faculty members is getting new furniture delivered today. Consequently, his old furniture had to get moved out of his office. Due to the fact that the furniture vendor only gave me 3 days notice I didn't have enough time to schedule facilities to send over movers.

Tag, I'm it.

Fortunately, I was able to enlist the help of my office mates, both of whom are at least 20 years younger than me. A good thing too, since it turned into a game of musical furniture. Desk A, had to move from faculty office A to Grad Administration office B. The desk from office B then had to move to grad student office C. A lateral file had to go from office A to administrative assistant office D., etc.

You get the picture.

I really should look at this as a warm up exercise in logistics, because after a brief chat with our HR administrator, I have been left with the impression that this summer is going to be spent shifting people and furniture around the department.

This venture is not dissimilar to those occasions when my mother would decide that the furniture needed to be rearranged.

Periodically, Doris would decide that she really didn't like the way the house looked. Since new furniture was rarely in the budget, she would reconfigure the layout of the existing furniture. Somehow, my brothers were able to recognize the gleam in the old lady's eye and would make themselves scarce until all the heavy furniture had been shifted.

As one of natures victims, I would be the one standing there when she would announce that she wanted to move the sofa.

I am forced to admit, that as a young homo in training, I rather enjoyed these expeditions into inferior dreckoration. There would at least be the show that Doris was asking for my opinion and I think that occasionally she would actually try one or two of my suggestions. Whether this was to make me feel like I was being a help, or if she actually thought that I had a good idea is something that has been lost in the dust of furniture moving history.

I look back on those days now and have to rather wonder how we did it. Doris is a tiny woman. In her youth she was all of 5 feet tall, now in her 80's, she is under 5 feet. I was a small kid and needless to say was even smaller than my mother. Somehow, we managed to heave furniture around. In the days before my folks had wall to wall carpet, the carpets got rolled up, dragged out of the house, strung up on the clothesline and beaten. I am pretty confident that had we owned a grand piano, Doris and I would have moved that too.

Throughout my childhood, my dear old dad considered me something less than useless. I think if he had been able to tolerate me to the point of utilizing all that pent up energy in a manner he considered constructive, we might have got along better. As it was, I received very little of the mentoring from my father in the ways of male stupidity, that is so necessary to a growing boy.

Any training I received that has since resulted in behavior that ends up like this, I can lay squarely on my mother. After spending a day, moving an 8 foot sofa to every conceivable space on our living room as a tender youth, I have moved on to be able to say in a proud, manly manner "I bet I could move that by myself." and afterwards recite the mantra of manhood, "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

So, with Mother's Day coming up, I just had to give my own dear mother her due. If it wasn't for her undying faith that I could do some silly dumbass thing that she had in mind, I would never have been able to achieve the whopping case of jackassitis that has seen me through many a seemingly insurmountable task.

Thanks, Mom. I owe it all to you.

Now, can someone hand me the Ben-Gay, I can't reach that far, I'm too stiff.