Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thinking Beyond the Box

     A box made me feel stupid today.  There, I said it.  It was an ordinary box.  Rectangular, but almost square.  It was made of brown cardboard, and I assume that if I cut across it it would have a top layer and a bottom layer with the wave of paper inside.  You know what I am talking about.  It said Quill on the outside and I would assume that it was filled with some sort of office supplies.  I don't know.  I didn't open it.  By the time it was done having its way with me I didn't want anything more to do with it.  So I stuck it in a dark corner of a windowless room next to some broken down machinery.  And that's all it deserves because it made a fool of me.  But I am a person and it is a box, so I get the last word.
     All I wanted to do was move the box from Point A to Point B.  That and the four other boxes that were stacked on top of it.  But I am lazy so I wanted to move them all in one fell swoop.  I had a moving dolly, so I didn't think that it would be too hard.  But that was before I met the bottom box.  I will call it Box 5.  I should have known that it would be a trouble maker.  It was all dented and crushed on the corners and bottom edges and had way, WAY too much packing tape on it.  It was a bad apple to be sure.  And when I tried to slide the bottom of the dolly underneath Box 5 it was no dice.
     Now, all you physics nerds will go on and on about the weight of the boxes and the friction of the carpet and the downforce and whatnot.  You will tell me that they weighed too much and carpet wouldn't let the box slide.  Nope.  That's not true.  It all happened because the box was a dick.  I even squatted down and tried to lift up the edges of the box and that didn't work.  It took me three full minutes of heaving and squirming and swearing under my breath to finally get the boxes on the dolly.  No way that should be true.  The dolly should have slid right under Box 5 and we should have been on out way.  But Box 5 had other plans.  And when I finally got it to move, oh was it pissed.  And I paid for it once I had moved from Point A to Point B.
     Once at Point B I discovered that I need to move the boxes again.  And this time on tile floor, Box 5 put up the greatest resistance it ever had.  I couldn't even lift or scoot or move Box 5 onto the dolly.  It refused to go.  I almost had to get someone to help me.  I had to push it up against the wall and mangle the bejesus out of it to get it back on the dolly.  Now it is serving time in solitary confinement (well, not really since it's in there with Box 1-4 and Boxes 6-10), all mangled up because it had to be difficult.  But I was a person and it was a cardboard box full of office supplies.  So I won.  Plus, I delegated and made someone else deal with and unpack it.  So I win twice.
     Why do you care?  You probably don't.  But why should you?  Because it is an important story to think about.  Moving a cardboard box full of office supplies with a furniture dolly seems like a simple enough task.  Yet it made me look like I should be wearing a helmet.  Unfolding my futon is a relatively easy chore, yet if often ends up with me tangled up in the frame, with legs and arms and futon parts sticking out all over in every different direction.  Carrying my kayak up the stairs to my deck should be no problem, but every single time I manage to smack the side of the house with it.  The point is that we all fail at some of the little things in our life, sometimes regularly.  Maybe you lose your car keys with alarming regularity.  Maybe you burn your pancakes every time you try to make them.  Maybe you can never get your pictures to hang straight.  So what?  It doesn't matter.  I might be able to do all of those things just fine, but I can't move Box 5.  We all struggle sometimes.  So don't sweat the small stuff.  Your quality of life will not be worse because you can't make pancakes.  Keep everything in perspective and help each other out and we will all be fine.  And you know it.  Even if you are being routinely defeated by a cardboard box.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna rig up a rope and pulley system for your kayak the next time I'm up there. So the house doesn't suffer anymore senseless violence. With or without authorization. 'Cause that's how I roll.