Who Needs Friends Anyway?


I was really torn because I wanted to title this one: Take My Stuff, Please! My trip is almost done and I still haven’t got all my storage unit items sorted and packed for checking on the plane. Sands of the hourglass slip away exponentially raising my stress level.

This morning, I had a tight plan of attack: wake up at 8:50am; clean myself up, shovel in a little food, and head out; money from the bank; model trains to the hobby shop; pick-up some gifts at Costco; meet my friend from Vancouver, WA; more gifts at Belle Square and the Learning Center; a little more packing; and dinner at my brother’s. Unfortunately I overslept and my mother has the funny idea that, “A little more sleep is good.” (Actually, at the end of the September trip she let me oversleep by a couple hours on departure day. That was a little stressful.)

Anyhow I hit the train store feeling squeezed for time. I believe this is what is referred to as a ‘distressed seller’ in negotiation classes. The HO rep spent a lot of time explaining to me how they couldn’t move stuff like mine or had too much of it and he could certainly not buy it. He proceeded to spend more time poking around looking for any imperfection and talking about how hard repairs would be. I invested a little time joking about how the shop on Lake City Way says that a true hobbyist wants the car with odd repairs needed, because it is – after all – a hobby. Also I pointed out hundreds of dollars in little bobs I’d purchased to effect said repairs. I think I’d included a lot of comments like, “Couldn’t you give them to the underpriveledged kids, you say come in here?” or, “I just want this stuff gone so I can stop paying $80 a month for storage.” Suddenly, out of the blue, he said, “Well, how about if I give you $25 for it.” I said, “Done!”; and after a little more banter I was out. Oh, I forgot there was a bit of discussion about Narita-san, the temple near the airport; and embassy work; and life in Japan, which may have greased the skids.

As time is running out, it becomes the most precious commodity. There is a danger there of other things, like visiting with friends, getting devalued. Two key meetings with friends had to be canceled and I found myself thinking, “Hey, I can get those souvenirs purchased instead.”, or, “Great! I need to clear out things at the storage unit.” Of course, I appreciate my time with friends, but stress makes us do funny things. At least one of the canceled hook-ups will happen at the airport over lunch; which timing and travel-wise will work out better for everyone anyhow. There is some possibility that another friend might see me there if their flight in is delayed.

With all the snow, this trip has turned out a little crazy, but it will all get wrapped up one way or another. My last unopened box is crystal, so tomorrow afternoon if you see a man, with a glazed look in his eyes, waving vases and bowls in the air in downtown Redmond, yelling, “Take my stuff!”, you’ll know who it is.


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