Frivolous Things

When we moved our packers were unbelievably efficient. I wouldn’t say they were meticulous, though all and all everything arrived in pretty good shape given the distance it traveled. No, they were fast. There were three of them and every time I turned around they were closing up another box. Of course, they didn’t have any emotional attachments with sentimental items. It was all the same to them. They just threw it all in and taped it up. Coffee pot still had coffee grounds, no worries. Only one shoe in the closet, no problem. And it was because they were so efficient that I stopped trying to take certain things out. I just let it all come. I threw my spices and other food items out of the kitchen, but I let them pack up the bathroom, full of half used bottles of Tylenol, saline solution, sunscreen, and other miscellaneous toiletries. And then there was the last minute shopping spree at Walgreens where I remembered the cheaply made, over-priced hairbrush I had to buy on our trip to Rio and bought a ton more random things.

I remembered the scene in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible where the Price family boards the plane to the Congo wearing layers of clothes with their pockets stuffed full of frivolous items. I felt a bit ridiculous. I told myself I wasn’t the ridiculous American afraid of not having Betty Crocker cake mixes (I make my own for the record) in the middle of the jungle, this was the fault (he would say credit) of my Brazilian husband. And it was. And it is. (If you don’t believe me check out this article that came out precisely when our packers were getting ready to come–Brazilians are flying to the States and bringing back diapers, among other things).

Anyway, this week there has been one thing I have not felt even a shred of guilt for bringing . . . Puffs. Yes, as a child with allergies, I always appreciated a good tissue. And now that we are on our third box, my daughter does too.


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