Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another army wife vent.

We found out this week that the Army is charging is $4000 for being overweight by $6000 lbs on our move last year. I'm pretty fumed on multiple levels about this. I mean, how many of us know how much the contents of our home weighs? Even upon estimating, can anyone truly know without a truck scale? Since our last move we had bought a house, had two kids, acquired pets... 7 years is a long time to grow the amount of stuff in your life.

I was also stuck living seperately from my husband for the months prior to our move, and as an individual with back problems and fibromyalgia could not have had a huge yard sale, etc. I tried, trust me, and it did not come to fruition.

On this move we never made claims for our various jobs, etc, but still I think the allowed amount for Theo's job is like 500 lbs, and mine, too. I used to be a teacher & speech coach, and most of my stuff from that era consists of books. If I return to that field, I'd like to have my resources with me. Add my current "job" and you have a whole lotta yarn, fabric, sewing machines (2), and more. That would also include computers, books with patterns etc. Way more than 500 lbs. WAY more.

Now I get it. I get purging stuff, decluttering, I get it. I see the value in it, and since we got here I've sent boxes and boxes of stuff we don't need out the door to donation or garage sales, including a truck load of kids clothes, my clothes, books, old knick knacks, etc. Even some furniture. I have two boxes of donation items ready to go right now. But the fact is our "home" can't come in the walls of the place, can't come from the memories that flow from window to window. The feeling of home and familiarity for this army family comes, for example, from the massive farm house style dining room table to craft at, eat at, talk at, laugh at- the table that is sturdy enough to last generations, and bring with it all the memories we may leave behind.

But fundamentaly asking me to change the person I am? No. I am a collector. Most of my furnture is hard wood oak, antique, big sturdy stuff. I have a few pressed board pieces of crap in the kids play room, and that's it. I don't like cheap glass or plastic, I like mason jars and crystal. Have you ever held a crystal vase? HEAVY. Civilans get to choose to put down roots, I get heirlooms I take with me. I don't have one photo album, I have 20 huge scrapbooks I want to pass down to my kids someday. I have pictures frames everywhere, due to my passion for photography. I am not a minimalist. And I'm not going to be anytime soon. You can take my husband, send him in to harms way, take him all day, for weekends, even for multiple daily interuptions on our so called "vacations." I'll even birth our second kid a month early while his father sits in the height of the Iraq war, but don't ask me to get rid of the sliver of luxury I'm allowed. Such Assholes.

Before anyone says anything about the memories not being in the stuff, allow me to call bullshit. I don't remember my dad, who died when I was 7, AT ALL. Not one single actual memory of his person. But I can tell you all about the quilt he and my mom had on their bed when I would cuddle with them and watch Night Court. I have the quilt on my sofa right now, and without it, I can promise you I'd have a lot fewer true feelings of his presence in my life at all. The stuff triggers the memories for me. Period.

Really, what it boils down to for me? You know if I'm going to be the best damn army wife I know. I'm gonna roll with the punches, let you lift up my family and move us all over whenever, take my husband whenever you gosh darn please, you know what- let me MOVE any freaking amount of weight I would like to move. Its not like I'm doing anything unethical? I mean what army spouse has time for that shit? I mean, is the weight limit designed to keep me from moving someone else's stuff with mine? What is the point? Can they just freaking pay all the different amounts and call it a day? Don't they owe us that atleast? In the grand scheme of things that $4000 to them is not as close to a big deal as it is to us. We live paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to the crashing housing market and economy have the shittiest credit you could imagine, and a house in foreclosure to boot. Humiliation doesn't cover. it. Can I just keep my freaking books? Keep my heirlooms? Keep my oak furniture?

Argh. I'm done venting for now.

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