I Plead Temporary Insanity


Listen! That’s me, Susie 
Snowbird, breathing a sigh of relief after transitioning from south to north, and recovering from my latest episode of relocation madness.

Twice yearly, the anticipation of moving induces an irrational compulsion to leave our house in such a state of perfection it appears no one has ever lived there. I don’t try to fight it; it’s been going on for years. So I succumb, confident it
will run its course.

About a week before, I sense it coming. I alert my husband because for the next seven days he’ll be living with my evil twin. Beneath his Florida tan he
becomes quite pale.

Remaining reasonably under control, I manage to sort and pack our clothing.

Good job,” my husband says. Now, can you relax?”

Relax? How clueless! There’s still so much to do.

At 3 a.m. he finds me in the kitchen.

What’s up?” he inquires.

There’s chaos in the container cabinet.”

The what?”

You know, where we keep the plastics for leftovers.”

So?” he asks.

The tops and bottoms don’t match.”

What’s the difference? Who will see them?” he queries.

What if the alarm goes off and the police come? This could be the
first place they’ll look.”

The following day I refuse lunch because I must reorganize the junk drawer.

It’s a junk drawer,” he says, it’s supposed to be junky.”

I roll my eyes and move on to the silverware drawer, ensuring that each utensil is appropriately compartmentalized, shining and ready for its closeup.

He lunches alone; halfway through his sandwich, I command: Get undressed!”

His eyes light up with hope.

No,” I say, “I’m doing the final laundry.”

It’s departure day and I’m
finally satisfied.

The spoons are nesting
perfectly; there’s not one crumb in the pantry.

The dining room chairs are
precisely aligned and the guest room looks positively inviting.

Everything that could be
washed has been. The clothes left behind are folded and hung as if part of a department store display.

For some bizarre reason, my standards for vacating my house are higher than when I actually reside there. I stop to contemplate why.

I guess it’s that there’s a certain satisfaction in walking into a place that’s perfectly clean and tidy when we return to Florida in the fall.

Plus, I can simply drop my suitcase and head for the beach.

Susan Goldfein holds a doctorate in Communication Disorders from Teachers
College, Columbia University, and enjoyed a successful career as a clinician,
teacher, and consultant. For more essays filled with wit, wisdom and irony,
visit Susan’s blog, susansunfilteredwit.com. Her book, How Old Am I in Dog
Years? may be purchased on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com


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