Welcome To the Neighbourhood

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Photo in the box

It’s been six weeks since we’ve moved and Gurpreet refuses to unpack all of her boxes. We’ve got a room full of what she calls “not necessaries” in liquor store boxes. I was hoping to be rid of Captain Morgan and his buddy Silent Sam by now. I tell myself that she’s just insecure about moving away from her parents. Moving away from home.

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I don’t like moving. I know this now. I don’t like the packing, the unpacking, the focus on how much useless stuff I actually have. I don’t like not having my sisters around. They’re off living their teenage years and I’m not there to tell them that they’re doing it all wrong. Riti is just getting in to boys and Mahi refuses to get way from her studies. They need someone to make sure they do the right thing—without the iron fist of my mother. If only they would be home when I stop by.

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I understand the lack of desire to organize your belongings, but it’s over a month already and she can’t be moved in until she has at least half of her boxes. Perhaps this was a mistake for her. This was swift and unprepared.

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I did start unpacking. Honest. I did two boxes before I stopped. The third box made me not want to continue, though. I know he wants me moved in, but I haven't even moved out yet. How can you move out when everything you called home isn't able to be packed up into boxes small enough to load into a van?

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I was hoping we'd find a place to own by the end of the year. Perhaps that is the stall. She thinks we'll be moving again and doesn't want to get fully settled. Maybe I should give up the house hunting until she's comfortable being in a place of her own first.

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Do you have any photos, Mark? No, I mean of when you were a child. Where are they? Do you ever wish you had a copy of any of the pictures? Like the one of you in your grandfather's cowboy boots and diapers. I don't know; to look at? To frame? To go through and remember the smell of your first bedroom?






Gurpreet, did you bring any photos from your childhood? Can I see it? You were a bit of a mess, weren't you? That was your backyard? Nice. They all turn into supermarkets, don't they?

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It was my mother's box. I must have grabbed it accidentally from the garage when I was loading up the van. on top was a sari she used to wear, before Riti was born. And a framed picture of me from the same time. There was a shirt Mahi wore in all her pictures that was shredded with love, and possibly garage mice. My dad's old hat that had seen better days was squished underneath a box of hair and teeth. Possibly the most creepiest, yet endearing, object a parent could possibly retain. It was my baby locks and the first few teeth of Mahi and myself. I don't know why she bothered labeling them with Ms and Gs in a black marker that was aging blue. My teeth were pristine. Mahi's were both laced with black from the time she fell face first onto the sidewalk when she was two and broke them. At the very bottom was my mother's attempt at keeping a baby keepsake book for me. I was too much of a handful by the time Mahi was born, and Riti stood even less of a chance, for any other attempts. It was feeble. She got through listing the shower gifts she received from co-workers and described my first birthday before quitting on me. I'm glad she chose to spend time with me rather than write about the toys my uncles would send from India for my first few birthdays. I know she's mad with me right now, and I would do almost anything to change that.

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If I were more insecure I would think she wanted leave. Those weeks leading up to moving out were tense. I wasn't even allowed over to help her pack. It wasn't until our two month wedding anniversary that they invited me over for dinner. And that was probably just a ploy to make Gurpreet stay for greater than half an hour before fleeing from the tension. I didn't think I'd be a peacemaker as a husband, but apparently, if I'm not around there is a lot more burning glares.

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