Hey good friend, “I’m going to be moving this weekend. Can you come over and help me out? We’ll have some pizza and beers, it will be a good time”. My first response is “Hell No”, and my second response is “No F—ing way”. Move has become a four letter word, much the same as the F-word and S-word. The first big move in many of our lives is the move away from home to college when you are 18. You are actually so excited about leaving the nest that the you look forward to packing. That is the most excited you will get about moving until they move you in your final resting place. In college you can bounce from dorm to apartment to rented house as often as needed and it can be accomplished in one day. It’s a little tougher this time because Mama and Papa Bear aren’t there to help and you’ve actually acquired a few items such as a stereo and a guitar…well that’s about it. Your first move out of the dormitory also requires that you have a bed to sleep in, where do you get one of those? Oh, you buy someone else’s old mattress, box springs , and frame, no problem until you have to move it. This now takes two people and you have officially entered the world of having to ask for help to move. It also means you have to reciprocate when your friend has to move. This begins the cycle of asking friends to help you move and in return you help them. The odd equation in this age old formula is when someone asks you to help them move and they never helped you, do you owe this person a courtesy move? The devil on one shoulder is telling you to run, get away from this situation, while the angel on the other shoulder says to help your neighbor. My answer was that if it is a good looking girl you should say yes to helping , yes to a good friend, and no to all other requests. I had a Ford Econoline van in college and I might as well have put a Starving Students Moving sign on the sides. I was asked by every Tom, Dick , & Harry if they could use my van to move and I originally said yes. Bad mistake, the van would come back with an empty gas tank and scrape marks from dragging furniture in it. Some upgraded their pleas with the promise of a case of beer, or even to fill the gas tank . It sounded good but I should have gotten payment upfront as when they were done the van came back empty of gas and maybe a warm case of beer in the back with a six-pack missing. By my Junior year I had switched from a van to a VW beetle. The next big move comes after college when you move into an apartment with a roommate or by yourself. All of a sudden you need things like a couch, lights, TV set, table to eat on and other neccessities. Time to either ask a group of friends for help, knowing there will be the required payback, or taking the next step of renting a U-Haul van or truck which only requires one person to help and one payback. It’s worth the $75.00 to rent a truck for the day. You spend a full day moving and it is this move that makes you fully realize that moving sucks and it will continue to suck. Each time as you acquire more, you have more to move. Then marriage comes along and moving takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not cool to ask friends anymore, but it is OK to have family and in-laws help. This may be your last move of hauling your stuff around in private cars and rented trucks, for now you are actually considering hiring a moving company. Man, the price sure went up from a case of beer to hundreds of dollars if not more. By the time kids enter the picture you are obliged to get a moving company…it would be very difficult to look in a friends eyes and ask for help. You’ve got a full house of furniture and the person would have to be a saint, plus you would now have someone with an IOU outstanding to help that person move their entire house…too much to ask. The only positive is that you are generally moving from a smaller house to a bigger one to accommodate the children and thus have plenty of room to store stuff. As the family grows so does the house until that fateful day when your last chickling leaves the house for good. It is time to “downsize” which means getting rid of a lot of stuff that you have accumulated over the past 30 or so years so you can fit in the new smaller house…the first time you have gone smaller. This move is the king hassle of all moves…you just hire a moving company and don’t even think of asking friends or family to help. But first, you have to get rid of a ton of crap, stuff that just accumulated without any notice. We first asked the kids if they wanted any of our furniture which got a small response as they have their own tastes and maybe don’t want the cowboy lamp they grew up with anymore. We had two garage sales and went to the Salvation Army 15-times to get rid of it all and still our new garage is loaded with more crap that we should have but didn’t get rid of. I actually do not miss anything that we got rid off including my antique beer signs that I had been moving around for 20-years and never put up once. We are almost completely moved into our new house and the only thing I miss is the sound of children…it can be terribly quiet without them. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, they now have their own lives and moves to make, and so the cycle continues. It’s their turn to learn the true meaning of “Can you you help us move?”.