Thursday, November 3, 2011

The lesson of the espresso machine

During the Freedom Days of 2005, I bought a sexy orange espresso machine. It came with a year's worth of coffee and since we had jobs that sounded important and drove freshly-leased new cars, the world was our oyster. Hell yes, we can drink that much coffee and look great doing it. We're that important.

Many things have happened since 2005; a daily espresso habit is unfortunately not one of them. Mostly due to my laziness. You see, this magical machine can make espresso using prepackaged paper pods (I dig me some alliteration) or regular espresso that requires you to scoop and tamp and consider having more tattoos. The coffee pods came to my doorstep monthly. Another box, another hundred cups of joe. After the second month I knew we were in trouble. After the third month I ran out of room in my freezer for the coffee pods. After the fourth month I started selling them on Craigslist but I couldn't move the product fast enough.

At the point we decided to pack up our lives and change scenery a few years ago, I had so many coffee pods that I knew we'd see Armageddon before we'd run out of pods. (I drank less in those days. In so many ways.) Why keep the handle for the actual espresso around when I'm using the surplus coffee pod tins as plant stands? I left out the pod handle and boxed up the ground espresso handle in a box labeled "Misc." and put it in the bottom corner of a storage shed.

And as you can imagine, it took longer to get unpacked than we thought it would. Years longer. By the time we had room to unload the storage shed and opened that final box I'd run out of coffee months before and, still weary from the aggressive and pricey pod delivery schedule, just bought a damned French press.

So now, there we were, about a month ago, facing that Big Possible Change and one of the items on my to-do list was "Sell EVERYTHING!" to raise money for another big move. Why not sell the espresso machine, we asked.

Why not indeed. Onto eBay it went.

Then we made our Great Decision to Stay Put and I might have had a little sellers' remorse.

Just a little.

Of course the auction ended and of course we did not make big money on the machine. And of course I did not plan on what it all would take to ship My Precious.

Underestimating all facets of the shipping adventure, during a normal Monday lunch break, I did the following:

bought two boxes and packing noodles
tried to pack in the smaller box
The first box Goldilocks tried was too small.
tried to pack in the larger box
did pack in the smaller box
ran out of tape
had to buy more tape
The second box was much too large.
swore at some retirees
illegally parked at the United States Post Office
waited in line for 14 minutes
called or texted Matty 7 times about the shipping method
discovered it was supposed to ship UPS
screamed at strangers from inside my car
quick-walked with a giant box to beat more retirees into the UPS store
Finally, Goldilocks said "Fuck it" and decided the first box would do just fine after all.
shipped the damn package
went over my lunch break by 35 minutes
broke my fingernail

chewed that fingernail off trying to fix the break
considered hiding under my parked car hoping the beer fairy would show up

For the bargain price of $68.95 and 1.6 hours of my time, somebody else gets to have my espresso machine. My symbol of who I thought I was in 2005. My Precious.

What to make of this caffeinated comedy of errors? This tall tragedy? This foamed farce? I could go on all day.

As if the loss of my espresso machine weren't lesson enough, I do believe there is something serious to be learned from this. Don't make highly-emotional decisions quickly. If you have doubts about future plans, take the time to consider them. Whether they really are problems or not is irrelevant. If you see something as a problem it will continue to be a problem until you resolve it in your hot mess of a brain. If you make a rash decision without taking the time for resolution, you may find yourself without something you kind of wish you still had.

Like your time. Your money. Or intact fingernails.

Or a sexy orange espresso machine.

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