Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Love and Shpilkes in the Big City

I am at the very brink of hysteria, as I move in four days, and my apartment looks like a bomb went off in a Goodwill Thrift Shop. I've only just now started evolving some kind of system for this process. The system involves lots of frenzied packing, a substantial amount of throwing away (Lordie, I hope I don't need any of that stuff later!), and more than a little shpilkes.

For those of you who speak absolutely no Yiddish, shpilkes is a word you must take to heart and file away. There really isn't an equivalent single word in English. Often, Yiddish-English dictionaries (such as Ariga's online "Glossary of Yiddish Expressions") describe it as "pins and needles," but I'm told by most of my friends that actually speak some Yiddish (and, yes, I have more than one -- fewer than ten, but more than one), that's not exactly accurate. "Pins and needles" implies more of an exhilerating suspense. There's something almost... I don't know... perky about "pins and needles." Shpilkes has, by definition, more inate dread than that. There's no "perky" in "shpilkes." Or probably in Yiddish in general, for that matter.

So, back to packing... and shpilkes... and how the two interact with one another. Because free-floating shpilkes makes me want to eat. All the time. Bad things, too... we're not talking raw spinach and arugula here. We're talking Haagen-Dazs and Hershey's. And Starbucks. Lots and lots of Starbucks. Which is fine, as long as you only have one a day. But careening from graduation preparation (see photo) to father care to MFA residency on wicked little sleep required the regulated bounce from Starbucks to Starbucks, replenishing my bodily stores of espresso to keep me going.
I think its been determined that one latte with syrup and regular milk is around 300 and some-odd calories. So. There ya go.

So, packing causes shpilkes, shpilkes causes eating, eating causes fat butt, which only makes the shpilkes worse, and.... Well, it's a vicous cycle. What more can I say? I'm so looking forward to it all being over and done. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be able to fit into those rooms I'm moving into. But I can say that they are clean, and freshly painted (for the most part) and smell a lot better than before. And I'll have my cats. So that's good. The kid has moved out, but that was inevitable, wasn't it? They turn 18, and then they leave, like little swallows.

I have to go and pack now. Shpilkes demands it. I'll let you guys know how it all comes out. In fact, I'll take photos and post them. Won't that be fun? Wouldn't you love that? I knew you would.

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