Urge to merge may be a surge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

My couch has wheels but it was too heavy, so I moved the microwave instead.

Swapped places with the coffee maker and put it where the food processor sat.

Moved the food processor to a shelf on the Hoosier cabinet, stood back and said, &uot;there.&uot;

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Then I headed back to the den and new challenges.

Spring is coming and like the bluebird, I am feathering my nest.

It’s that inexplicable time of the year when every time I sit down, I get the

urge to surge. The only remedy is to get up and move something.

Rearrange the room or just a corner of it, clean out a closet, throw stuff away, color my hair, dig in the earth – the urges are endless and immediate.

It drives my husband crazy, this nesting craze that hits me about the time winter has become unbearable, the body cries out for sunshine and the back

deck says, &uot;I should be larger – or maybe over there.&uot;

Joe knows he daren’t plant himself in his favorite chair without checking first to see if it’s still there. It might be across the room, it might be at

the Salvation Army (he’ll go buy it back), or it may have changed places with the recliner in the basement.

&uot;Where did you put ..?&uot; That’s the question of the day. Most of the time I can remember and that’s a good thing, but items smaller than furniture are in danger of disappearing without a notion as to their whereabouts 15 minutes later.

When the boys were growing up, they became accustomed to nailing things to the floor in their rooms. It was not unusual to see a Spiderman comic with a two-penny nail pressed through his belly or stacks of things labeled, &uot;DANGER. This will explode if moved.&uot; Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. It would depend on my need to clear out and make way for the new.

This primal urge, much like the instinct to populate the earth or buy a new car, cannot be ignored. Some might think it an urge to merge, but I call it the urge to surge. It can be triggered by baby showers or spring showers, weddings or funerals, the chirping of a bird or the smell of furniture polish.

Joe used to tell me to go rock the babies in the hospital nursery when the bluebird-nesting syndrome would hit. Now he just tells me not to dare to move his stuff.

I was like this when he got me, having inherited this trait from my mother

and probably all womanhood. My sisters have it and I suspect it is limited to women because though my brother complains his wife is a sufferer, I haven’t noticed him cleaning out any closets.

Mother called me a couple weeks ago and announced, &uot;I have got to buy a new sofa and I’m off Tuesday.&uot; Her voice had the urgency of one who has had an epiphany over the breakfast dishes.

Never mind that her children gave her the money for a new sofa Christmas one year ago and she has been putting off looking ever since.

She woke up a full year later, looked around and decided Tuesday was the day to buy.

She explained the rules of buying a sofa to me as we pulled into the furniture store parking lot. No plaid, no floral, no skirts, and absolutely no green, she said.

At 4’11&uot; short, she also wanted to be able to put her feet flat on the floor and her itty-bitty rear flat against the back.

This could take a while, I told her. Two weeks and 11 furniture stores later, she decided on the first sofa she looked at.

My mistake was in thinking that helping her satisfy her urge would relieve mine.

When Joe comes home this evening, we’re moving the den sofa.

It’s okay. He put casters on all the big stuff several years ago.

Fran Sharp is a freelance writer in and can be reached at fsharp1229@aol.com.