Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Challenge Of Moving Cereal

I'm learning that there are many challenges that come with planning a move to another apartment in this city. I need to find a tenant who is willing to take on my current lease; pack my belongings; clean my apartment; and agree to a new lease for a new apartment.

Oh, and I need to buy cereal.

Cereal is really my number-one priority right now. I'm running dangerously low. As of this writing, I have two boxes of Cheerios. That's all.

Two boxes of cereal are not enough to sustain me for more than a couple of days. I eat cereal all the time: in the morning, in the afternoon, at night, very late at night, very early in the morning. I enjoy eating cereal so much that I dedicated an entire blog post to it.

The feeling I have when I open my kitchen cabinet and discover that I have only two boxes of cereal remaining? It's the same feeling my iPhone has when its battery power falls to 20 percent. We both react in the same way: We turn red and weak, and send out cries for help.

I'm reluctant to stock up, though, because of the impending move. It wouldn't make much sense to buy more than a box or two of cereal at a time if there's a chance I'll have to pack them in the near future.

Besides, I wouldn't trust the movers to handle the cereal boxes with care. Too risky. What if they were to damage the boxes? Of what value would dented boxes of Rice Krispies be to me? They'd be virtually inedible. Have you ever eaten crushed Rice Krispies? It's not the same. They don't have the same snap, crackle and pop.

I don't have cereal delivered to my apartment for this very reason. I transport all of my cereal from the supermarket to my apartment, by foot. But that's not easy, either. There are a lot of obstacles. I've made the walk more times than I can count, all while avoiding pedestrians, strollers, bicyclists, cabs, dogs, dog poop, and so much more, for blocks and blocks. I can totally relate to the struggles of the paperboy in the video game of the same name. (To be fair, I've never had to avoid a breakdancer or an old woman with a rolling pin...yet.)

Here's the best way I can explain the difficulty of carrying cereal in the city: Last year I had to bring home several boxes of cereal in a large trash bag. Twice.

The stores -- yes, more than one -- had run out of the standard plastic bags, and instead placed the cereal I'd purchased in a garbage bag. I swung the bag over my shoulder and made the long walk home. I've never attracted more stares in my life. The passersby didn't know what to make of the situation. Was this a deranged cereal eater? Or a plainclothes Santa Claus handing out Golden Grahams and Lucky Charms to all the kids who've been nice?

Oh, the lengths I go to to eat cereal. As embarrassing as those moments were, it was all worth it in the end. And, you know what they say: One man's trash is another man's Hidden Treasures. (This joke would've worked so well two decades ago.)

My cabinet feels empty without boxes and boxes of cereal inside of it. Especially because I eat so little outside of cereal. I'll be relieved when this is all over, when I've settled into my new apartment and I'll have a bountiful supply of cereal. And I can get back to carrying trash around the city again.