Dad’s lumbar moving company

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Recently, my wife and I accomplished a task almost as daunting as giving our cat a pill or teaching our youngest daughter to drive without committing widespread curb trauma. In two days, we managed to move our two older daughters (and several cargo containers’ worth of semi-grown daughter stuff) into new apartments in two different college towns over 100 miles from each other.

Apparently, my daughters are acutely allergic to remaining in a particular college residence for more than one academic year. Forcing them to do so would undoubtedly trigger symptoms like heavy sighing, involuntary eye-rolling and refusing to use cute emojis when responding to parental text messages.

In other words, this wasn’t my first rodeo when it comes to moving my daughters to their respective college dwellings. And I think I’d rather be featured in an actual rodeo than do this again – although my back would probably feel about the same afterward.

Not only did this move mark yet another milestone in my journey away from being a dad of little girls who still held my hand while reaching for my wallet, but it also pushed me further in the inevitable direction of having my suppers at 4:30 p.m. and trying desperately to preserve the remains of my vertebrae. Naturally, I started the ordeal with a chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-A (to get right with God).

My middle daughter was first on our tour of luxury student housing complexes across East and Central Texas. Although she hasn’t stockpiled nearly as much garage sale fodder as my eldest and most expensive daughter, she more than makes up for it with her mania for unnecessary interior décor. We spent at least as much time at Walmart and Hobby Lobby purchasing various knickknacks, whatnots, dust collectors and other objet d’art as we did in the actual moving process. And if you’ve ever been in a Walmart around the time that school starts, you know that some cage fighting and advanced first aid skills come in handy.

Once we had our middle daughter settled and fully festooned, we traveled southward to move our eldest daughter into her apartment, which mainly involved transporting enormous spine-shattering cardboard boxes that once held patio furniture and were then crammed with enough designer and thrifted clothing (some of it never worn) to outfit Taylor Swift’s entire fan base. Our daughter then had to make agonizing decisions regarding which clothes to keep and which she would need to donate back to the thrift shop since her new closet is only about the size of my entire living room.

I am happy to say that, as a gesture of her gratitude, our eldest daughter invited us to take her out to eat at an excellent Tex-Mex restaurant called Gringo’s, where I overdosed on the Queso Loco dip and woke up the next morning with a chili-con-carne hangover.

Although my wife and I were a bit sad as we drove back home to nurse our spinal columns and readjust to domestic life without our two older daughters, we are proud of their independence, and we anticipate the bittersweet day when our youngest daughter will spread her own wings and soar off to college.

Anyone know of a cheap moving company? Asking for a friend.

Copyright 2023 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected].

Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. He is also a frequent contributor to The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, which named him Writer of the Month for June of 2017, and he has served as a judge in the Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist in Residence program.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists says, "Whether he's breaking down the common types of yard sale denizens ('The Lingerer . . .she was here so long, I'll probably be able to claim her on my next tax return') or sharing cautionary tales of mattress shopping, Jason flays suburban life with a sharp wit. Shopping for his daughter's swimsuits, he wonders if he has 'strayed into the first aid section and . . .was looking at a new line of colorful ACE bandages.'"

Other than writing, his hobbies include berating the television when the Texas A&M Aggie football team is playing and sleeping as late as possible.