Recently, my boyfriend and I had quite the argument.
Having relocated rather quickly from his previous residence, he was forced to rent a small storage space to store the larger items, books, and winter clothes until he could get back into town with a truck to haul them away.
Time passed, and — as you all can probably imagine — the clearing of the storage unit had begun to lose its urgency.
In fact, the bill even went unpaid for a few months.
I finally told my guy that we would go as soon as possible to retrieve the items, which also meant paying up on all those missed payments. Since work was pretty demanding for him at the time, I offered to work out all the details if he could just take a day off to drive the 2 hours with me to get the load of mess.
After a few phone calls and a little more anger than I care to admit, we learned that the items in the unit had been auctioned off due to my sweetheart’s lack of recent payment.
Of course, I was outraged. “They can’t just sell your stuff without trying to contact you first!” I heatedly proclaimed. Then I got back on the phone with the storage company to try to find the buyer of said auctioned items and to report that he couldn’t legally sell them without attempting to contact my boyfriend first.
The man on the other end of the line, God love him, informed me calmly that the company did in fact try to make contact with no success. Several times, I might add. My guy forgot to change over his address when he moved (it’s gotta be a guy thing), and so all the letters sent out in hopes to contact him went to the wrong place. The company had also tried to call him at the work number they had on file — which was correct — multiple times, but were told that no one by the name he gave them was employed there.
I hung up the phone, completely baffled, and immediately filled in the boyfriend on what I’d found out.
Then came the light bulb moment.
Since the name my boyfriend gave the storage company was his legal name and he actually goes by a shortened version of his middle name, none of his new employees would know who Mr. Legal Name was when someone called asking for him.
Simple misunderstanding where really no one was to fully blame.
I originally acted out in anger towards my boyfriend for his forgetfulness and for not taking the time to call and give a change of address, but I was mostly upset because I couldn’t remember all the items in the unit that were lost. What if we lost something super important?! This obviously wasn’t the case considering I couldn’t remember anything of dire sentimental value — except for one thing; an old photo album containing the only childhood photos my boyfriend owned. (There are others at his mother’s house, along with all the negatives of the photos we lost in the auction.) Everything else could be replaced or wasn’t even worth replacing to begin with.
I had actually planned to sell most of it at my next yard sale, but we quickly realized that no money would actually be made on the items, seeing as how we’d have to pay the storage company for the months that we missed.
I never handle losing items that I don’t freely give up very well. I’ve sort of taken my time with this whole process, and deciding each and every item’s fate is part of the therapy of it for me. This was yet another wake-up call in my life to my attachment to things that don’t really matter. Even the things that I’m not even sure I own — or my boyfriend owns, in this case.
I hate that I spent that much emotional energy on a bunch of junk.
After the dust of the loss settled, I quickly felt my anger being replaced with something else.
We didn’t lose any more money on the auctioned items. We didn’t have to take off a day of work to go retrieve them. And we didn’t have to deal with the aggravation of storing them just so we could deal with the annoyance of later trying to sell them.
Please note that I’m not an advocate of not paying your bills on time. This was just the positive outcome of innocent forgetfulness, and nothing more. But what a weight that was lifted from our shoulders.
That storage unit is now one less responsibility that is cluttering my mind, preventing me from focusing on the here and now.