by Melodie Johnson Howe
We are moving from a large property to a smaller one. When asked why we are moving, I hear myself say, “We’re downsizing.” I have grown to detest that word. And I keep singing the theme song from the TV show The Jeffersons. “We’re movin’ on up.” Only I sing, “We’re movin’ on down.” When did smaller become a downer? Why isn’t bigger a downer?
The world seems to be downsizing except for our government and books. When did books become longsized, tallsized, and elongatedsized? Even paperbacks are taller. They’re no longer those compact wonders you can take anywhere. Yes, there were always the big fat ones, but they were short and fat. Squat. Books, like children, have grown in height. Why?
I read in bed at night while my husband and dogs snore and dream next to me. I use a great clip-on reading light that my son gave me. But my wonderful light doesn’t quite illuminate the entire tallsize page now. I have to pull it down to read the last few sentences. Even EQM has grown taller. I assume all this tallsizing has something to do with how much paper is used and its cost. In other words by tallsizing they are really downsizing. But I don’t care. I want my short squat books back. I want them shortsized. I don’t want to sprain my wrist reading a top heavy book because it’s been elongatedsized.
Speaking of books, I am now faced with the task of downsizing my library. After days of pondering this situation I found myself in our local bookstore buying three very tall paperbacks. This act of defiance meant I had already made my decision about what books to take: all of them and more.
I will also have to downsize my clothes. Not in size but in quantity. That I can do. But I will not downsize my shoes. I have some shoes I haven’t worn since the eighties. They are gorgeous and I am not getting rid of them. WARNING: Do not get between a woman and her shoes! Shoes are to women what tools and electronic gadgets are to men.
The house that we bought on contingency ours sells is wonderful. It was the first house I looked at, and I fell in love with it. It has a view of the city, the harbor, and the Channel Islands. If I was going to downsize, I wanted to make sure my view was going to panoramasize. But as the say love is blind.
On a recent rainy day Bones and I were at the house measuring for my books and shoes. (Yes, he measured for his things, too. Do you think it’s all about me?) When we left I stood at the top of the driveway waiting as he attempted to turn our SUV around to head out. I was frozen in horror watching as he inched back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, trying to turn the car around. The dogs were in the backseat and I could hear them nervously yelping. They thought they were going for a ride and couldn’t understand why they were moving in place. A half hour later Bones finally had the SUV facing forward. When I got into the car the dogs tongues were hanging out and so was Bones’. In one of those great understatements or downsizestatements I said, “Do you think the driveway is too narrow?” He was unable to answer because it’s hard to talk with your tongue lolling out.
As we pulled up into our long, wide, gravel driveway (you can turn a Mac truck around on it) of our upsized house, I asked, “Are Mini Coopers expensive?”
Tongue back in his mouth, he said, “Don’t worry we’ll work it out.” He gave me a downsized kiss.
In my office I turn on my computer and check my email. Bra Smyth (a lingerie store in New York) has sent me an email titled: Downsize in ’09! Meet Our Newest Minimizer.
How does a downsizer meet a minimizer? Can an upsizer meet a minimizer or just a largersizer?
Zelda F, our sixty pound standard French poodle, saunters into my office and sits down next me. Her big eyes assess as she lays her huge paw on my leg. My God, she’s way too big. I need to downsize my poodle.
My world is shrinking. I’ve become the Incredible Downsizing Woman.