Furniture moving is a part of everyone's lift at one time or another, but no one has to like it.
"Don't you think that chair would look better over there?" are words that can cut through the quiet of a living room, destroying a Sunday afternoon.
The defense, of course, from the reluctant partner in furniture moving has to be, "I really think it looks nice where it is."
A psychology professor who worked his way through college moving furniture used to tell his students that furniture moving was probably one of the most thankless, unpopular jobs in the world.
"The people hate to move, he used to say. "The children are usually sad about leaving the old neighborhood. Everything is disorganized, and it is a very tough job for the person moving the furniture."
But Roosevelt Cooper, the office manager at Allen's Moving and Storage, said he didn't mind moving furniture around on his way off.
"As a matter of fact, we rearranged the furniture last Saturday. It gets boring sitting in one place all the time. My wife and I change it around about every three months."
This is something that happens a lot. A friend of mine told me about an art director he once worked for who had a compulsion to move the furniture around.
Each Monday morning when he arrived at work he would have to look for his drawing board.
The beaming art director would ask. "How do you like this new arrangement?"
Wanting to keep his job he would say he liked it and added, "It should work out."
The art director then spent most of the week drawing up plans for the next move around.
It took awhile for the company to catch up with him: they retired him when he began to rearrange the art department twice a week.
Some months later my friend ran into the art director's daughter and asked how he was doing.
"Things are pretty bad," she reported. "He can't be left alone in the house because he has this terrible compulsion to move furniture around.
"Even on a Sunday, mother and I would come back from church and he had the whole living room changed around."
That last report we had was that he had been put away and was spending the rest of his days happily moving chairs around in some institution out on Long Island.
My hang-up about moving things around also came early in life. Our a year and a half; all moves were in the same area.
The first apartment we lived in after the bank took over the house was on the third floor of a three-decker.
We moved from there after a few months because the two ladies on the first floor were inviting men in to help pay the rent and for whatever else money can buy.
The apartment we were moving to was on the second floor of a house about a block away.
My father, realizing that he now had a couple of gawky tennage sons, put us to work.
For these short hop moves he built a strange-looking vehicle out of old baby carriage wheels and a couple of used doors, and left a list each morning of what he wanted moved that day.
We never had to invited people over to our house to see the furniture; all they had to do was to sit on their front steps on Madison, Medford, or Brackenburry Streets, and every few months my brother and I would arrive, giving them a good look at a worn bureau or some other piece of furniture.
I barely recovered from the embarrassment of pulling our family belongings through the streets, but I know my younger brother never did.
The furniture-moving phobia, which has nothing to do with sheer laziness, can caome from any direction.
A friend, who would turn white and begin to shake when his wife suggested that he get on the other end of some piece of furniture, told how his phobia developed.
He was the only child of working parents, so they found a little mutt to keep him company during the day. The rules of the apartment building he lived in emphatically said that occupants could have neither children nor pets.
Each Saturday morning a man would come around to collect the rent, and when the knock on the door came my friend was told to take the dog, stand in the closet, and keep the dog quiet.
"if they had found out that the dog and I were closet tenants, we would have been evicted, and if the old man had to move furniture again, he would kill me. I can't move or hear about moving furniture even today."
Once, when our own children were small, my wife and I became involved with a cooperative nursery school, where parents were asked to volunteer their skills for maintaining the rented house.
The list was long with projects that needed tending. They wanted a fence around he grounds, a sand box, a jungle gym, the roof repaired.
I watched the parents bragging about their capabilities by making check marks alongside the projects they would undertake.
Among this list of chores that I couldn't possible do were the words, "furniture movers."
Looking around at the tiny desks and chairs that would seat the youngsters, I put my check mark down for that chore.
When the woman in charge scanned the list of my abilities she beamed, "This is great. Someone has donated an upreight piano and they want it out of the house by Sunday noon."
There is a friend of mine who remembers an evening when he returned from a very bad day at work and just wanted to lie down and let the world go away.
That day his wife had bought a chair on sale, hauled it home, and was trying to fit it into the living room. They had only been married a short time and were living in a small apartment with a lot of furniture. Without stopping to take time out for a beer he began, at her request, to shift furniture around and four hours later they were still at it, he exhausted and she unsatisfied.
Today this friend lives alone in a furnished efficiency apartment. Along with a list of rules to live by, tacked on the bathroom wall are the words, "Please do not rearrange the furniture."