"I'll send for my things!"

Sometimes in movies, people leave hastily for one reason or another, and sometimes they say to their husband/wife/roommate/parent, “When I get <wherever>, I’ll send for my things.”

I always picture what happens after that…

This phrase is usually said so casually with such tender trust and the assumption that I’m going to make a huge effort to see to it that when they set up housekeeping in their new location, they are surrounded by all of their beloved possessions.

In truth, if I’m the left behind person, do they really think I’M going to box up all of their crappy stuff (into god knows HOW many boxes), lug the boxes down to UPS, and pay to have them shipped to Outer F8cking Boonie Land? My attitude is if it’s not important enough to take with you now, then you can prolly live without it.

I MIGHT be persuaded to take your clothes, stereo, computer, books, makeup/toiletries, souvenirs, and any furniture of yours I don’t want down to the front yard with a sign on it that says “Free Stuff,” but that’s about all the effort I plan to make.

Now maybe if “I’ll send for my things” means they’re going to mail me a check for a couple thousand dollars so I can hire a moving company to take care of the task, well, yeah, that would work for me.

Another reason to not hang around a hoarder . . .

I was under the impression that the expression means that the leaver will enlist someone else (be it friend, relative, or hired hand) to swing by and pack things up.

Yeah in my case it would be “I’ll send (my brother) for my things.” YMMV

If the movie was from the 1950s or before, remember that “my things” probably fit neatly in a single steamer trunk. In the 1880s they all tended to fit in a saddle bag.

The sheer accumulation of crap in people’s lives really took off in the late 1950s & was well-established by the early 1970s. But even so it’s easily double now what it was then. At least here in the US.

It’s also a standard dramatic device to, in effect, wave a magic wand at the logistical problems & let the story move on with that plot challenge neatly solved off-screen.

And the leaver gets to depart right *now *while demonstrating:

  1. The situation is *so *untenable / outrageous that my haste is such that I’m willingly abandoning my goods. It’s *that *bad.
  2. Despite leaving, *I *have the social power to demand that *you *care for my goods and later at least assist *my *henchmen in collecting them. And I’m powerful enough to have henchmen or at least hirelings. So there, neener.

You can sure see why that would be a popular dramatic device. Even though it wouldn’t work real well in the real world. As attested by countless piles of clothes and crap furniture found by the curb every Sunday morning all across this great country.

Films rarely do proper justice to logistics of actually doing and organizing events, complex decision, things etc. If they did, it would probably be a boring film.

My grandmother lived in rented furnished rooms until she bought a house with my grandfather in 1948. Her things until that time would have amounted to clothing, some photographs and papers, a few books, and a Bible.

This would have been true for probably the majority of people at that time.

Seeing as this appears to be a movie discussion, I’m sending everyone’s things to the Cafe Society.

I always assumed this meant that the person would engage someone to collect the things.

Me too. This happens a lot in novels I’ve read that were set in the 19th century. Like others have said, people didn’t have so much crap back then. And apparently you could actually hire someone to schlep your stuff. Think UPS, only with a horse and cart.

People also pawned clothing and linens. In Zola’s novels, characters are always down to one suit of clothes and no bedding.