Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuff! It's all just STUFF!

I have HOW MANY pencils? Seriously?! I know, they were 10 cents a pack a couple of years ago at a Staples back-to-school sale so I bought a bunch, but I still have every one of them, unsharpened. And pens! Pens from the Nixon Administration, I swear. Probably all of them are just half full of ink, but do I dare throw them away? Isn't that wasteful?

An overabundance of pencils and pens is just the beginning. I have a couch I shopped for like crazy, finally settled on buying, and now I don't use it. I sit in a chair to watch TV or use the computer and if I'm doing neither of those activities, I'm not sitting anyway. I could entertain, but I don't. Martha Stewart I am not. See, this is what happens. We have a little apartment, then we grow up and buy a little house. Then it's a bigger house and a still bigger house. And of course we must fill every square inch of these houses with furniture and STUFF. And all this stuff just adds to the stress of our already stressful lives. What exactly is the point again? Somebody please tell me.

When I lived in Green Bay, WI, I bought an 1800 square foot, 100-year-old house. It was cute, cute, cute. Two stories with a basement, three bedrooms, formal dining room, living room. Hell, I filled every square inch of that place. Had my ironing board permanently set up in one corner of the basement, my clothes all nicely organized by season, style and color in the various bedroom closets. I felt like a queen. Bought a nine-foot-long inlaid wood dining room table with two leaves that seated six. SIX! It was beautiful and it filled the room, but what the hell was I thinking? One time I had a boyfriend and another couple over for dinner and that was the extent of my entertaining. Again, not Martha Stewart. And those damn HGTV shows make it look like you can make a house a showcase in a half-hour. Not true. I just had a big, ol' house full of STUFF.

If I had a dollar for every trip I've made to a thrift shop donation center over the past several years downsizing from that time I could retire today. Downsizing is not for sissies. Some stuff I was able to sell (for a fraction of what I had paid for it) and some I had to just bite the bullet on and let go. It has gotten easier as I realize I totally forget about everything I ever donate. If I can't recall it, how important was it in the first place?

Today I took an old crock pot out of a high cupboard. I haven't used a crock pot in years. I don't dare use one now with Eddie roaming around the apartment while I'm away at work. So let me understand this: I'm renting an apartment big enough not just for me and Eddie, but also for things like this crock pot that I haven't used in years and have no intention of using. What the hell...? I guarantee I will never think of that crock pot again after this writing. If, lo and behold, I later discover that I was born, BORN, to be a crockery cook, then by God I can get another one. I know I can get a good deal on one at virtually any thrift store in any city in this country.

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