Well, the process of breaking down a household after 11+ years has begun. Decades’ worth of books are in boxes to be sold at our garage sale; no need to have them around since I can’t focus my attention on books anymore. Of course I’ve kept the 45-year-old encyclopedias and the books from nursing school, as outdated as they are; maybe they’ll be worth something as antiques someday. There is also a set of books on the Presidents that my mother bought me, one by one, as they came out each month at the supermarket. They only go through LBJ—that’s how old they are—but the sentimental value is such that I’ll never get rid of them. Or the books from my childhood.
Oh, look: here is the punchbowl set I’ve had since I first moved out of my parents’ house. I still use it on occasion, so it stays. So will the dining room table and chairs, even though there’s only Will and I now and the only time people sit around the table is when the kids come over for dinner. It’s piled high now with sale items, so we can’t use it right now even if we wanted to. I also won’t be giving up the fancy glassware and dishes I still use for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the electric skillet my sister Louise got for me about 30 years ago and still works, or my mother’s turkey platter.
I AM getting rid of a batch of DVD movies and CDs, though. Most of those movies are on cable often enough that I never watch the DVD version, and of course with 2 iPods, I’m pretty much over CDs. I’m keeping some though, so at some point in life where I’m NOT running around with my hair on fire, I’ll import them to my main iPod and then get rid of them.
What I’m trying to remember, though, is that every single Item we don’t sell, give away, or pitch is an item we have to move, either to a storage facility or a house/apartment we don’t have yet. That’s why about half my wardrobe is going—if I ever reach a size 14 again in this lifetime, I’ll want new stuff anyway—and why I’m going to be tough on myself about the Christmas decorations (I have enough for a 15-room mansion). I mean, who needs THREE artificial trees?
I also have some costume jewelry that makes me wonder just what in the hell I was thinking when I bought it. I know I’ve gone through different fashion phases, and of course there’s that bipolar spending thing where I buy stuff just because I can. I’m not sure I can tell the difference when I look at the crazy earrings and choker necklaces on the table before me…..in fact, I have no memory of even buying most of it. That’s probably a good thing.
Then, there’s my carnival glass. This is glass that’s been made in such a way that there are iridescent streaks in it, and it’s beautiful. It’s called carnival glass because they used to give it away at carnivals way back in the 1920s and ’30s. I went through a period about 15 years ago when I collected tons of it (again with the manic shopping) and now most of it has been wrapped up in boxes out in the garage for the past decade. I know I need to get rid of it—if I haven’t used it or even displayed it in all these years, I certainly can do without it. But it won’t be easy. Maybe I’ll just sell the pieces that I’m not using and keep the ones I have out and around the house…..
It’s overwhelming, this business of moving after so many years in the same house. Everywhere I look, there’s more stuff to be gone through and either marked for sale, put away in boxes, or thrown away. I’ve found family pictures in some of the most unusual places (a hatbox, a briefcase, even among a batch of old 1040 tax forms and bankruptcy papers). Can’t get rid of those…..some of them even prove that I wasn’t always fat and middle-aged.
We needed to do this years ago. Why didn’t we?