I have no one to blame, but myself.
That really sucks, let me tell you, because what I want to do is rant. And I want it to be someone else’s fault. Because seriously, what in the hell was I thinking?
Oh, I know what it was. “Just put it in the attic, I’ll get to it later.” That’s what I was thinking. For almost thirty years, I was thinking that one day, I’d tra la la my ass up there and go through the stuff that I had accumulated, and channel Martha Stewart and do something with those three baseball caps (crushed) and that strange gold frame (tarnished, scratched and broken) and those oddball candlesticks that someone found at some garage sale somewhere and couldn’t live without, except that they’re butt-ugly, but they were a gift so I had to keep them…. and I’d make something amazing out of them that would awe and inspire, so of course I had to keep that stuff. Then there were the fourteen bajillion boxes of school papers I kept, everything from the mildest dash of a crayon stroke (seriously? ONE FREAKING STREAK OF A CRAYON AND I KEPT IT LIKE THEY WERE THEY NEXT PICASSO)… all the way through listless, boring science reports. I kept thinking that one day, surely, I’d go up there and go through all of that and make scrapbooks. (I have boys. More specifically, I have one boy who is a cop and one who is a firefighter, neither of whom COULD CARE LESS about those papers if they tried, and STILL I am having a really hard time tossing them.) (Okay, I am keeping a few. But I’m limiting them to just the really neat stuff.)
They don’t even want their old trophies. How could they not want their own trophies? That is just WRONG.
Text message to oldest son:
Me: Hey–I found your old catcher’s face mask, shin and chest guards and glove!! Isn’t that cool. Keep?
Him: Give it away. Let some kid enjoy them.
Me: WHAT???!!!! EVEN THE GLOVE?
Him: Even the glove. Have plenty of that here.
Me: YOU’RE KILLING ME.
[Okay, just between us? I’m keeping that glove. I cannot give it away. I don’t care as much about the shin guards. The face mask is kinda cool, but I can deal, but not the glove. He has a SON now. He’s gonna regret that one day, so I have to keep the glove. Right. RIGHT? That’s totally true. I do not either have a problem.]
The thing is, the house? Is pretty organized. Most people who come over think it’s really organized and clean. Even the closets are pretty decent. (Well, they are full, but they are decent.) I’ve purged through that house and believe firmly in donating, and I’ve donated constantly to the battered women’s clinic not far from there–they have a store and they use the proceeds to help the women out. Fabulous charity, and we give constantly. But I recognize that the reason the house looks great is… the real junk was all shoved up in the attic.
I’m cleaning out the attic because I’m going to be getting the house in ready-to-sell condition. It’s going to be a long, slow process, I’m afraid. We’ve been going back and forth between there and New Orleans, and looks like New Orleans is going to be our permanent home, now, which is very exciting and we’re thrilled. Except. I have to face this attic stuff. 30 years of accumulating junk. Each time we’ve moved, we’ve just moved the junk from one attic to another because we were pressed for time. I had hoped, each move, to go through the stuff and only move what was important, but time didn’t allow it, and so… it’s now 30 years of junk.
I may cry.
It’s taken me about four days, and I’m halfway through.
If I disappear, it’s probably because the piles toppled over on me and you’ll find me buried somewhere underneath the box of kazoos, puzzles with missing pieces, broken DVDs, cassettes, and some weird pipe thing that was a science project that I still have yet to identify.
As God and you are witness: I am going to get this stuff organized. It will be purged, it will be organized, and it will not move to the new place unless it’s important and/or necessary. (Gloves are so too necessary. Hush.)
How about you? What’s the sentimental stuff you’ve held onto, even when you don’t have the room? What’s the silliest thing you’ve kept?