Thursday, May 28, 2009

One man's garbage

Spring has passed and summer is now finally here. I never did any spring cleaning at my house because teaching zaps a lot of my energy at the end of the school year, but it did get me thinking of some things.

I've been excited lately about taking a photography class and shooting film. However, John isn't keen on this idea. "Too expensive," he said. He meant the film and the camera. Knowing how to solve one problem, I called my parents to ask if I could borrow one of their old SLR's that hangs idle in the closet. Apparently they gave it to D.I. The camera was a Cannon EOS 10 that dad picked up in Japan in the 80's when he used to travel there for business (sigh!). Who does that?! My mom hates clutter and is in a constant state of spring cleaning, so I suppose it's not actually a great surprise. She's thrown away lots of important mail because it piles up on the counter. My brothers still lament that she threw away all their original Star Wars action figures. My mother's most infamous moment was when my brother Dave was younger and went on a trip to L.A. to visit Grandma. Dave was going through a "blankie stage" and was coerced into leaving his beloved cloth companion behind. To deal with the supposed unhealthy attachment, Mom took the blanket out with the trash. You can imagine how crushed my brother was when he returned and his blankie was gone forever. Dave has never been the same since and brings the incident up whenever the chance arises.

I may follow in my mother's footstep a little. Of course I throw out the obvious stuff: pictures of ex-boyfriends, worn-out jeans, and useless kitchsy items I've randomly picked up over the years. But I'm also a little bit of a pack rat. I have a pair of baby blue suede converse one-stars that I have never had the heart to throw out. Maybe it's because my brother told me they were cool at the time and I thrived on the compliment. There's also all the hand drawn punk show fliers from high school that I keep lovingly in a shoe box. I have a gross old bubble tape container that has some of my baby teeth in it. Occasionally I have a frenzy where everything has to go and then I regret my eagerness. This year I was looking for a pair of denim ballet flats only to realize that I'd already sent them on their way to DI a year ago.

How do you decide what to toss and what to keep?


Emily said...

Your mom should clean out my mom's house ha ha. That's kind of sad about Dave's blankie though. It's hard to clean out stuff- though time (and forgetting you ever had things) makes it easier (like it's a lot easier to get rid of old letters from high school now than it was right after high school). I say keep the stuff that makes you happy, keep classic clothes, and when you get something new, get rid of something you don't really use.

julianne rose said...

i admit i'm just like your mom... i throw everything out, i have to be careful to not throw away my roommates' clutter in various apartments i've lived in. i know. it's that bad. i just HATE clutter! hahahaha unless it's books. then i love it :)

Melinda said...

Julianne, I need to be more like you in that way. I hate clutter too and probably drive myself a little crazy by not throwing it away when I should. We're the same way about books too! They're everywhere!