HOLY HEFTY BAGS, BATMAN! THAT'S A LOT OF TRASH YOU'VE
GOT THERE! Or at least that's what my neighbors were thinking as my poor
eight-year-old, Aiman, was lugging the three giant black plastic bags down to
the dumpster in two separate trips. MOST of the trash was courtesy of cleaning
out my husband's closet. And NO, I did NOT throw out the polyester leisure
suits awaiting their return to the (ahem!) fashion (yeah, I can't even say it without
laughing either) rotation. I did get rid of the sweatsuit with all those little fuzz
balls built up on it and the white oil-based paint on the leg of the pants. And I'm
sure some homeless guy will enjoy the acrylic sweater in camouflage colors with
the buck and deer embroidered on the front. However, none of those items, or
even the navy blue velour polo style long sleeved shirt he's had for the last
ELEVEN YEARS made their way to the trash.
Nope. It was mostly paper trash. Receipts from the electric, water, gas, and
telephone company spanning the last 6 years or so and including accounts from
three different addresses, every bank statement from two different CLOSED
bank accounts, and every bank statement from a third closed account that we
requested to go paperless at least 4 years ago had the first trash bag overflowing.
Then there were the old worn-out passport covers, 5000 saved drawings from
the children, every love note I ever wrote him (Awwwwwwww...) and a giant
broken Batman and Robin alarm clock that nearly gave me a concussion when
the glass face fell out of it onto my head when I pulled it out of the top of the
closet. Oh and guess where I found the VCR that was broken during a fight
over which video we were going to watch next...TWO YEARS AGO! That's
correct. In my husband's closet.
Now there are a few good things about his ability to "save stuff." I found
the warranties and owner's manuals for every single appliance that I'm trying
to hock right now. My husband is a tidy man....errrr...neat freak.......can anyone
say OCD? He does not like clutter. Which leaves me to wonder why on Earth
he chose to marry me, because...uh...Martha Stewart, I ain't. He has been known
to collect up all the mail and bills from the kitchen counter and shove it into a
plastic shopping bag which was then stuffed into a tiny cupboard above the
fridge that I never use because I'm only 5'3" and can't reach it. Ordinarily, I
don't mind when someone tries to declutter my life. However, I'm fairly organized
for a disorganized person. I know that I have that whole "out of sight, out of mind"
mentality. So I tend to put unpaid bills on the counter to remind me to pay them.
When Mr. "Don't Clutter My Life" collects them up and hides them in a cupboard
so that he doesn't have to see any messy countertops, I show my blond roots
when I am completely clueless as to why we are sitting in the dark over a 3-day
holiday weekend barbecuing everything from meats to cheerios because the
electric stove is not usable due to my inability to remember to pay the bill simply
because I didn't see a piece of paper on the formica! I digress.
So the closet is no devoid of all photos of people we both truly hate, checks
that we'll never use, broken shoelaces, plastic bags from various duty-free shops
around the world and the empty box and owner's manuals that go to the Motorola
mobile phone stolen over a year ago, AND both the 110v home charger and charger
that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your car for an Ericsson mobile phone
that we sold 5 years ago. There was a cigarette lighter/ashtray combo thing
purchased as a gift for someone in the States only he forgot to take it with him last
time he went. I could go on, but I'm actually embarrassed. So suffice is to say, I
at last found wood that turned out to be the bottom of the shelf I'd not seen since
the day we put that bad boy together seven years ago. WOW. One really can
accumulate quite a bit of crap in eight years time. But when you're married to a
pack rat, all bets are off. (Hint: wait until your pack rat is out of town like I did.
It makes the separation anxiety over getting rid of stuff sooo much easier to deal
with...especially if they've saved so much crap they don't remember owning it in
the first place!)
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