Monday, March 05, 2007

Separating the Man From His Things

Hi! How was your weekend? Good? Good. Mine was good, too. Yeah, thanks.

Saturday we went over the mountains to attend a baby shower. The pregnant lady is a friend, although not a close friend. I don't know her all that well and only see her a few times a year, but I like her. The women played a lot of games and ate some good food. Among the epicurean delights were phyllo-wrapped asparagus with proscuitto, jalapeno-artichoke dip, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. This is genius, this dipping of the marshmallows into chocolate.

We took OH's parents out for dinner to celebrate his dad's birthday later this month. Mexican food.....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

Spent that night with the in-laws, and next day drove two hours north to our other house. There were still odd things in the closets to pack, lamps and decor that we left to stage the house while it was for sale that had to be wrapped and packed for the movers this week. There were houseplants and outdoor plants in pots we had to move ourselves.

Once the truck was loaded we added things to take to Goodwill. I know, still with the Things That We Don't Need. And yet, my husband insisted on keeping his old aquarium because "one day, we might want to use it." This is the aquarium that is something like 10 or 15 years old, the one his parents got him for a Christmas present when he was a kid. He wants to KEEP it. For SOME day, far off in the future, because just MAYBE. I'm pretty sure that's an excellent idea, to keep an old, dirty aquarium instead of getting a new one that will have clean tubing and a new pump WHEN and IF we decide to have the fish that I don't want to have.

Long ago I used to be fond of keeping things for a mysterious eventuality that may or may not ever materialize, but not anymore. My new motto is: if it's not useful and/ or I don't love it, it goes away. My husband doesn't subscribe to that logic as was so plainly evident during our move. We had box after box filled with his t-shirts. He had t-shirts from high school, t-shirts from college, t-shirts from the military, t-shirts from a tv show he saw once...dozens and dozens of t-shirts. I say "had" because I told him we didn't have room for them all. He reluctantly agreed, and said I could get rid of any except for "those that are important to me". Because I was supposed to know how to separate the sentimental t-shirts from the regular ones.

Before you decide that I am an ogre and a hag who doesn't allow her husband to keep his beloved treasures, let me assure you that that is far from being the case. There is a box in the closet with photos and papers that I labeled and stored inside the house so they don't get ruined. He has a garage where he can keep whatever he wants. You should see the number of boxes around the house full of his books. He can keep things, and he does. The aquarium is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends.

Getting back to this weekend. Oh, that was fun. Let me tell you, if you move? Draw it out for as looooooong as you can. Make it so that you have to drive back to your old house in the dead of winter multiple times to pack things, go to Goodwill, make odd trips to recycle old computer towers, and fill up your car or truck with things that need special care - like houseplants - and things you don't want - like old aquariums - over and over again. It's the greatest funnest thing EVER!!!


When we got home we had chips, salsa and wine for dinner outside on our upstairs porch in the warmish evening (which turned cold and necessitated blankets, but still...). When we went up to the porch my husband mentioned his tv trays. He wanted to know where they were. I was going to let it go, but he kept talking about them, saying he hadn't seen them in awhile, where could they be, they sure would be handy right now, blah blah blah. Finally, I told him I had gotten rid of them. The trays were wooden and had their own stand to hold the four of them, but one or two were kind of rickety, and I really didn't want them. I didn't like the look of them or having to store them. We didn't use them that often and I don't want us to sit in the living room with food. Besides, if we're outside and need a table to put food, how's about we go buy - or make! - a nice outdoor table; one, say, that had a beautiful mosaic tile pattern on top and that could stay outdoors most of the year and look lovely?!?

OH looked crestfallen. Then he said, "I liked those trays, those were really nice, they were made out of oak or no, other hardwoods......" He trailed off.

He sighed. I waited, not sure which way he was going to go with it.

"Okay, you're forgiven."

(Um.......I didn't do anything wrong!) I could tell he had let go of his beloved trays, and that it was a big moment for him.

If only he'd feel the same way about his aquarium.


Lady M said...

I'm starting to learn how to let go of stuff too. We've started taking digital photos of old T-shirts so that have the logos to remember if we ever want (but we never do) and giving away the shirts. Finally.

Wendy said...

We (well, not actually me) have bins of concert t-shirts from the 80's. They go great with something like 15 years worth of Rolling Stone stacked in my closet, because the precious magazines would die if they were stuffed in bins in the garage without closet air.

Occidental Girl said...

I found four (marching) band polo shirts, and showed them to OH. He wanted to keep two of them. I don't know why I showed him, but I have this fear I'll throw out something really important.

That is the old, Keep Everything mentality continuing its slight grip on me.

I guess 50/50 is a good compromise.