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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION

ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION

My wife has a problem.  Well she has two problems, but other than me her problem is she just can’t throw stuff away.  Now she isn’t ridiculous about it, we can move through the house without stepping over things, but once something is stored, it will stay stored.

I understand saving some things, but there comes a time when space is more valuable than stuff.  This is especially true when the stuff is stored behind other stuff.  Worthless stuff hidden behind worthless stuff is worse than worthless, it becomes a liability.  I would pay to not have this stuff stored.  Getting rid of this stuff is called addition by subtraction.

We had to clear out the garage the other day to make room for a new door to be installed.  I have never heard so many reasons for keeping crap. 

1.  Tupperware is gold.

My wife’s mother sold Tupperware, and she has been indoctrinated into the belief that everything Tupperware is gold.  I picked up a useless toy that shoots a ball in the air and enables you to catch it in a basket.  “Can we throw this shit away?” I asked.  NO!!” She responded in near panic.  “That cost $20.” (It was 20 years old and has never been used) “And” she stated with end of story attitude, “IT’S TUPPERWARE!”

I replied with a bit of sarcasm, “What a concept, a plastic ejector and a plastic catcher.  I guess kids can’t play catch with a ball and two hands anymore!”   I then continued to argue with logic/sarcasm.  “If Tupperware made dog shit that looked like dog shit, and smelled like dog shit, would we have to store it in perpetuity?” 

The discussion was ended with Mrs. Cranky’s usual response when she knows I am right, but she does not care, “You’re a jerk!”

2.  If stuff is old, it must be valuable.

I asked, “Can we please throw this old baby carriage away?”

“NO!!  That carriage is twenty-four years old!  I’m saving it for Casey!”  Casey is my twenty-four year old step-daughter who I guarantee when the time comes and she is offered this cob web covered garage smelling carriage will respond, “EWWWW!” 

I explained this to my wife and she responded, “You’re a jerk!”

3.  It can be sold at a garage sale.

Maybe, if we remember where this crap is stored, we can drag it to the yearly town garage sale, sit in the sun for six hours, haggle with strangers who want to pay 75 cents for something instead of a buck; maybe we can come home with thirty dollars; if we are really lucky.

Two people, sitting in the sun for six hours earning thirty dollars….that’s what, $2.50 an hour?  “How about we work at McDonalds for the six hours, throw that crap away, and earn $84?”

“You’re a jerk!”

4. We might need it, besides it used to be her children’s.

We have carpet remnants by the yard stored – “We might need to replace a rip or a stain.”  We have clay handprints stored – “Peter made those when he was five.”  We have smelly blankets in boxes – “The kids slept in them.”  Need some old smelly stuffed animals?  We got’em.  How about twenty year old work manuals for operating electric typewriters and Xerox machines? We have them too.  Wait, you can’t have them.  We may need them, because….well….you never know!

I know.  I’m a jerk!
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9 comments:

  1. Have to say Joe that if you are a jerk, so must my other half be too..

    Having travelled half-way around the world to spend 2 weeks together setting up stuff in our new house - I have never seen so much stuff..It's a good job that when the kids and I finally do get the visa sorted, that we are travelling light, because the new house is full to bursting and there won't be any room for anything else - the only saving grace is that most of it I can find a home for or a use for, and thankfully like..

    ...and sshhhh...he has a cupboard full of tupperware too.....lol

    Have fun
    Lou :-)

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  2. what's wrong with tupperware??!! glad to see i'm at least giving you some good stuff to write about ...

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  3. Your 3rd wife is calling you a jerk. That's an upgrade from #2.

    Devon and I love to throw stuff out, however, we also like to accumulate.

    Here are some basic rules:
    1. By something new, throw its counter part away or something of similar size.
    2. If we haven't used it in the past 3 years, garbage.

    3. When Devon is not home I throw stuff out, she never misses it, and is thankful it is gone.

    I look forward to 100 years from now when Me, Peter, Casey, and Spencer rent a dumpster and fulfill your wishes.

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  4. I'm glad my mom won't throw my carriage out! HA HA. :D

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  5. i cracked up laughing at the entire post. i love the sarcasm! i can definitely relate to this on a few levels, but as far as getting rid of, i agree with an earlier post: if it hasn't been used in 3 years, it gets tossed. most papers get tossed unless they're "timeless" documents. nowadays, a lot of paperwork we would typically file, can be found online or simply requested if needed. thank God for the change in times.

    looking forward to reading more,
    roneta

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  6. Your poor wife! The hoarder and the anti-hoarder collide. You will not win Cranky Old Man. I reckon go the stealth throw out as was suggested by an earlier commenter. She will never know. Thanks for Rewinding x

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  7. MM is right - you will not win. We watch this particular battle played out before us by our parents every year. You've got to just slide it out of the house without her noticing. Bit by bit, little by little. It's the only way.

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  8. y'all don't know Mrs. Cranky you can not slip anything by her!

    cranky

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  9. My husband and I have these discussions to, ending in much the same manner. Funny that the only thing that Husband wants to throw away are my things. His things are useful and it doesn't matter that they haven't seen the light of day in years. And just when we've had a clear out, after much 'discussion', guess what appears on the doorstep, more crap freebees he's scored from work. I dread moving from this house, ever.

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