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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