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Monday, July 27, 2015

ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION - a cranky rerun

ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION



This cranky re-run is from July 2011...I believe it marks the first time Mrs. Cranky calls me a jerk in my posts.

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!

18 comments:

  1. Tupperware IS gold - don't you know there are museums devoted to the stuff? By the way, if Mrs C is missing any lids from her I may be able to help ...

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  2. I'm with you on this Cranky. Get rid of that stuff. What's the point in keeping it? You're just going to have someone else in the family have to dispose of it after you're gone. No. Out it goes.

    Less is more.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. That's true unless Mrs. C has a Tupperware container (with lid) large enough to store a JERK!!

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  3. Having disposed of hubby's parents' 30,000 plus pounds of stuff upon their passing, I'm no fan of saving anything. Other than the garage sale excuse, none of the other ones would go very far here (except I do have to "let" hubby have all the stuff he has with his guitars, music, amps, etc.)

    betty

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  4. LOL! I can so identify! Especially with the smelly stuffed animals!

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  5. I'm a minimalist. You'd be lucky to find enough food in my house to last you a week, let alone any trash. This is a no hoarders zone!

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  6. The sad thing is that if you don't get rid of it now, your next of kin will be faced with the daunting task. I'm with you on this one.

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  7. I don't know which is worse - two packrats living together, keeping all their stuff since kindergarten, or a packrat married to a tosser, with all the constant conflict! I do fall into one of those categories, but I'm not saying which one ... :)

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  8. I hear those old typewriters are back in vogue and worth some money. Better check on them. Maybe the XEROX machine too.

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  9. It's like we're whales and as we go through life things stick to us like barnacles.

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  10. I'm more of the minimalist here, too. I still have to hear how I made my husband throw out his original Atari game system before a move.

    That "getting rid of junk" is a constant struggle...why are we so attached to stuff???

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  11. Ask her for whom she is keeping it. If it's for her kids, she needs to ask them if they will want it when the time comes. If they won't, get rid of it now instead of waiting for them to get rid of it down the road.

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  12. The husband is only minimalist when it comes to my stuff. He threw away a brand new slow cooker because I hadn't used it yet (it was a gift). But he kept the ceramic insert and just threw away the outside that functions to cook the food. No space was saved and once the children came along and our afternoons were taken up with sport, a slowcooker was necessary - so I went out and bought another one. AND we still have the ceramic bowl from the old one, which I never/rarely use. Your post reminds me of the daunting task of culling years' worth of stuff so we don't have to move it to the new house - thanks! ;)

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  13. I believe in Karma. When my folks passed, I threw out enough stuff to fill a semi sized dumpster. One day our kids are going to have to do the same thing with our stuff; Karma.

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  14. Wait! Don't throw anything away! My sister might want it. We have been working on cleaning out Mom's house since she passed away in February. It's almost August now, you know. And we still have the kitchen and dining room to go.

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  15. Now you have me thinking it might be time for another decluttering session here at Chez River. Surely I can get rid of all those empty pots that once held plants? They're not Tupperware, that's for sure.

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  16. Been there and and done that and am now old enough to realise the error of my ways. It's chuck-out time for all my rubbish - now that I realise it IS rubbish and nobody else will want it.

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  17. When I first met my mother-in-law, her dishes were like a tour down memory lane! She had the Tupperware bowls, salt and pepper shakers, and other dishes that we had when I was a child! My mom threw hers away long ago but my mother-in-law is just like your wife...she thinks you can't throw them away because they're Tupperware. They still make Tupperware but it isn't the same useful stuff that they had back in the 70s.

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