Janetʼs keen on purging (as I tried earlier to remark upon and got distracted by evil lunacy — and to which distraction I will return soon). By model* and exhortation she wants me to thin, if not eliminate, my collections of things — particularly books, I am guessing. She has a point (although not about the books as we shall see).
Out in the garage sit about a half dozen boxes (no, not all of them are emptied Guinness cases) containing some of my school stuff — but only the items that I brought home from the classroom when I retired in June 2009. Come this June, those things will have sat untouched for two years, and come warmer weather, that fallow period indicates to me that I should not have rescued that stuff at all, as I have not used, looked at, referred to, or even, as I already said above, touched anything in there.** So all that material (well, at least the paper and plastic portion thereof) will probably end up at the recycling center (I donʼt see why I need to make the curbside pick up guys handle all of that one morning when I have the time to drive across town to dump it all in the bins myself). And that is just as my beloved would wish, albeit considerably sooner than I intend.
When we created the office a few years ago, I did go through all the file folders in my desk (which we had to disassemble and empty to move from the basement family room up where it now resides), cleansing us of years of accumulated documents. On the other hand, I still have at least two decades of old bills and statements in an elderly (but therefore eminently sturdy) file cabinet I inherited/acquired from my father after he died, most of which should be destroyed, perhaps in an early spring burning this year. And there are other items, like some of the stuff hiding behind the computer, the existence of which I have forgotten, so therefore, at least by Janetʼs lights, they need to go. I have an unusually large and scattered collection of business cards, old ticket stubs, bookmarks and other paper or chipboard items that I have available to use as bookmarks.
Yes, sheʼs right. I need at the very least to go through my desk and “purge.”
She would also like me to get rid of lots of old clothing (although I have thinned that collection as my waistline has expanded in this century), and I believe I can take the time to help her out there, however much I donʼt want to be rid of all my old ties — never worn now, naturally — and suit jackets. But if I did get rid of half of each, perhaps someone more deserving and able to make use of them than I could acquire them through community services or Goodwill.*** Yes, yes, I can thin and purge usefully. I could even reacquire space in my closet and the extra (storage/closet) room in the basement.
On the other hand, my largest contribution to the cluttered home in which we dwell is my collection of books. I know many of those I have not touched or even glanced at the covers for years now. There are far too many that I havenʼt even read. But I am not sure I can get rid of some. Of any of them. And (as I wish to have a post go up today, however belatedly from my usual black, early-hours-before-dawn preferred times) I would like to explain soon why I should not wildly throw out everything old and cluttersome…
Stay tuned for more.
* She has even been getting rid of elements from her boxes of decorations each time we change seasons!
** (Actually, I probably touched all of the books, papers, manuscripts, smaller boxes and whatever all else late in the fall of 2009 when I was desperately searching for the “big stapler” The Lovely One once had given me to use for stapling the scripts for my own playwriting for Andrew performances. That big stapler was one of the very things I had kept possession of because I figured it would come in useful, and several play publishers insisted on bound/stapled paper scripts for submissions — not fiction publishers, but ironically scripts. Less ironically, although frustrating, I never found the item, so now a brand-new big device, capable like the old one of punching a thick staple through even a hundred sheets of paper, sits on my desk.)
*** We have a Goodwill store opening in our town soon, making use of at least one empty building downtown.