Saturday, October 10, 2009
Some of you that read what I write here are too young to remember George Carlin's routine about "Stuff." Others will remember it quite well. It started like this:
Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time.
A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you're taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody's got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff!
Today I got to clean out more stuff than I ever want to see again. Unfortunately, there will be many more hours of working on this particular "stuff." My father-in-law has been an antique dealer (as a hobby) for 45 years. He was responsible for finding, framing and selling many of the items you see across the country on the walls of a popular chain restaurant. A year ago he was involved in an accident, which at his age, was the end of his antiquing.
Today my husband, his sister and I (along with a couple of cousins that stopped to help for a few hours) attempted to clean out the 3 car garage that was his workshop. He has literally thousands of old magazines, old phones, typewriters, pictures, posters...you get the picture. We threw away a lot of stuff. We donated a lot of stuff. We still ended up with a completely full 3 car garage. He also has 2 storage spaces that I understand are full.
My father-in-law was there during this process, doing more than he should. He was telling us the stories behind the items, telling us that we really should take things home with us and telling us we couldn't get rid of this or that because "he needed it." My husband and I could barely stay awake to drive the hour or so home. We hurt everywhere.
My "mom hint" for all of you today, is try to control your "stuff." If you are young and just starting out, you probably don't have much yet. Your grandparents might need a little nudge to start getting rid of some things. If you are my age, you are probably still housing your kids "stuff" even if they don't live there anymore. I wonder if there will ever be a day when the Ninja Turtles and the baby dolls can go live at someone else's house. I have tried over the past few years to get things in tubs with labels. I'm not entirely successful, but I'm getting there.
If you happen to be the age of my in-laws, you are very cool to be blogging! You also need to organize, label and get rid of some of your "stuff" so that your middle-aged kids don't have to do what we did today. It was not only hard work, it was emotionally draining. I felt as if we were saying to my father-in-law, you can't do what you love anymore...you are too old. It made me sad.