Eschew. (Bless You!)
June 1st, 2012 by Christina

So my block recently had a stoop sale, which is the Brooklyn equivalent of a yard sale. We’ve half-heartedly participated in these before, but this time I was determined to do a major house purge. Up from the basement came the massive plastic dollhouse with life-like doorbell sound, the de rigueur girly purple bike, pounds of clothes–including many darling toddler-sized dresses–and a stack of self-help paperbacks that have given it their very best. My 11-year-old and I arranged everything artfully and greedily awaited our customers.

Within a couple of hours, we’d sold the bike and all the cute dresses (over which a few moms almost came to blows). Talk about a win-win! People were handing over U.S. dollars to relieve me of burdensome crap. It was so intoxicating that I kept running into the house, frantically grabbing more things to sell–old chairs, redundant tank tops and jeans that never fit right and never will, bent forks, tired tablecloths. At the height of my frenzy, I almost dragged out our pets (2 guinea pigs; 2 cockatiels) and hung a price tag on them. (How about wedding photos, baby pix, kindergarten art work, my high school lab notebooks? Buy one, get one free!)

In the end, we made almost $120 (which I stupidly promised my kids we’d put toward a new TV), bonded a bit with our block-mates, and managed to spend only $10.50 on our neighbors’ cast-offs (ice cream maker, hand vacuum and kitschy angel statue).

But now I want more–I mean, less. Much less. I’ve become allergic to quantity. Opening my shirt drawer makes me feel ill. Who needs that many crappy t-shirts, all that dyed cotton? Even the word plethora repels me. I want to invest in a few “classic” pieces of clothing and essentially wear a uniform like the truly elegant older women do. I want to be loyal to one tasteful, beautifully-packaged organic brand of soap and shampoo and ditch the 30 or so half-empty bottles of gooey drugstore hair products that infect our bathroom. (Two teen/tween girls = Not going to happen) I look at everything in my house with a new eye toward goodbye. I am the anti-hoarder.

And then there’s that emotionally-loaded subset of stuff known as memorabilia. I am hyper-aware, almost phobic in fact, about the things my kids might find if something were to “happen” to me, as the euphemism goes. I have thrown out some old journals and photos, but there are more. Do my kids really need to read about that night at CBGB’s when I was 20? Do I? Would I feel more complete or less so if I tossed all of that in an effort to lose weight from my psyche?

Maybe our next event should be a bonfire.




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5 Responses  
Yogurt Mountbatten writes:
June 1st, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Well done Pistol! Glad you made some dough on that there stoop sale! Aah how the sound of the word stoop makes me happy. To sit on the stoop on the way home and enjoy the world passing by. Perfecion. As for memorabilia – I understand completely – but also fret about throwing stuff away…and yet why hold onto it? Fear?

Yogurt Mountbatten writes:
June 1st, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Perfecion = Perfection! But I kind of like the Spanishization of it!

Cenzo writes:
June 4th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I need a bonfire of the psyche, too. I wonder if my doormen would mind hawking some of my wares.

Lynne writes:
June 25th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I also get a thrill out of discarding stuff. Less clutter = more space and more space = more happiness as far as I’m concerned.

Elisa Winter writes:
July 26th, 2013 at 3:01 am

Holy crap! Are you me? You sound an awful lot like me. I’m down to so few clothes, mostly “classic.” What a freakin’ relief not to have to make so many decisions, or push stuff around in my drawers. Not only that, but I have found my favorite purse in the world, the cross-body hands free kind that makes a wallet unnecessary because of how it’s made… I now own my third color of the same purse, $43 at Macy’s. I now have fewer pairs of shoes than my husband, maybe 10 including sneakers and snowboots, and even that seems like too much. I tried Bare Minerals skin care and make up, threw out everything else, and just replace what I use up. I’m even eating a much smaller variety of food… small protein with salad every single evening. The pantry and fridge are mostly empty, and I love this! I say that I am dematerializing my life (in lots of other ways too that I won’t go into).

Thanks for writing, I really enjoy reading your blog.

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