I’m drowning in junk, buried in boxes, suffocating with stuff. It doesn’t surprise me that all these metaphors point to an untimely end.
There would be great irony in getting snuffed out by my stuff, since one of my biggest worries happens to be that I’ll drop dead and my children will have the burden of sorting through everything.
I know what I’m talking about, because even though my 92-year-old mom has downsized several times and has already given some of her things to her children and grandchildren, my sister and I recently had to dismantle her apartment. I spent $300 to mail my share of her chotchkes from Florida to D.C.
Of course you could hire someone to hold a tag sale or find a charity to just haul everything away. But how could you resist going through everything, hunting for treasures that reveal in some cases more than you might want to know about your parents.
After our father died, my sister and I sat on the floor pulling things out of his night table drawer. Crossword puzzles, two pairs of glasses, an old watch and . . . What’s this long thing wrapped in a paper towel?
We looked at each other with clenched teeth fearing the most ghastly kind of sex toy as I gingerly unwound the paper towel.
Until . . . what revealed itself was . . . a toothbrush!
Whew! But that got me thinking what might reveal itself in my night table drawer if I were suddenly to get decapitated by a ceiling fan.
My night table drawer is where I always stored my valentines. Out of sheer laziness, I have never moved them to my “letters received” file, though it is nice to glimpse a red envelope occasionally when I reach for a PostIt and remember that men used to send me valentines.
It occurs to me my kids might think I still hold a torch for the previous Mr. Wrong. Yo kids, uh-uh, he’s just a friend.
Condoms? My kids are cool enough to be cool with that, except no one wants to picture their parents having sex. In this case my girls can actually imagine me not having sex, since the condoms expired in 2009.
I’ve strayed from exploring suffocation by stuff, so look for more of that in a future post.
LOTS ABOUT THERAPY, MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
Unrelated announcement: See my article Easy, Elegant Entertaining: My Mom’s Party Food.