Friday, July 30, 2010


Rod and I are in the midst of a major de-cluttering. Actually Rod, finding some time on his hands, has gotten into a de-clearing frenzy and, he keeps trying to drag me into it.

Isn't it amazing how your stuff is "my stuff" and others' stuff is "your s**t"...I think that's fodder for another post, anyway...

Rod is tackling some of our "stuff" and this phase involves scanning photos into his PC which is all well and good, but he wants to turf the originals and this has me gasping for air - the same reaction you all experienced, no doubt, when I told you in this post that in the summer of '97 I'd burned all my diaries.

Somehow looking at photos on a screen isn't the same as flipping through a photo album. It lacks that tactile sense, the feeling that, not only have I thumbed over these pictures many, many times before but that others I know and love, have too. We've sat together on the couch together, poured over them and shared stories contained within the images. I don't know if I'm ready for the screen version complete with captions and "slide shows".

But I've given him the go-ahead but have asked that he put all the pictures aside for a joint effort, one evening, culling. We did this very successfully a few years ago. All the photos that had been thrown randomly into multiple shoe boxes and hermetically sealed for decades got spread out on the coffee table in batches. Only the choice ones, those that rendered the best images or captured the most complete and fondest memories, were kept. We probably did away with 2/3rds of them and it felt good to have photos that were gems clearly in view, not buried amongst shots of: people with their heads cut off, overexposed sunrises and underexposed sunsets, crowds of nameless individuals in mystery locations, thumbs, grandchildren of long forgotten acquaintances and the like.

But now he wants to tackle the sacred ground of photo albums - gulp.

Check Melissa P's comment on the same post. Anytime she let something go inevitably she found a need or desire for it so she often regretted the purge. That's never happened to me except once upon a time; a few months ago to be exact...

I was experiencing a clutter purging high. Everything was going and I was in rapture as I donated items to the Salvation Army Store, The Reuse Centre and Variety Village. I felt lighter than air.

A few weeks later I went to make payment on an item; Rod and I were splitting the cost 50/50. So I pulled out my Visa for my portion and then dug into a seldom used section of my wallet to fish out the joint Visa (which I consider is his card as I so rarely use it) and I didn't get a nibble! A few beads of sweat appeared on my brow but I calmed myself with these thoughts - no worries you probably put it in the safe place when you were away a few weeks ago and never returned it to its rightful place. Just go home and look for it.

So with that I put the item on hold, trotted off home, looked in the safe place wasn't there. I'm starting to hyperventilate - no worries. Just borrow Rod's, make the purchase and do a full search when you are calm. I can't remember what story I used to procure the card from him without arousing suspicion, but let's just say that I was successful and leave it at that.

Purchase made, I returned home and proceeded to turn the place upside down, items were strewn everywhere, drawers were left half opened, doors ajar, papers scattered as my sense of panic rose. It looked like a break and enter. It was so bad the kitties were getting nervous - Ooo something's different. Change, change, too much change, their little minds were thinking. Poops and furballs were brewing.

And suddenly I heard my Dad's voice, "Where was it when you had it last?"

"Well, if I could remember that I'd know where it was, wouldn't I." was my stock response.  He actually meant - "Where was it when you remembered having it last?", but somehow it never came out right.

But that little trip down memory lane was enough to jar my brain. Wait a minute. Where is the photo card of the Dali Lama? You see my sister gave it to me after seeing him in Toronto a few years ago and I have since had the pleasure too so the card's very special to me... and I always carry it in my other wallet... The Dali Lama's missing too!

Wallet, wallet, where is your wallet. Then it dawned on me, I donated a few old purses in the clutter busting. OMG, I DONATED MY WALLET! It must have been tucked into one of them!

To make an even longer story much shorter let me summarize by telling you that:
  • I had to fess up to Rod when I cancelled the VISA (unbeknownst to both of us), while at that very moment he was making a purchase on said VISA. Let me tell you it was not a happy camper that came through the door to witness me pacing amongst the bedlam that posed as our abode.
  • Like a crazed animal I retraced my steps and sniffed out all the places I'd left my stuff, to no avail.
  • Just a week ago, months after receiving the new VISA cards, I found the wallet on a shelf (that I glance upon a few times every friggin' day), sitting at eye level no less, with the Dali Lama smiling compassionately out at me as plain as the nose on my face. How my brain never registered these sightings remains a mystery to me. 
So my advice to you all is beware the clutter busting high otherwise you too could be searching for the Dali Lama. 

1 comment:

  1. Great story--you had me in suspense right to the end! And then I couldn't stop laughing--and sighing with relief to know that I'm not the only one. I bet lots of others have their own clutter drama. Dali Lama or not, if I don't start dealing with the stuff in my basement, I'm going to wind up on that Hoarders TV show.