Monday, September 13, 2010

[ ree - yooz ]

After a Saturday full of shopping, yesterday I was on a mission: to clean out my bureau and closet. Outcome: failure. I only threw out a pair of practically nonfunctional boots from college years, a pair of American Eagle wind pants that were always too big, and a handful of “white” undershirts that were so dingy and covered in wine stains that Billy Mays, himself, (may he rest in peace) couldn’t have made them white again. I’m not exactly in line to appear on the next season of Hoarders, but I keep a lot of useless things in the hopes that the “less” part of that particular adjective will eventually become a “ful.”

Our closets aside, why do we savers/hoarders/hopelessly nostalgic souls save, set aside, and store some of the most senseless fragments of past purchases, parties, and people? I spent about 10 seconds scrolling through the 5,000+ songs in my iTunes (of which the 10.0 version I hate). I found that a vast majority of the songs had never been and probably never will be played. I download full albums or a single here and there thinking that it will be my new favorite song(s), but they are just space eaters on my hard drive. I even have a box full of archaic compact discs that were bought before iTunes was even a glimmer in Steve Jobs’s eye.

The drawers in my desk are full of cards. Whether they are thank you cards, old wedding invitations, well wishes from birthdays past, or sweet messages wishing heartfelt condolences, they stay tucked away and are rarely looked at. I have a cigar box in my room that has movie stubs of forgettable flicks that date all the way back to high school and fortune cookie messages from meals and heartburn from year’s past. Even my BlackBerry has countless contacts whose numbers haven’t been dialed since they were ported from multiple phone ago. I doubt they are even current/active phone numbers, but I can’t bring myself to delete them… I even have high heel, bright yellow Go-Go boots from last year’s Halloween costume in the trunk of my car. Because, hey, when DON’T I need those at a moment’s notice when I’m behind the wheel?

But, really, I don’t know if it’s the slight tinge nostalgia these items elicit or some quasi-utilitarian hope that these artifacts will be folded back into my life again at some point. I also find it incredibly ironic that I keep these things, and let so many other things fall away like friendships that were lost or intentionally cast aside for one reason or another. Old practices like regularly going to church and staying in better contact with my family hang by a thread, while the coconut bra from a pub crawl remain tucked away in my bedside drawer ready to be whipped out at the drop of a hat. On the uglier side of the same coin and useless crap aside, why do I keep the negative things in my life around? Smoking, drinking as if it were a competitive sport, and a number of other unhealthy/anti-productive habits that fill more time in my life than I care to admit.

Anyway, I guess the movie stubs, old playbills, VHS tapes (yeah… I don’t even own a VCR), and clothes I’ll never wear can stick around. On the deeper end of the ocean, the other, more important things will remain on a jumbled to-do/not to-do list that I’ll hopefully get to at some point. Until then, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette, throw on my Discman and listen to Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” while I see who was in the cast of the touring production of “Wicked.”

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