Ah, the memories

This post, from one of my favorite law blogs, is disturbingly familiar. As far as I know, S still has a room full of stuff in his grandmother's attic (the last place he lived). And while I'm pretty consistent in my obsession with getting rid of anything that I can't immediately use, there is nothing I like to get rid of more than his extra and / or damaged crap. Ahem, I mean, beloved possessions.

We're talking about a guy who, when moving out of an apartment five years ago, had his buddies pack up the kitchen (including half a roll of saran wrap and two boxes of ziploc bags) and then *never looked in the box again.* When we went home in October, he dragged the whole box over to my parents' house to sort. And actually considered keeping the saran wrap. And the slurpee cups that were in the box with it. I think I was quite reasonable. Right up to the moment when he held up a stack of *used* aluminum pie pans (the ones that frozen pies are sold in) and asked "should we keep these?"

Look, when my mother and father both find an idea so ridiculous that they glance at each other and burst into laughter, that should tell you something. It really should.

Because what we really need, in our cute little one-bedroom apartment with four closets, is more disposable food storage mechanisms. We can add them to the giant pile of Chinese takeout containers that fall out of the cupboard onto my head once or twice a week.

I am not making this up. This is normal behavior for him. Is it possible that I'm the one who's behaving strangely here? I thought maybe it was, but then I found a stack of Football Digests under the bed. This is not the sort of magazine that you save for the eternally interesting articles, right? The guy who was a promising quarterback in 2001 has either made good or not, right?

Either way, I've made it my life's work to keep the levels of pack-rattedness to something appraoching liveable. Socks with holes must go, but socks with no matches may stay. I only buy socks for him in six packs, so it's a reasonable assumption that eventually another sock from the same package will find itself alone in the world, and then he'll have a pair again.

This is the sort of saving that I can understand. That, and the need to keep books, which sit neatly on their many shelves and are handy to have around when I get bored. Books I can read again later. When is he going to use the PS-1 and its 138 games again, when we have a PS-2 and dozens of games for it? Exactly. He won't. And yet, there it sits, glaring at me and taking up space that I could use to store Christmas decorations. Or Halloween lights. Whatever.

Does anyone need 36 cameras and dozens of lenses? 35mm, no less?

Unfortunately, he's proving to be more stubborn than I am. Or passive-aggressive. Whatever you call it, it means that after two years, he still owns three cars and a truck (how many of them run? Just one. These are in addition to my car, which is the only one we have with us--the others are all back in Ohio, part of a flourishing redneck garden.) And any number of other useless objects that I'm dying to put in a bag for Goodwill. One similar to the bag that he's promised repeatedly to take to the dry cleaners, which is a whole different issue, I guess.

In return, I've turned into the sort of person who can leave a pile of papers and CDs at the end of the bed for weeks at a time. The sort who is growing immune to the irritations of clean laundry lying about the place unfolded. Someone who has been known to leave dishes to soak overnight.

My mother would be very diasppointed in me. My grandmother would probably clean my house.

But I guess if this is the worst habit he comes with, and I can refrain from tearing all my hair out long enough to make it to my high school reunion, I'm doing okay.


At 11/14/2005 4:32 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Ah...a glimpse into coupledom :-)

I learn a bit from every post of yours, E: e.g. one CAN'T reuse aluminium pie pans (but why not?), great ideas for packing up a kitchen (if I owned any kitchen stuff apart from the two bowls I bought today. I'm getting domesticated: a bed, two bowls, partial share in a dog...who knows what next?) and that socks with holes have to be thrown out (I recommend turning them upside down and wearing them that way. The holey part will be in the angle between your foot and your leg and the sock will remain functional).

Btw, old footy magazines are kept because they are useful for bringing back those memories of good (and sometimes...well, often, if you're a Liverpool supporter...bad) times. Discussions of the time when Robbie Fowler pretended the goal line was coke and pretended to snort it are priceless. Really. What else is there to read on a rainy day when you're feeling a bit down? Foucault just doesn't do it then.

At 11/14/2005 4:41 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well, one *can* reuse them. But one does not want to store them indefinitely "just in case," especially when one has two perfectly good glass pie pans which have been handed down from a grandmother to use instead.

And the holes are always in the toes of the socks--so turning them upside down wouldn't help much. Although maybe they'd last longer if he wore them inside out?

And there really isn't a defense for the Football Digests. Or for his copies of This Old House Magazine, which are not terribly appropriate for people who live in an apartment.

At 11/15/2005 1:10 PM, Anonymous serena said...

This is way too funny and wonderful insight for a colleague of S's. Guess I can use these things freely against him at work then since they have been posted on the web for all to see.

what brought about this rant praytell.

At 11/15/2005 11:02 PM, Blogger Helbringer said...

By the way, grandma looked in room and got after mother. She would clean your room, she just comments on mine.

At 11/15/2005 11:06 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm surprised she didn't keel over on the spot. I'm not sure I want to know what she was doing out there.

Serena--this is not a rant. This is a calm, rational description of the state of my house. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that I've never been able to finish a project when my house is messy.

Nope, nothing at all. Totally unrelated to my inability to concentrate on my work while staring at a pile of papers or books that need sorted. Or my certain knowledge that I'll be up very, very late tonight cleaning, in an effort to make things bearable long enough to finish the paper tomorrow.

At 11/16/2005 7:40 AM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL you are just the queen of procrastination...i bow down to thee...LOL

At 11/16/2005 7:40 AM, Anonymous serena said...

though that still doesn't answer my question about using the material to pester S at work

At 11/16/2005 9:31 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I grant you permission to use these at work--especially since he tried to kill you with a peanut butter-cocoa cookie.

At 11/17/2005 8:28 AM, Anonymous serena said...

Alas, that was my day yesterday. deon ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which he bought all the fixings for when i sent him out of the store to get him out of my hair for a bit. He returns with the fixings and promptly asks me "do you want some?" Hello! NO! LOL then he says, "O I forgot." He always forgets and I have worked with him longer than S. You think he would have a clue...alas no such luck.

Thankfully for me I am still alive and kicking. Going to the write-in tonight to get more words, since i only have 10,500.

P.S. Good luck at the conference.


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