Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Huge Sale

We had our huge sale today. Unlike usual sales, where you have your secret stash of your favorite stuff (or, well, an entire household of stuff), this was pretty much everything. It spanned our living room, dining room, and bedroom. We're left with our 25 items of clothing each, and our share of not-entirely-necessary Apple products (though we are proud to be selling three such items, to reduce our total to 3).

Eug and I have different approaches to stuff. He grew up wealthy, and they never needed anything. But he didn't get attached to stuff nor did he get entitled. I grew up less wealthy- we still had abundance but not the same kind as Eug's.  When we married I was surprised how adaptable Eug was.  He was happy with a lot, or happy with a little. Either way, he was fine. He could throw away an entire garbage bag of good gear (though he says I've reformed him as far as throwing stuff away), whereas I wince if the candle has a good hour left in it.

Fast forward five years. Eug is totally fine with selling his first gift to me (a fluffy lobster) for a meagre $1. But I'm not sure. It's been our loyal lobster for a full five years. It's traveled the world (well, to SA and back). It pretty much summarizes our approach to material goods. We had this same conversation again and again as we were sorting through things. I had to stop asking for his opinion because I knew what it would be. That said, I'm able to let go, but it takes a little more of a push, and maybe a single dramatic tear.

If the excess baggage company we're using comes through for us (that's a prayer, for the praying types), we'll still be paying close to $800 for two 22 gallon bins (they're the kind recommended for worm bins). Or about 2 extra largish rolly suitcases. We don't want to spend more. It's somehow less about the actual amount of money and more about the thought of how that money could be better spent.

And so, knowing that I'll have to part with these things in death anyway, I feel like it's ok to part with them now. It seems like a strange analogy, but it works for me. They don't represent my value of relationships or of good experiences. They're just things that are expensive to ship, that someone might have better use for right here in Boston. It is incredibly meaningful to pass stuff on to people we know, rather than strangers. So it's ok to let go, I just need to write, and write again, about it...


leah said...

Ever since I was in kindergarten and developed an irrational fear of house fires, I've thought a lot about what I would grab on my way out if I woke up and smelled smoke. When I was a kid it was my favorite stuffed animal. After I was married I always went to bed noting the location of my wedding ring in case our house went ablaze over night. After we got a dog I stopped caring about the ring and only thought of how we'd get him out with a collar and leash. (Dan would carry him, of course, and I'd grab the hardware.) Now that we have 2 kids, I'd grab the baby, Dan would grab Harvey and we'd let the dog run outside and hope he wouldn't flee too far.

All that is to say, it's some kind of sign of maturity to put people over possessions, and you're doing a good job.

Bobsie Hunter said...

You certainly are doing a great job! Please help me when you are here, it is much more important for me to be lessening the load of 'memories' and stuff! love you