Visiting my Red Room archive, where I posted for a while, and read one of my final post. It’s from June, 2014, but it remains valid. As soon as the pandemic lockdown began, my wife began cleaning. The thinking remains the same…
Here’s the post.
My wife has been on a continuing project. Starting in March, she selected a room and cleaned it. Emptied the closets. Drawers. Each item and article was examined. Subjected to investigation. Do we need it, do we use it? Bag after bag was filled. Trips to the Salvation Army and Goodwill were executed. I helped a little but she made it a project, creating lists, planning and executing foot by foot.
We’re down to two spaces she wants to clean: the garage and my office.
My office. My sanctuary, my Fortress of Solitude plus one and two cats. See, although it’s my office, that’s just a title. She has begun calling it the snug. It’s the warmest room in the house in the winter. Heat attracts her. It also has the best wifi connectivity and excellent natural light. She urged me to buy a larger television for my office, then a recliner…. Despite being an experienced husband, I fell for both. She makes the recliner her home for reading, surfing the net, watching television and talking on the telephone.
Most stuff in the office is mine. Much is writing or work related. Clearing her throat in early June, she cautiously suggested we clean the office and get rid of some ‘accumulated junk’. “Junk!” my heart cried. She was calling my heritage junk. Oh, the wound.
“You said you wanted to clean the garage,” I countered. I’d been waiting for this strike. “You can start there. After all, most of the boxes in there are full of things you’re storing.” Aha, take that! En guarde!
The negotiations entered a tricky phase. “I will admit that most things we store in the garage are mine,” she said, tiptoeing through words and tone, “and we should go through those boxes but I’m not ready to do it yet.”
A chink in her logic. Riposte. “I understand what you mean,” I replied. “I’m not ready to go through my office…yet.”
Negotiations were at an impasse. Weeks passed. She returned with a counter offer. “How about we each take out five things from the office?”
“Okay,” I answered. “And two from the garage.”
She grimaced. “If we get rid of things, we make room for new things.”
“Assuming that we want new things. What if I’m happy with the things I’ve already acquired? Besides, if that’s the case, there’s more junk in the garage. If we want to make room for more things, shouldn’t we then start with the garage, where more things currently reside?”
My wife launched a rant about the junk we’ve accumulated. I let her rant until she’d spat it all out. Silence fell. She sank her shoulders. “Okay. How about five from the office and two from the garage?”
That’s where it was left, five days ago. I’m no fool. She’s not forgotten.