Fridays With Dale: Too Much Stuff


Too Much Stuff

by Dale Angel

I’m approaching the age where people get that disease “Too-much stuff.” It can begin when you find all kinds of leftovers in the fridge brought home from eating out. But that doesn’t concern me as much as the saved containers; the kind that leak BPA plastic into the food. I went to that place to eat because it is supposed to be healthy. Is that reasonable?

I also find little pieces of old cheese, a leftover bun, something in a jar—no date on it, half a Coke, and unidentifiables that should have moved on long ago.

I never find leftover Southern Comfort, or that Concord grape wine, or Chocolate, the lifesaving kind that requires occasional trips to the pawn shop; medicine that should always be in-house.

If you have the resources to visit the liquor store, you have probably mortgaged the house or hit the lottery.

These kinds of leftovers, if there are any, are very valuable. Don’t throw it out like other stuff. It’s very useful during bouts of daily stressful unforeseen circumstances called crisis. Read the side effects before taking this medicine.

I’m reforming. I promised myself to quit bringing stuff home. I joined again, but didn’t keep my promise again, and I fell off my intentions … again.

Today, I began with new enthusiasm, because I better understand that Garage sales are addictive. I should be having them, not visiting them. I looked into the back of the cupboards and found things hiding I brought home months ago. No one told me they multiply in areas out of sight, in garages, and in storage containers.

Pretty things that are ornamental but not useful have no redeeming value, except your thoughtfulness to send them to someone you think needs a gift. My sister asked me not to be so thoughtful or she will send them back. She said “they’re as useful as toe covers.”

I tried to return a vase to a friend, she almost attacked me. She said her husband’s Aunts had died and left them all their stuff, and there wasn’t enough room left in the house to hang her car keys. She drove a nail on the outside wall to hang them on.

I’m not the only one with this ‘Too-much disease.’ About everyone has a mild or severe case. I’m ashamed to admit I found a coat bought in San Francisco one summer. It’s never been cold enough to wear it here. The shame comes from the size. It shrank while hanging in the closet.

Rehab has been helpful. I’m ahead of one of my friends who is so proud of her 20 year-old blouse. I quit wearing mine. I’m confident I can add it to my throw-away pile without too much separation anxiety. I have some medicine in the fridge for these kinds of crisis.

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