Letting go is hard to do

15Jun08

You know, the ancient Sumer-tec-ayans of lower meso-Japan also made a tradition of cleaning out their caves before going to Nordstrom’s.

I love my family, and being home is one of the most relaxing experiences a poor, overworked college student can have. From my 10-year-old brother’s new catch phrase (“Why don’t you just fart in a bubble?”) to our domestic animals being unable to retain more than a day’s worth of food without sharing it with me all over my comforter, nothing says that finals are officially over like watching the entire second season of 30 Rock and cleaning my old bedroom.

The purpose behind flushing out all my belongings to leave the remnants of childhood and all that is stuffed and emblazoned with “Squeeze me” written in a heart behind me forever is simple: I am going to be 21 soon. In approximately 22 days 4 hours and 42 minutes, thanks so much for asking. As such, there are certain things society will expect of me. For one, I will be expected to drink copious amounts of alcohol without falling down or wearing a lampshade at any point in a given night. Also, I will officially be an adult. Some people will tell you that turning 18 entitles a person to this lauded title, but those are the same people who told you that tapioca pudding tastes just like chocolate-vanilla swirl. Being trusted to responsibly consume alcoholic substances is paramount to being elected President of the United States: you grant the individual a special privilege due to the achievement of willy-nilly benchmarks (e.g. age or ability to eat kittens) that may or may not have any kind of direct correlation to that person’s capacity to accomplish the task (be it a night of drunken folly or driving an economy into the ground).

Half-hearted political jabs aside, I feel it is my very mature and adult-y duty to clear out all vestiges of my former life as a vagrant and fool-hardy sober person and start anew. I sorted through all the contents of my Salem homestead, and there were three classifications each item could fit into.

Keep me: These items are top of the heap. They represent the most modern and streamlined accessories most necessary to maintain my meager middle-class existence. Clothes that wish to stay in this pile have the most stringent of guidelines, including unique color distinction, loose washing standards, and a multiple purpose clause. Trinkets include high school diploma, collection of Broadway musical posters, and squirt gun from The Awesomest First Date Ever.

Donate me: Goodwill is the mover’s equivalent of a sex buddy – always there when you need it, never complaining about a lack of cleanliness or quality, and providing a tax benefit for something you’d have gotten rid of anyway. I want all the naysayers who said it would never happen and that I would suffocate in a pile of my own high-heeled destiny to know that I donated 12 pairs of shoes I no longer find use for. That’s 12 fortunate individuals (or 24 unlucky, peg-legged ones) who will find the will to walk the pedestrian-hating streets of Salem another day thanks to my valiant closet-clearing efforts. And now I can fit other things in my closet, like all the BOOZE I’ll be purchasing in the near future.

Toss me: Sometimes, it’s just time to say goodbye. There was a roman cross constructed entirely of tiny wooden blocks in miscellaneous colors that no doubt represented deep religious meaning to me at some point in my infancy. Or, how about the tribe of jewelry boxes that no doubt performed weekly rituals of stick-on earring sacrifice on the top shelf of my (now clutter free) closet? Don’t even talk to me about the three garbage bags full to bursting of every stuffed animal I’ve called my soulmate over the years. From squeeze-and-purr Simba to my white seal with the Alaska ribbon to approximately 3,000 different editions of Shamu the whale, I have loved them all and they will be dearly missed. It is simply inappropriate for playmates of this caliber to see me acting so…adult, as the situation may be in the near future.

In the life of everyone aspiring to something, there comes a moment when the past feels more definitely gone than all the other moments. Standing on the verge of bonafide twenty-something-dom, I feel more in touch with the future than ever, and giving my past a fond farewell (and unceremonious chuck into the Goodwill pile) seems a fitting way to prepare myself for whatever happy hour awaits me around the next corner.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me: either my brother’s got a new catch phrase or an animal is sharing its dinner with my carpet.

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3 Responses to “Letting go is hard to do”

  1. 1 Genesis

    In regards to your birthday, if anyone has asked when you’re turning 21 it has been MOI!

    You’re a funny girl. The comments about Shamu and stick on earrings made me smile…maybe even LOL a bit. 🙂

  2. 2 Truman

    As I recall, though, you sacrifice about half of your shoe collection every year at this time, only to replace them with a dozen or so new pairs of shoes purchased with your summer earnings.

    Proud of you anyway, though, because those stuffed animals are the guiltiest give away you’ll ever have.

  3. 3 Allison Harris

    Oh, wow. I had that Simba too.


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