Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our garage and our guest room exist to torment me. Give me any nasty or difficult job. Weeding, cleaning the carpet, dredging the ponds, any task at all. Just don’t ask me to clean out the guest room or the garage. When my son and I moved in with my wife five years ago, some things ended up piled in the garage until they could be sorted out. It was almost a year before we tackled that. Well, before I tackled it. Since it was basically all of my stuff, I was the only one who could sort it out. And we had boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff. Merging households is never an easy task. You are bound to have some of the same items. You know, two microwaves, two toasters, two sets of dishes, two sets of pots and pans. And I liked my stuff. I liked my microwave, my dishes, my pots and pans. I knew their quirks (you have to set the microwave for 2 minutes and 42 seconds to get the bacon just right). And of course, we got rid of both of our old toasters, thanks to the nifty new toaster I got for converting my wife to homosexuality. So some things stayed, some went. For instance, my wife has a lot of things in the kitchen that belonged to her mother and grandmother, and she keeps these things for sentimental value. Most of them aren’t really used, but she knows that they are there. I have a lot of books and little nick-nacks that don’t do anything, but I like having them (one of my hobbies is looking for small bizarre ceramic creations from the 50's and 60's and another is collecting cheap snowglobes from the same time period). We finally managed to get our two households merged into one. My wife was very pleased that I came with a great many holiday decorations. Not just Christmas, mind you, but Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mardi Gras, and maybe a few more. Therein lies a huge difference between my wife and myself. My wife does not need cute little things to sit around the house. She led a fairly Spartan existence before I moved in. Maybe that came from moving quite often when she was married to her ex-husband. Maybe she never needed a lot of possessions. I suspect that the truth is a combination of the two. As for me, I have no earthly idea where my penchant for collecting cute, yet useless things to decorate the house came from. We didn’t decorate like this when I was growing up. Actually, I don’t think that anyone did. Life was much simpler back then. But, as I was saying, my wife was glad that I had some of those things. She said that the first year my son and I were here, it was like going shopping over and over, because everything that I pulled out of the garage for every holiday was new for her. And I think that I corrupted her, because now she actually looks for cute useless things for various holidays (mainly Christmas, but Halloween gets its fair share also).

But the problem with having all of this stuff is that you have to find a place to put it. Luckily for me, we keep the outside garage door closed all of the time because of the cats. Their litter boxes are in the garage, on the far wall, pretty much out of smell range from the rest of the house. That meant that I could leave my junk in the garage and go through it when I had more time. I did go through it the next summer, and cut my amount of boxes other than holiday boxes down to six. These six hold most of my sentimental keepsakes. Things that I just was not ready to get rid of, like the clippings of my parent’s deaths, souvenirs of places I visited when I was a child. old photographs of unidentified people. (Somehow the original owners of these photographs did not feel the need to identify the people in the photographs. I know that these people are kin to me in some way, but I have no idea who they are or how they are kin to me, and now I have no one to ask.) The garage, though, is the least of my worries, clutter-wise, since we don’t need to go in there very often, usually just to retrieve boxes for whatever holiday is coming up, and because we have left a series of paths, so getting to whatever you are looking for is not that difficult. No, for me, the most dreaded, cluttered beyond belief, place is …the guest room. The guest room. Just saying those three words sends chills down my spine. The guest room. I really am waiting to tackle the guest room until I am able to purchase mountain climbing gear. It started simply enough. I didn’t have enough room to put all of my clothes (year-round) in my closet. So I put the ones that I am wearing at this point in time (Louisiana summer) in my closet. The other clothes (for when it gets a little cooler around here-Louisiana winter) live in the guest room closet. The problem with this is that switching out is not all at once and that you have to keep summer clothing handy at all times. You never know when, in January, you might have a few 80º+ days. Hot humid, sticky 80º+ days. So you see, there is a need for summer clothes year round in Louisiana.
I also have clothes that do not fit in the closet of the guest room. So they live on the bed in the guest room. For some reason, I have the inability to get rid of clothes. For example, I know that I will never wear a size 10 ever again. This is one thing that I am sure of in life. But I don’t want to get rid of those size 10 clothes. Just in case. Never mind that if, by some miracle, I DO lose enough weight to fit in a size 10 again, I would use this as an excuse to buy NEW size 10 clothing. I just don't want to get rid of the clothes. Here is a list of some of the things in our guest room. A set of my wife’s 80 year old aunt’s china, a silver aluminum Christmas tree, that we paid too much for to put in the garage, the color wheel that goes with the aluminum tree, boxes of things that we find during the year that will eventually be Christmas presents, two cat carriers (for visits to the vet), some notebook paper, miscellaneous school supplies, a couple boxes of books, video tapes that I don’t want to get rid of yet, a fan, a sewing machine, a box of thread and other sewing equipment, a box of gift wrap and ribbons, a computer monitor and printer, a lamp, a DVD player, at least one aquarium, some purses, things that were just too good of deals to pass up, but that we don’t know what to do with yet, boxes that we put Christmas gifts for my students in (All year round, if we see a really good deal on something for them, for example, simple puzzles or books, we purchase 12 of it, because I never have had over 12 students by Christmas, so we figure that 12 will be enough..better to have some left over than not enough.). You can see that our guest room is not a very neat place. I swear that I am going to clean it all out, and then somehow it doesn't get done. And I admit it, the mess in there is 95% my fault. And again, I am the one who will have to clean it out. Every now and then I do a little straightening in there (after Christmas is fairly easy, because we have taken out the tree, revolving light, and Christmas gifts.) So we semi-straighten it up, only to have it junked up yet again in a few weeks. One day, I will get it all cleaned out, so that someone could actually sleep in the guest room. That might be what I need to get me moving on it. I don't know. But I will definitely get it done before we move to our dream house. Or at least I think I will.


At 1:57 AM, Anonymous cozmic said...

Get a proper loft ladder and then move it all up to your loft. Sorted!! cozmic
By the way I shall now leave you in peace, I promise I will no longer place any comments on your page again, I shall still visit to read your posts which I enjoy immensely. But I feel like I am intruding too much into your lives, and you don't want that from a straight.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger GoGo said...

smiles. I will never look at a guest room the same. I love the fact that you all decorate for the holidays. How fun.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Maybe it's a southern thing. Yes, we decorate for every major holiday. Wreaths for the door, decorations on the mantle, little nick-nacks that sit around and get in the way when you try to dust. That sort of thing. AND, being a teacher of young children, I decorate myself also. You can spot a teacher (especially PreK up to around 2nd grade or so) out in public (grocery store, post office, etc.) by the "cute" clothing that they have on (especially near a holiday). We wear decorative vests, earrings, necklaces, shirts, you name it, if its cute, we wear it. For instance, next week we will start seeing teachers wearing Halloween themed clothing and accessories. This will continue until Halloween actually gets here. And we don't just have ONE vest or shirt or pair of earrings, we all have several of each. So yes, at least down here in the south, we are decorating fools. But the older I get, the less inclined I am to get all of the decorations out again and again. I can forsee a time when I just won't want to fool with it. But I'm not ready to stop decorating just yet. (You know, I just had an epiphany...I thought it was just horrible when my mother quit putting up a Christmas tree after I was gone and my father died, but now I understand. Once again, I realize that writing is quite cathartic, isn't it?) And now I also realize that I will never be able to quit teaching. I have too much invested in my holiday wardrobes!

At 11:06 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Cozmic! Don't be silly! Why would we not want you to comment? We love your comments! You are in no way intruding on our lives! And some of my best friends are straight. In fact, almost all of my friends are straight! Do not think that you are not wanted around here. PLEASE come back to visit AND to comment!

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous cozmic said...

Thank you for saying that. I shall be back!!! cozmic


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