Packin’ It In

Monday afternoon, we met with the woman whose job it will be to pack up our things, take them to our apartment at Wind Crest, unpack our things, and put them back exactly as we had them previously. Or, at least as exact as she and her staff will be able to be, given that the rooms and drawers and cupboards are different. She promised me that when she sets up my china hutch in our new home, it will look exactly as it did at our old home. I know that’s not true, because she mentioned she will dust the shelves before she puts the items back into the hutch, and I haven’t dusted my hutch’s shelves since George W. Bush was declaring victory in Iraq. I wonder if she would come back in six months and do it again.

I don’t know what kind of person you have to be to do her job. Are you punishing yourself for some earlier grave iniquity? But perhaps all homeowners aren’t hoarders like me. Maybe our move will be the one that brings her into early retirement. Or suicide.

Yesterday morning, I took a deep breath, and went full-force into our master bathroom. We have been lucky to have a lot of drawers in our bathroom. I apparently made it my goal to fill them all up with needless items.

I found two bottles of rubbing alcohol, seven containers of floss, and enough unopened toothbrushes to service a small village in Myanmar. The number of dried-up containers of hand cream is inexplicable, even to me, who should be able to account for each one. And there were so many spools of thread that one would think I sew. Nope, not even buttons.

I use Clinique facial products. For many years, I would only buy the products when they offered their free gifts with a purchase. Their free gifts usually included some facial cream, a travel container of mascara, a lipstick, and an item or two that they want you to try so that you spend even MORE money than you usually spend. The items came in a little cosmetic bag, usually accompanied by a smaller cosmetic bag.

As dumb as it was, I collected this makeup and these bags over the years. When I worked hard for my money, I would sometimes wear lipstick. But it was rare to put color on my lips. Since I retired, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn lipstick. The truth is, I don’t bother with any makeup very often except if I’m going to church or dressing up for some other reason. I’ve never thought makeup made much difference on me. And now, since I have almost no eyebrows and a rapidly diminishing number of eyelashes, there really is no point. In fact, recently I was with my granddaughter Kaiya and my face got wet. My mascara ran. Kaiya said, “Why is there black under your eyes?” I explained that it was my eye makeup. “YOU WEAR MAKEUP?” she asked. Yes, her question was in all caps.

Enough said.

One of the bags that I threw away contained 27 tubes of lipstick, all free, all collected over the years. Some had never been used. Aw hell. Most had never been used.

I got four drawers and three cupboards down to a couple of drawers. I call that a win.

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