IMAGINE A PHOTO HERE OF A CUPBOARD THAT IS SO CLEAN AND MINIMAL THAT THERE ARE ONLY FOUR TUPPERWARE CONTAINERS ON ONE SHELF, AND THE OTHER THREE SHELVES ARE TIDY, ORGANIZED, AND CLUTTER FREE. This is because my image “adder” button on my blog dashboard seems not to be working.
We had a massive purge recently. It was pouring outside, and we were casting around for something to do. So I suggested we go through the cupboards. Whew.
Here is the thing: when you live in a house with tons of storage for thirty years, all those shelves, attic rooms, basement expanses, and charming “cubbyholes” fill up. The path of least resistance: why think about whether or not you might need something in the future if you can just shove it on a shelf somewhere and forget about it? No need to agonize about those three pewter napkin rings and where the fourth one disappeared to, right? It’s possible that we might have a single dinner guest sometime. Speaking of dinner, doesn’t everybody have seven sets of placemats? And a series of Christmas mugs with holly sprigs on them that you have never really liked, but heck, there is room on the shelf for them?
So we started going through everything. Right pantry cupboard, top shelf. One time I had a brunch. It was outside in the Spring. I must have thought all the guests were klutzy, because I felt it necessary to purchase twenty four white plastic mugs for the coffee, along with the same number of matching “luncheon” sized plates. I have no memories whatsoever of the party. Furthermore, I have not used either mugs or plates ever again, and yet there they have been, waiting, ever since. To Goodwill.
Doesn’t everybody have four egg coddlers?
How about Aspirin with an expiration date of April, 2005? Five sleeves of cotton pads? A giant pack of travel size Metamucil (what vacation was that)?
We also came across an entire drawer of those booklets you get when you buy a new appliance. You know, the ones that tell you about the warranty, how to troubleshoot, and who to call when something goes wrong before the warranty expires? We found the one from the washing machine we bought in 1972. The warranty has expired.
Plastic containers, my Lord. There were millions of them. We got it down to four. For a person that hasn’t been to the gym in seven years, I had ten water bottles. We haven’t had a cookout in at least a decade, so we determined that we no longer need two dozen of those basket things to put under cheap, flimsy paper plates.
It was a long afternoon. We felt triumphant afterwards, and we both took naps.
But in the back of my mind, there is a little, worried voice:
“What if you decide to have a brunch?”