Instead of jetting off somewhere tropical last week, I stayed home for my vacation and cleaned my bedroom. I don’t know where all the junk came from, but I knew something had to be done. I removed two desktop computers, two laptop computers, a package of popsicle sticks, two old gym bags, a plethora of motivational cassette tapes, bowling shoes, and a slightly used black athletic supporter. And those are just the things I can remember off the top of my head.
““What’s wrong with this laptop?” Jeff asked.
““The ‘F’ key doesn’t work,” I said.
““Is that all?”
““Just try typing ‘The fluffy muff is iffy and naff’ and see how easy it is.”
Jeff picked up my bowling shoes. “I see you’re finally letting these go.”
““It’s not easy.”
““Yes, it is.”
““That’s easy for you to say,” I said. “Those shoes and I have been together for 22 years. Sadly, it’s the longest relationship I’ve had.”
““How many times have you gone bowling in the past 12 months?”
““Exactly, if you go bowling, you can rent shoes.”
““It seems a bit like prostitution, in light of my long-term relationship with my pair.”
Jeff held up my black Bike jock. “I’m surprised you’re giving this up.”
““All of my workout shorts have liners. What do I need it for?”
““In some circles, this would be considered fetish wear.” He raised and lowered his eyebrows rapidly for emphasis.
““Please don’t cheapen my pursuit of physical perfection with your gutter humor.”
““Regardless, you’ll feel better once it’s gone.”
I opened the door to my closet and evaluated the crap piled to the ceiling. “It’s so overwhelming. I just keep asking myself, ‘What if I throw something away and then I need it?’”
““When did you buy this calligraphy kit?” Jeff asked.
““I guess in 1998.”
““Why did you buy it?”
““So I could help Rose address her wedding invitations, once she found a boyfriend and he proposed to her.” Jeff rolled his eyes. “Don’t even go there. It’s not like I had a crystal ball and could have known she would become a nun.”
““I’m putting the calligraphy kit in the Goodwill pile,” he said.
““The real challenge, though, is clothes.”
““Because of the sentimental value. Someone I cared about gave me that Hawaiian shirt with the neon Hello Kitties all over it.”
““When was the last time you wore it?”
““Never, but only because the right occasion has ever arisen.”
““And what occasion would that be?” Jeff asked.
“A fund raiser for radioactive felines.” Once I expressed my logic out loud, I realized there was no point in justifying keeping anything I didn’t use. After all, I tended to wear the same clothes over and over again. “Okay, put that in the Goodwill pile, too.”
““See how easy that is?” Jeff asked.
I nodded. It was even easier not to tell him about my polka dot Bananarama boxer shorts that were held together by a tenuous seam that I seldom wore and were stuffed in the back of my underwear drawer. Maybe next year, I told myself.