|This week Jinny’s article will be written by her daughter, Adele Anderson.
I am currently in the process of moving. I hate moving. It's not the actual moving part I hate, it is the process part. I have lived all over the country and moved numerous times. I have had moving companies come, pack up all my stuff, drive it to where I am going, and unpack it. That is a walk on the beach compared to packing up all your stuff and moving it from point A to point B, when point B is 10 miles down the road. What I am having to do now is even worse. Moving for me this time involves divesting myself of 2/3 of what I own, packing up what is left, loading it in a rented truck, driving said truck 1,700 miles, and putting my paltry possessions into storage for who knows how long.
The accumulation of stuff over 24 years of raising children is mind-boggling. It is also an extraordinary amount of work when one has to get rid of it. First of all, I have to have a two-day yard sale. I hate having yard sales. Yard sales are a lot of work. I don't even go to yard sales. If I were not in need of every penny I can earn at one I would just take everything to a resale place and call it good. Sadly, I cannot do that, so I must suffer the misery of having a yard sale instead. Since I don't go to yard sales, I am totally inept at having one. I am clueless as to what to charge for anything. I have no idea what people are likely to pay for junk. I would rather just be like a dollar store and charge one price for everything. When I suggest this to hard-core yardsalers, they are always shocked and horrified. I guess that means that it is a bad idea.
What would be really nice is if someone would just drive up in a truck and offer me a nice, comfy sum for everything and haul it all off. That is my secret little fantasy; that a large truck will drive off with all my junk in it while I stand on my lawn counting money. When I told my son about my pathetic little dream he laughed outright at me. Ok, I admit that it is pretty pitiful.
Dealing with all the junk and garbage is horrifying. Hard choices must be made. Personally, I would prefer to just throw everything out and start over again, but carting it to my new location is cheaper than trying to replace it all. Darn.
My 12 year old is being far better about the ruthless getting rid of stuff than I thought he would be. I told him going into it that he was allowed to keep only his Legos, Star Wars collectibles, and GI Joes. So far, he is adhering to the mandate pretty faithfully, although we have had one or two disagreements regarding the relative importance of certain items.
“Mom,” he said with disgust, “you have too many clothes.”
“Don't be ridiculous,” I answered, “there is no such thing.”
“Mom,” he persisted, “you have enough clothes to outfit an entire Third World Country.”
“Nonsense.” I replied, “No Third World Country would want my clothes.”
“Probably not.” he sneered, “Especially since they would have to take over some other Third World Country just to store them in.”
I stopped what I was doing to give him what I hoped was a look of haughty disdain.
“I don't expect you to understand the need for an extensive and varied wardrobe.”
“You're right,” he agreed, “I find it impossible to understand why anyone needs this many clothes. In fact, I find it sort of repulsive.”
I was horrified. “Young man, you are bordering on insubordination.” I warned.
“Actually, Mom,” he stated coolly, “I am officially staging a coup. If I have to give up my magnetic blocks, you should have to get rid of some of your clothes. It's only fair.”
I hate it when he is right.
The result of all this was a long couple of hours of bartering, an occupation at which he excels. He got to keep his magnetic blocks, I gave up a couple of shirts. At one point he demanded the right to retain his marble collection.
“Don't be absurd,” I scoffed. “You don't even play with marbles. Besides, they are heavy and take up too much room.”
“They wouldn't take up any more room than that.” he said, pointing to an attractive skirt and sweater set hanging on the door handle of my bedroom.
I laughed outright. “Those marbles weigh 100 times what that outfit weighs.”
“You won't think so when you try wearing that get-up where we're going.” he said with a smirk. “No one wears wool there. Not only will you fry, but if you try wearing that on the street people will point at you and laugh.” I really hate it when he's right.
He agreed to ditch the marbles in exchange for something else, which I think was his evil intent all along. I gave up the nice wool outfit; I don't want to be laughed at, after all. It went on like this until finally, he was satisfied that justice had been served and he had not been cheated out of anything. Truth be told, I think that he got the better end of the deal, but I can't say I'm surprised; he is a far better bargainer than I am. I got something out of it as well, however. Something far more valuable to me than an attractive sweater set. His bartering expertise has cost him. I have put him in charge of the yard sale.