Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just Stuff

When I was in my teens, sometime right after Double Stuff Oreos were introduced, I came up with my first ever Big Idea. Just Stuff cookies. In a tube. I'm sad to say I would still eat that if Nabisco would just start selling it. Those chocolate cookies were really just space fillers anyway. The stuff was where it was at.

Now that I am an adult, I'm not a big fan of stuff. I mean the materialistic stuff.

I somehow managed to avoid the packrat tendency that seems to afflict the rest of my family. My gramma grew up during the depression and has been known to hold onto and reuse pieces of aluminum foil for years on end. My mom, until recently at least, would hold onto everything in her possession that might be something that my sister or I would ever want to see again. And don't even try to throw away a margarine bin on her watch. That makes a great holder for leftovers! The last time I was at her house, my sister had an entire closet devoted to paper bags.

I don't keep any of that stuff. I don't like stuff.

In fact, I am so anti-stuff that when I got divorced, I went through the house and picked out the little bit of stuff that I wanted (not including any furniture other than the bedroom set that my gramma bought me when I graduated college) and told my husband he could have whatever was left and I was fine with throwing away anything that he didn't want. I even gave him half of my dishware because why would I really need more than 4 plates anyway? When I moved in with Mike, I got rid of more stuff, including the furniture that I bought during my gay divorcee period. The only stuff that I have held onto is that bedroom set. And if I'm honest here, I'd sort of like to be able to get rid of that because my tastes have changed since that purchase, but I feel conflicted about getting rid of it because of the importance of my gramma to me and the fact that every time I look at that set I think of her.

Mike collects stuff. He collects guitars, he collects music software and hardware, he buys the latest and greatest of every sort of electronic gear you can name, etc. This doesn't bother me. I mean, he pays for the storage unit every month that holds his extra stuff. And I am often the recipient of his iPod and other electronic hand-me-downs. It is sometimes weird to look around the house and realize that I'd be starting over once again stuff-wise if we ever called it quits. But I sort of like that feeling too. Is it the feeling of freedom? I don't know. I've always thought that I'd rather spend money on vacations and experiences than on stuff to hold onto...

I am in an odd position this holiday season because for the first time that I can recall (maybe since I was a kid, even), there is actually stuff that I want. I would like some new golf clubs (my woods are over a decade old and there have been some big technology changes that would help my golf game if I had the big new fancy woods), a new camera (yes, I really lost it at Mike's party), a new exercise machine (we have an elliptical, but I'm a treadmill sort of person), jewelry made by my favorite designer (Cathy Waterman), and maybe a small second tv for our newly-converted exercise room.

This is a somewhat exciting turn of events. I actually have a list to give to Mike. Maybe I'll get some new stuff!

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