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I raised my brows. “Remember what she said — it’s only worth something when you sell it.”

“Come on,” David said, “I didn’t give you a hard time about those colored pencils, even though you never draw. And what about the electronic piano you haven’t played since we moved?” I sighed my understanding and returned my attention to the heap I’d been working on.

“Yoo-hoo,” I trilled a few minutes later. When David looked my way, I waved an old tennis racquet back and forth. “When was the last time you played?” David’s eyes went skyward. “You don’t remember, do you. Okay. Goodwill bag?”

David hung his head and, in the softest voice he’d used all day, he said, “I know it makes no sense, but I can’t get rid of it, not yet.” Before I could ask why, he continued, “It’s not particularly sentimental, and if we do start playing, I know that any cheap, modern racket at the store is probably better than that one. It’s just that I remember playing with that racquet, and a part of me thinks that I won’t be able to play well with another one.” That was more introspection and explanation than I’d expected, so I relented and set the racquet not in, but beside the trash bag.

After three hours, we called it a day. There was still an overwhelming amount to organize, and plenty of things from which we needed to detach if we were to clear some serious space for all those other things we hang on to and want to put there. After he lowered his dusty body into the car, David said, “You know what I just thought? Imagine how liberating it would be to completely purge everything.”

“Mother Teresa did that; she seemed pretty peaceful,” I said.

“I mean, to just completely let go. Of all of it.”

“That’s all very Zen, beh beh,” I said. Then, in an impulsive flash, I actually thought it was a good idea. “Let’s do it, then. Seriously, I’ll get rid of yours and you get rid of mine, and that way it won’t be so hard, and we’ll just lose everything in both storage areas.” I could tell from the manic energy coursing through my veins that my eyes were probably wet and wide, my nostrils most likely flaring.

For a beat, and not one instant more, David seemed to consider my proposal. Then, looking at me the way you’re supposed to look at someone who just said something preposterous, he said, “Now, that’s just crazy talk.”

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MsGrant Oct. 5, 2008 @ 11:12 a.m.

My husband schlepped 15 boxes of stuff through three moves into our final resting place here in Point Loma (I am never moving again). I finally asked him what was in them. He did not know. They were soggy and stunk of mildew and one weekend I finally got him to deal with them. Good thing they had gotten wet at one point, because the only thing keeping him from hanging on to most of this stuff was the smell!! But what a feeling of relief to finally get rid of them. There is nothing like a good purge. As an aside, I remember reading that you used to workout at Bodylines Fitness. I went there, too! My trainer was Tim.


Barbarella Fokos Oct. 6, 2008 @ 7:14 a.m.

MsGrant, mildewy stuff is the worst. I used to have a collection of old boxes I was afraid to open, as nothing but silverfish seemed to come out of it. I donned rubber gloves, choked back the frequent urge to screech in trepidation, and went to town. I forgot I used to collect bottle caps with little sayings in them. In the trash it went, along with my gag reflex.

And yes,I worked out at Bodylines Fitness, with Charlie. He helped me lost a whole LOT of weight (though my bottom is still lusciously ample). The cover story I wrote about it, "Being Fat Sucks," can be found on this web site, if you haven't read it already.


MsGrant Oct. 6, 2008 @ 12:20 p.m.

I have read that story twice, and just now a third time. One of the best Reader contributions EVER. Enjoy Spain!


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