Published Sunday, December 30, 2012
Column by John A. Winters
I am exhausted.
Exhausted from stuff: opening stuff, building stuff, just dealing with all the new Christmas stuff. And so, I thought I’d share one of The Dress’ and mine favorite stories that deals, appropriately enough, with stuff.
We are going to create some new words today.
At their core, a minimalist is a mnlst. A clutteralist, which probably isn’t a word anyway, is really a cluttereraleristtiist.
They both focus on stuff. One tries to eliminate stuff, the other collects stuff. A mnlst has one of something; a cluttereraleristtiist has several, in different colors, assorted patterns and sizes.
One knows where everything is, because there isn’t that much in the first place. The other knows where everything is, in the sense of knowing it’s somewhere in the closet, which has become its own life-force, that has things moving inside it.
There is no doubt God has a mischievous side. Sometimes he enables these two polar opposites to attract. And get married.
And that would be me and the Little Black Dress.
I have no problem with stuff, provided it’s used. If not, my mantra is sell it, give it away or throw it away. I love to give “stuff” away, or throw it away. I smile every time.
The LBD has no problem with stuff, provided there’s a lot of it. Her mantra is collect it, buy it and accept it from strangers. She smiles every time.
God is full of grace and He has given us more than we deserve. Because we (I) need it. The proof is in the fact we are still married. Unfortunately, we still have a lot of stuff.
The sheer enormity of “stuff” makes it very unlikely the mnlst will ever win. The tsunami of stuff simply overwhelms, overtakes and overpowers the mnlst. It’s too much to absorb.
I have one “stack” of stuff. The LBD has collections of stacks of stuff. But somehow it is always my stack that is the problem stack, and must be moved/cleaned up immediately. Why is this?
I use two Moleskine notebooks. The mid-sized one is for notes – business, ideas, just general journaling. My pocket one is a daily planner – my calendar and mini diary of the day. I’m happy.
The LBD has Moleskine notebooks. Every one there is. And several other knockoffs – every color, every size. And she uses them, yet somehow gets frustrated because she can’t find the one among hundreds with the one phone number she needs right now. But she’s happy anyway amongst her stuff.
I read a magazine. I throw it away.
The LBD reads a magazine. Check that, she savors it; over and over again. And then she puts it in one of our magazine libraries, located in every bathroom, every bedroom, the kitchen counter, the den (three libraries there alone) and anywhere else she can find that calls out for a stack of stuff.
It is impossible for me to throw anything away, especially if it’s “not mine.” Sometimes I can’t even throw away my own stuff. Why? Because the LBD, and all cluttereraleristtiist, immediately sense a weakening in the Stuff Force.
Said object will be found, and will be returned to its rightful place. And the mnlst will get “that look.” And then the mnlst will retreat with head hung low to await another day.
Eventually, the mnlst comes to the realization they will not win. The question is whether they go to the Dark Side of the Stuff, or continue in some small rebel base.
And from that base, quick lightning strikes are all they can hope for. They hope, and await, that day when the stuff implodes.
Or they find a match.
To her credit, The Dress is dramatically improving, down to only a clutterist now. She is working hard at mastering the Stuff Force. And I say that of my own free will and note it has nothing to do with the fact she is reading this over my shoulder.
We have taken the motto for the upcoming year of “We want more out of life, but less in it.”
In any event, The Dress, the SONs of Thunder and I wish you a joyful, prosperous and Happy New Year. God bless.
John A. Winters is a staff writer with The Newnan Times-Herald. His personal blog is at justflipthedog.com . You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .