Friday, March 22, 2013
Thinning the Herd
With all due respect to Miss Vivian Abell, who was doubtlessly well-enough intentioned when she put this treasury of horrors* together - you're out of your mind. Do throw it away, as soon as you can.
That, darlings, is the difficult lesson Mr. Muscato and I are learning. You see, it is looking very much like we will in fact be packing up the Villa Muscato in the next couple of months, and the prospect is simply appalling. Spread out over a space the size of this one, we are merely cluttered. Compressed, however, into a typical American two-bedroom (our likely future), we are out-and-out hoarders, and that's not even taking into consideration the vast mass of stuff that will inexorably be coming out of storage not long after we settle in. Everywhere I look there are dresser drawers filled with detritus, closets hung with clothing not worn in three countries' worth of years, and, lurking high atop the house, an entire room full of boxes that we didn't even bother to unpack on arrival here three years ago.
Discipline is called for, and, frankly, that's never been my strong point. When faced with the mass of paper that teeters on top of what is meant to be my writing-desk (and spills over onto, in, and under a neighboring end table), I start leafing through the program from the concert we attended two years ago in Madrid and wonder what the rates are like at the charming old hotel we stayed at, and...
You get the idea. Fortunately Mr. Muscato is moderately more focused than I, but even he has his weaknesses (drawers full of hotel toiletries, for example, not to mention a regrettable tendency to cherish souvenir teddy bears in large quantities), and so we usually end up hours later with a small heap of magazines that we've agreed we can spare and a deepening sense of futility and doom.
At least neither of us is likely to want to turn any of our junk into wall plaques or novelty lamps. It's not much, but it's good to know that there are levels to which even we won't descend...
* Want to shudder at the true horror of it all? James Lileks, over at the Institute of Official Cheer, is happy to walk you through. Don't say you haven't been warned.