Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Circle of Crap

I have used this phrase "the circle of crap" for quite some time to describe the cycle of buying used stuff, passing it on via the garage sale and so on.  Apparently, it has other meanings as well--see here, here and here

When I was a grad student in San Diego, most of our furniture, especially a very large couch and a huge coffee table (also known as Steve's folly), were found via garage sales and listings in newspapers.  We held onto some of this stuff even beyond San Diego.  We eventually got rid of much of it with our own garage sales, so that the pieces went from one to another to another in an endless sharing of used stuff--hence, the circle of crap.   

This phrase has been most useful when with my wife and daughter as they eye something--a used hunk of furniture or whatever.  I remind them that this thing is part of the circle of crap, but that we do not need to participate.  Sure, I feel guilty when it comes to toys (thanks a lot, Pixar!), but I tend to have an anti-hoarding compulsion* thanks to my father's notable anal retentiveness.  He refused to participate in the circle of crap--he held onto every hunk of crap that came his way.  Until I put much but nowhere near all of it in a dumpster when they were moving from the suburbs to the city. 
*  My wife would note that I have kept t-shirts from high school, but I do that mostly to irritate both Mrs. Spew and the Spew kid as the shirts still fit me.
I mention this phrase now because we are holding a garage sale this weekend with heaps of crap begging to re-enter the circle and move on to someone else.  Most of it is stuff that my daughter has not used in years (anyone want some Barbies?).  And no, I don't want to put it up on e-bay since that would require us to hold onto to the stuff.  It is hard enough getting my wife to agree to get rid of stuff (she wants to make it perfect before it enters the crap-stream) without the excuse of "it will sell eventually."  If the stuff does not sell, we will give it to charity** or chuck it, depending on how crappy the crap is. 
** We have already donated all our dog stuff, including meds, food, beds, etc. to an animal shelter now that our dogs have moved on to join Dumbledore and Dobby.

We just need to do this two or three more times, and the house will start to be less cluttered.  Indeed, I think I can see the floor.

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