Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Binging and Purging

My parents are away on vacation for a while. So I made myself a promise to go over to their house and begin cleaning out some of the years of stuff that they can’t seem to let go. You see my Father is a pack rat and my Mother is a binge shopper. For as long as I can remember, my Mom has asked that when she passes on she wants us to make sure the house is presentable. I usually would respond by telling her if her friends don’t know that she is a relaxed house keeper, they will figure it out then. That exchange is typically followed by my Mom lobbing something in the direction of my head.

You have to understand that we are talking about at least 30 years of crap, I mean paraphernalia. Carbon dated dust bunnies. For some reason, purging someone else’s belongings is more rewarding. I don’t ever remember having the same cathartic effect when cleaning my own abode. My older sister came over to help as well. We experienced a wide range of emotions while rummaging. At one point we were giggling so hard that we ended up sobbing uncontrollably. I decided to let my sister know then that once, God forbid and may they live many, many more years to come, our parents do pass that I would be useless at this task. Which of course lead to more crying, sniffling, etc.

The fun part of the task was trying to figure out how valuable some of the items would be to someone else. For example: a circa 1959 manual Smith Corona typewriter and a circa 1962 Grundig stereo. Also among the treasures was probably $40 worth of pennies in various containers. Little Mermaid was with us so I put her to work rolling pennies. Do you know that she found at least 8 pennies over 50 years old. She made out like a bandit. She wasted no time jumping on the computer to find out their worth.

We had a slight dilemma when it came to removing some of the impedimenta. My sister wanted to save way more and I definitely wanted to eliminate. If it had not been used in the last 1-2 years, chances are they don’t even know it exists. I mean come one, they are 78 years old. We compromised and a good chunk of it went to Good Will. Let someone else benefit from our former worldly possessions, mom and Dad will enjoy the tax break.

Oh, you may be wondering if Bridezilla was helping. Not so much. She did show up at one point and I saw her rolling pennies with Mermaid. When she left I noticed that she contemplated taking the pennies that she rolled but I think Mermaid won that dispute.

It took a whole weekend to clean out one room. Glad they will be gone for a while.

5 comments:

Jodie said...

My mom emphatically tells me that I am absolutely not to do this to her...
"I didn't do that to my mom and you are not going to do that to me!" Normally she's pretty level headed but apparently her stuff stays with her until she's ready to go...

Wicked H said...

Jodie:

Can you keep a secret?

Um, they don't know that we are doing this. Don't tell, okay?

RP said...

They didn't know, Wicked? That is a dangerous path you have chosen to tred, my friend. Walk carefully and good luck!

Wicked H said...

I know where the boundaries are for example, none of Dad's stuff is to be touched or moved. Mom has always asked us over the years to help her de-clutter. That is what I (we) are doing.

But I do appreciate the advice. If they arrest me upon return, can I count on you for legal advice? :-)

Jodie said...

I promise I won't tell her...if you promise not to tell MY mom that I've been hauling off a bagfull of her Reader's Digest Condensed Books every time I visit and disposing of them...