Thursday, May 24, 2012


Winter and Spring brought forth consecutive semesters of relentless academia and left precious little time for important things like video games, sex, and cleaning. Desperate for these enjoyments, and drunk enough to mistake cleaning for an enjoyment, I began cleaning my office. It was no small task. I initiated the overdue project by removing the numerous birth announcements, empty Netflix envelopes, half read Creative Loafings and unopened bills from the top of my desk. I was off to an encouraging start. Little did I know the imminent horror lurking inside the desk, underneath the desk, and around the desk. I couldn’t hide from the truth—I couldn’t even blur it with alcohol. 
The truth was this...
...I was a hoarder.
You know, in the non-threatening—no dead cats way.
In the emotional, sentimental, well-intentioned way. 
In the “it half makes sense I’ve kept some of this stuff...wait a minute I’m just rationalizing this twisted behavior” way. 
Recognizing I have had plenty of opportunities to throw many of these items away, yet haven’t, I decided to do the next best cathartic thing.
I decided to blog about it. It reads a little like this:

Playa's gotta Play: Today's your lucky day
I found a thick stack of MEGA MILLIONS and FANTASY 5 tickets. I affectionately referred to my weekly habit as my "White Trash Retirement Fund". 
I am not currently retired, but I am still pleasantly White Trash. 
So who's the real winner?

I found one from as long ago as 2007. Disposable income? 

While I am on the topic of throwing away money...

It is a dollar bill with two extra consonants conspicuously placed
My friend Chandler had to explain this one to me. It was not a proud feeling, much like the first time I [stole] a child-proof lighter and my baby sister had to show me how to use it. 
It took me a moment to get the joke—but it has taken me several years to spend the dollar.

You remember Blockbuster? i.e late fees?
Around the same time I bought my last MEGA MILLIONS ticket I also found a dollar bill with this Blockbuster membership card. I promised myself I would contact Blockbuster and return the lost card along with the lost dollar. This declaration would serve to make me one of those good people who do good deeds (such as returning two useless items to an unconcerned person). I never did. I still have them. I still hope I will do the right thing. Now, where to find a Blockbuster?

Is that a dollar bill folded into a tiny T-shirt in your wallet or just a badly misshapen condom?

A patron folded a dollar bill into a T-shirt for me once and I kept it. The real 'What The Fuck?' is why I kept two of them. 

Dolla dolla bill y'all
My aunt thought she was inciting good deeds by sending a crisp dollar bill with her family newsletter several Christmases ago. In actuality she was burdening me with yet another dollar I could not spend as I haven't decided what good deed I should apply it towards. Woe is me. 

I found several journals/diaries. Some from as early as 1992.

Magpie, one of many short stories—I never finished. Circa 2000. 

For a long time "I" was always Maggie when I wrote discretely about myself.
Nowadays I am Jane. But nothing really changes. I still always write about myself. Classic narcissist. 

I have (half) written quite a few short stories and plays—and appropriately saved them to floppy disk where I am certain to never finish them.

One of them is a Buffy inspired Monster masterpiece with my then-husband serving as the Demon Boss. A story of betrayal and sacrifice with an all Misfits soundtrack—yet never fully realized because I left him my computers with disk drives. Poop.
Proud to be an American?

I don't even know what to say about this. Certain excuses come to mind:
1) They are not all mine, then-husband
2) I haven't used a credit card in 3 years
3) I only used them for good, like beer and panties. Then-husband—online betting 

In the late nineties my best friend Kat and I had very little time for things other than Waffle House and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. This notebook full of cheat codes, MASH games, and Spades scores corroborates that.

Can I be the little spoon?

My thoughtful pal Molly brings me flatware from everywhere she goes. This is without question my favorite collection of random things. Thank you Molly.

There is no doubt that I am a sentimental person. I hold on to a lot, and tightly; friendships, lovers, cassette tapes...every college school book I ever bought....

Cleaning my office didn't alert me to this fact, I have long known this about myself. It did raise the question of whether or not this was healthy. Are there things, feelings, memories, or people I should let go of? Am I holding myself back by holding on? I don't know the answers to these questions. I don't know much at all really. 

I know I will continue to ask myself these questions even if there are no simple answers and I know I will always keep Molly's continental cutlery. 

Suggested reading:
My little sister, Helen, keeps a rad blog on this very topic. It's electronic so you won't even have to worry about throwing it away after you read it.