The glove in this photo has been in my life for nearly 13 years. I bought it in a grocery store in France, on my first and so far only ski trip to Europe. It’s been lots of places with me since then—pretty much anywhere I’ve gone that is or might be cold—and has kept my right hand warm around home countless times as well. But those days are done now, as this past week I lost its mate. I don’t know exactly when or where I dropped the left glove, though I spent plenty of time mentally, and then physically, retracing my steps to the most likely locations. Before every stop, I felt some hope that I’d see it on the ground, or perhaps on the top of a curb or light pole base where some kind person had placed it after picking it up off the pavement. Each time I stepped up to a counter at a place of business I’d been in and inquired about their lost and found and waved the glove I did have as an illustration of what I was looking for, I thought perhaps I would once again have a pair. But no, I do not have a pair. For a few days, I beat myself up about this. Why can’t I take better care of my things, pay closer attention to what I am doing instead of always thinking about three other things? I thought back to the glove I’d lost in Utah—that pair I’d bought in Canada, on a ski weekend with some of my women friends. I remembered the pair of mittens I’d lost at Mount Baker—Mr. Karen had given me those the year I learned to ski. I don’t think it’s a matter of I only lose things that have stories attached; I think the bigger problem is that I attach stories to most things. Earlier today I went through the two shelves in our linen closet where we store extra toiletries and makeup and first aid supplies with an eye toward restoring order and perhaps doing a bit of decluttering. Sure, I came across many things I’m not sentimental about, but there were plenty I was. There’s a loofah in a cloth bag that came in a gift basket my office sent after I had my hysterectomy in 2003. I don’t use a loofah, yet I hold onto this one as a tangible sign that my employer cares about me. There’s a half full LUSH bag from the days before there were LUSH stores around here and I’d pick up bath bombs and massage bars and weird and wonderful soaps every time I was in Toronto. There’s some foot scrub from my mom, some lotion from a friend of mine, and on and on. These are things meant to be used and used up, but there they sit in my closet. That needs to stop. Someday. Today I was able to achieve only a few very tiny victories, like throwing out the bottles of Visine which were part of some prizes I’d won at a silent auction at a charity event at which I had a lot of fun; I don’t use Visine, and these were now expired, yet I still considered for a bit before they went in the trash pile. Could I use the bottles for something? Should I have donated these somewhere when I first got them? Are there places I could donate some of the other things in the closet? Should I go research that question now? No wonder I have so damn much stuff in my house. I sometimes feel I’m one divorce and twelve to eighteen months away from being on Hoarders. The divorce would be necessary because I do care enough about Mr. Karen and our relationship to try to keep my stuff somewhat under control; why I don’t care enough about my own mental health to think I’d keep trying if I were here alone is perhaps a topic for another day.
Powered by WordPress