Monday, June 16, 2014

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts

My parents are moving in a few weeks. It is like being smothered to death, one cardboard box at a time. They believe that certain things should not be put on a moving truck and instead, should be brought to my house for safekeeping. Their biggest concern is theft. Why anyone would steal some of this stuff is anyone’s guess. They also are taking the opportunity to clean out all the junk accumulated over almost 15 years of living in their current house. Things they always meant for me to have, but somehow never gave to me. Or things they think I should have, no matter whether or not I want them. Or things they bought a million years ago and are now “worth something.” My dad is a true believer that if you paid X for an item 10 years ago, then that item will automatically increase in price instead of decrease. This is doubly true if said item is “collectible.” Let’s be frank, nothing they collect is worth collecting. My husband and I agreed that we would take whatever they bring and either store it, keep it, or dump it. What follows is a list of the completely random items that have made the way from their house to mine.

Things I am storing:
  • The past seven years of taxes
  • Christmas wrapping paper – My mother didn’t realized that the rectangular storage box in which she already keeps all the damn paper is a perfectly acceptable moving container. She honestly thought everything had to be in a square box.
  • Two complete sets of wedding silver – neither of which are from either of her weddings
  •  Random tools, tool boxes, and tool sets - that are so laced with rust, they require thick gloves and a tetanus shot
  • Family albums – filled with people I have never met, in photos that are all unlabeled
  • “Art” – and yes, while I realize that art is subjective, this stuff is just beyond ugly.
  •  A white chest freezer – which, I must say, looks mighty white trashy sitting smack dab in the middle of my goddamn living room

Things I am keeping:
  • An antique liquor cabinet – which will house first edition and/or signed books
  • A steamer trunk – which must be fully refinished to chip away the fossilized cat hair 
  •  A giant toy box – It is a standard issue craft fair item, but they insist it is worth a small fortune. It’s not, but they will throw a hissy fit if I dump it.
  • 24 rolls of paper towels 
  • 12 boxes of mac & cheese
  •  A Blair Witch angel – yes, an angel that looks like it came right out of the prop department of your basic low-budget horror movie is taking up permanent residence on my lawn because, sometimes, you need that little jolt of terror to get through your day

Things I am dumping:
  • Several pounds of meat so old and freezer-burned they may actually be from a wooly mammoth
  • Five pounds of frozen corn and two quarts of fake maple syrup
  • A set of champagne glasses – My mom insisted that I needed wine glasses. I don’t. And even if I did, the ones she brought are clearly champagne glasses. Says it right on the package.
  • A cornucopia  - because nothing says let’s give thanks for bountiful food than neon red plastic apples
  • Multiple Christmas decorations that were broken, bizarre, or just plain terrifying. Carolers should not be screaming in terror.

Things I have killed:
  • The mouse that joined the exodus of boxes met death by peanut butter, which, to be fair, isn’t the worst way to go

I can’t wait to see what their truck looks like when it opens up its bounty at the new house. After dumping endless piles of nonsense at my house, basement, and shed, they have also sold or donated at least three rooms worth of furniture. I fully expect a half empty truck to pull up and unload a dozen boxes of dog food and cat litter, a box of bedding, and a teapot. Then my mother will ask where the closest Boscov’s is so that she can go out and buy all the stuff she threw out. 

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