The first thing Veronica tackled was the entertainment centre in the family room. She threw open its drawers with the force of a Christmas Eve shopper grabbing the last toy off of the shelf five minutes before closing.
“I have a cassette by Animal Logic? Who the hell’s Animal Logic?” she asked herself as she started rummaging through her old music tapes. “David & David, Maria Muldaur, XTC…these must be from my moody alternative stage. I think I was still hoping to walk across India back then.”
Once she was done going through her music collection, she moved on to her old VHS tapes (Top Gun?! Good God, her hormones must have been crazy the day she bought that) and then to the mass of knick knacks cluttering her end tables and fireplace mantle.
“I know there’s a reason I bought this plastic Niagara Falls snow globe, but for the life of me I can’t remember what that could be. It’s going, too.”
Room by room she went, with a garbage bag in one hand and a box in the other. If it was worth donating, it went into the box. If it wasn’t, it got chucked into the garbage bag. She said goodbye to the stockpile of ‘One day I’ll fit into these again!’ clothes that had hung unworn for years. She said farewell to the three rows of self-help books on her bookshelf that had done nothing for her other than give her something more to dust. It was adios to the melon baller, the apple corer, and the Lordy! Lordy! Look Who’s Forty! coffee mug as well.
“I’ve never used any of this stuff,” she said. “Why on earth am I holding on to it?”
Because, that’s the type of person Veronica is – a holder on-er. She holds on to past grudges, clings to the same insecurities that have debilitated her for years, stays in a marriage that went cold years ago, and keeps working in a job she hasn’t enjoyed in years. These are the things she knows; the things that have become as much a part of her DNA as any chromosome. She hasn’t the first clue on how to get rid of the real problems in her life, but she does know how to get rid of clutter and in her mind that’s a good substitute.
“It’s good to purge yourself of unwanted, unusable things,” Veronica says as heads off to the nearest donation centre in her loaded down car. “I feel a whole lot better.”
She does feel a whole lot better, and will continue to do so…until she returns to work Monday and begins another cycle of misery.