July 20 09

I tried a little experiment this morning. We bought a new carseat for Isabella and instead of taking the old seat down to the basement, where all the other old baby stuff collects dust, I took the old seat and put it at the end of the driveway. 8 minutes later someone knocked on the door asking if he could take it. you see? I can bring a little bit of city to the country!

but now, I am plotting and scheming. and rubbing my hands together in delicious planning mode.

You see, my mother doesn’t throw anything away. EVER. I mean, you will recall that she still has in her possession the stained dress that I wore to my bat mitzvah. you know, the one that still fits. She has the dress that she wore to my sister’s bat mitzvah, in 1987. She still has the dress she wore to her first wedding, in 1971. but, fine, I’ll allow her these trinkets that bring her warm fuzzies and good memories. some would argue that THE THOUSANDS OF PICTURES SHE HAS LYING AROUND IN BOXES would produce the same memories and fuzzies, but I digress. But, it’s not that she never throws the important things away…it’s that she just doesn’t throw anything away. and the clutter is taking over her house. She’s run out of room in the closets that are stuffed silly from top to bottom and things are now starting to spread across the floor. It’s a tsunami of shit…printers from 1985, an ab roller that no one has ever used, boxes of old basketball cards that I haven’t collected since the 90s, cassettes, stuffed animals, broken toys.

It’s not her fault, really. My Bubbie, her mother, died with every possession she acquired since she was liberated from Auschwitz, including hundreds of sugar packets that she swiped from restaurants…because you never know when you are going to run out of sugar. The apple doesn’t fall far, you see…she still had the dress that she wore to my mom’s first wedding, in 1971.

(I guess it skipped a generation this time. because, I mean, I just had a giant dumpster on my driveway and tossed tossed tossed things without thinking twice or looking back)

but, she has granted me permission.

to start going through the shit.

so, if you are in suburban Wisconsin this afternoon and see about a million things sitting out at the end of the driveway, I am NOT channeling my inner Juno.


those things are free for the taking. because when Kristabella comes back for a visit, she would REALLY really like to see what my mom’s hardwood actually looks like.

(yes! one of the three best blogher roomies ever, miss Kristabella came to visit! and yes, I have so many good things to tell you about her visit…about how we were glued to the disney channel watching a Jonas marathon and about how my mom makes up words like “shnibble” and about how I introduced her to Jewish delicacies like kugel and cholent and rugelach. but first, I have an ab roller that needs to get put outside. I mean, this is Wisconsin…surely someone in the fattest state in the nation can get some good use out of it. no?)

(but now I AM craving beer and cheese)


(maybe I should keep the ab roller…)

  1. When I read “shnibble” I thought of “Mr. Schneebly” from School of Rock. And now that song is stuck in my head again.

    Also, you are inspiring me to do as much tossing of stuff as I can before I move all my stuff into storage next week. I already have 5 trash bags full in my dining room among all my packed boxes, and I know I will probably have at least 5 more before I move out. It feels really good to just purge all of my stuff.

    Comment by Darcey on July 20, 2009
  2. My parents are kind of the same way. They just keep it a little more hidden. It takes a lot of bravery to open one of their closets or cabinets, though.

    Comment by C @ Kid Things on July 20, 2009
  3. I keep everything as well. Just recently, I parted ways with three pairs of pj pants that I’ve had since 1996, because the elastic was no longer elastic.
    .-= Maya´s last blog ..Inside the Actors Studio Questions =-.

    Comment by Maya on July 20, 2009
  4. I am a huge hoarder, or I would be if my husband weren’t such a neat freak. I do wish my mother held onto some of her clothing like those Mad Men style outfits she wore in the 60s.

    I hope those piles disappear quickly!
    .-= kirida´s last blog ..water babies =-.

    Comment by kirida on July 20, 2009
  5. Since we’re moving in TWO WEEKS – OMG – I’ve been putting stuff out at the road too. Yesterday? A coffee, table, two tvs, a shelf, a dresser and a turtle sand box.

    Most of it was gone in the span of 30 minutes. Everything was gone this AM.

    Love it.

    Comment by sam {temptingmama} on July 20, 2009
  6. Hey Ali! Total sidebar comment but if you liked Juno – go see 500 Days of Summer – you’ll love it!

    Comment by Bernie Zeesman on July 20, 2009
  7. I moved every four months for five years of university (co-op), so I learned how to part with old shit a long time ago.

    My wife, on the other hand, moved boxes of HER elementary school projects into our basement when we got our house.

    Comment by SciFi Dad on July 20, 2009
  8. She actually gave you permission?? I’m kind of shocked!

    Comment by Kristabella on July 20, 2009
  9. I love cleaning things out. Have so much fun!

    Comment by Kaleigha on July 20, 2009
  10. We put stuff down at the mailboxes ALL THE TIME.

    Matthew is the antithesis of a pack rat 🙂

    Comment by Angella on July 20, 2009
  11. The only reason I’m not like this is because I don’t have a house. All the more reason to keep renting.

    Comment by slynnro on July 20, 2009
  12. Wait a minute.

    There are jewish people living in Wisconsin?

    Get the fuck out of here. NO WAY!

    Comment by Miss Britt on July 20, 2009
  13. I’ve made a pact to take at least one tote full of crap out of my house and to Goodwill, every single month. I have two totes in the livingroom ready to go as we speak.

    Ha! I almost said “cheers to all us tossers,” but that means something unpleasant in Europe, I think…
    .-= loren´s last blog ..Here, kitty kitty =-.

    Comment by loren on July 21, 2009
  14. When we lived in a house, *sigh*, we were forever putting things at the end of the driveway for people to take. I’d stand in the living room peeking behind the curtains and wait till somebody pulled up and take the item. “Yes” I’d cheer, pumping my fist into the air! You know what they say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”

    Comment by Pat on July 22, 2009
  15. […] see, my mother? She is a hoarder. And since she lacks the capacity to ever throw anything out, she is being forced into submission. […]

    Pingback by Cheaper Than Therapy » Blog Archive » This is the Most Exciting Thing to Happen To Milwaukee Since Laverne and Shirley. on July 23, 2010

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