Lightening The Load While Embracing the Inner Geek
Posted on February 25, 2013
It’s amazing just how much two people can accumulate over the years. No, it’s bloody staggering is what it is. My husband and I decided to do a little cleaning when my father-in-law-who-doesn’t-know-he’s-my-father-in-law went into the hospital after Christmas. We started at his house. There’s a chance he may need the assistance of a walker when he returns home, so we felt we should lighten the load over there. The man is a bit of a packrat, though, and it’s a trait both his sons inherited. So after doing some work over there, we turned our attention to our own home. Why? Because word got to us that my brother-in-law’s girlfriend made the comment when my husband and FILWDKHMFIL stayed there for a few days that “This place isn’t going to start looking like what your father’s house looks like!”
She blames all three of them for that mess and she’s right. They contributed and have been putting little band aids on their father’s house over the years. Heck, I’ve even helped when it’s gotten close to the Hong Kong Grandmother’s visit and the place needed an emergency cleaning. I got a little tired of it, but then I still do as I’m told from time to time when there’s a Blu-Ray coming out the next week I’d like to buy guilt-free. See? I have a method to my madness.
When it came to our place, though, we really dug in. I’ve torn—with the exception of half the second bedroom—every nook and cranny apart, set aside as much of the crap we don’t need or haven’t used in eighteen years and then put the remaining things back together in nice plastic packing boxes. Eight containers of books I’ve read has now been reduced to half that number. Old plates, utensils, clothes, tons of knickknacks, more knickknacks, old paperwork that needed to be shredded, old cables, cords, outdated computer equipment, and a plethora of other items are now gone. What could be salvaged was given to a local charity store called Second Hand Rose and what couldn’t was thrown away. You have no idea how many bags I’ve thrown away. We’re talking huge, doubled up leaf garbage bags!
I have to say that the place definitely has a less-cluttered feel to it and I’m not looking around and making mental lists of all the crap I have to pick up after the hubby’s been home since he tends to move things around. Eliminate the things he moves and he he’ll go in search of new things to move. Either way, we’re getting through it. This hasn’t stopped him from creating Suitcaseaggedon every time he walks in the door from overseas or from where he works. No, no. He walks in, sets his bags or suitcases down, they magically open, and fecking EXPLODE. And I swear to He-Who-Walks-Behind-The-Blu-Ray-Racks, if I stumble over one more pair of his shoes because he refuses to put them on the mat just to the left of the door, I’m going to…well, I’m going to do something to them when he isn’t looking.
The day we move into an actual house will be an interesting day indeed. First, it’ll mean we’re actually living in the same state again, something we’ve not done in 15 years. Second, we both have very different ideas of what we want our abode to look like. I joke that I want the bridge of the Enterprise D as our living room. It’s really not so much of a joke because I think it’d be kinda cool to have. As for him, have you ever seen the episode of AbFab where someone suggests redesigning her home with a completely white room and no furniture in it? That whole minimalist thing? Yeah, he’d be happy with that as long as it had a chair and very large TV in it. And a computer or laptop.
He kinda scares me sometimes and that’s okay because I know I scare him, too.
This isn’t to say that we’ve gotten rid of all the little things that reflect who we are. He still has his Astro Boy figure that hangs from the ceiling that flies around, his little Tomy bobble head toys that run on solar power, and his little USB-powered knickknacks from overseas. And me? I still have my plastic figure of Johnny Sokko’s Giant Robot (Cleopat Version), a couple of UltraMan figures, a Jet Jaguar figure, and a couple of other geeky things. I did have to put the Phantasm silver ball in a cabinet, though. It freaks the husband out despite the fact it’s really just a holder for the film series. And it’s signed by Reggie Bannister.
So…what little knickknacks do you keep around that reflect your inner geek?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
13 Responses to “Lightening The Load While Embracing the Inner Geek”
February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am
I’m sorry, Kris…I usually follow your blogs with total empathy, but I’m afraid this talk of organization and throwing things away is a totally alien concept to me. Still, I admire you for…uh…doing whatever it is you’re doing.
February 25, 2013 at 11:29 am
It hasn’t been easy. We just got into that mode of mind where we knew we had to make some tough decisions. Funny thing is we haven’t missed anything we’ve gotten rid of. I’d say that’s a good sign.
Katy Trick says:
February 25, 2013 at 10:31 am
Books, books, books. I have an absurd amount of them and have a hard time letting them go. I have tried recently to get rid of some and now I’m a lityle less cluttered where books are concerned (no, I could not part with your books, Kris. Those are keepers.).
I live with collectors of things (hubs and the 2 girls) so, battling clutter is an ongoing chore. I feel your pain. 🙂
February 25, 2013 at 11:30 am
Going through my books was the hardest thing! There are so many I want to read again, but I just don’t have the time and there are so many I still want to read that haven’t been opened. Still, I did narrow them down. And thank you for not getting rid of mine! lol
Lloyd Songal says:
February 25, 2013 at 10:56 am
You scare me because I have been wrestling with the same problems. I sometimes find myself moving bunkies’ shoes at night when he just kicks them off right in his walking path so he does not trip on them in the middle of the night. It is also survival for myself, should I venture over to the door wall to go out onto the deck. I have 2 bedrooms to tackle; 1 being not too badly cluttered. I still have shelves of VHS tapes to get rid of which I swore I would do last Summer. I hope to get a lot accomplished to this end this year. De-cluttering is very stressful. That is how I deal with the whole situation by avoiding stress. I just go sit in another room.
February 25, 2013 at 11:31 am
I actually solved the VHS library problem, Lloyd. There’s a program for sale that allows you to play the movie on your VHS player, hook it up to a computer and create a DVD from the tape. It’s time consuming, but I’ve managed to knock off over half my collection so far. Am only saving the rarest of the rare.
Lloyd Songal says:
April 2, 2013 at 12:41 am
Just saw your response 4-01-13, and I have converted some VHS onto CD, and you are right it is quite time consuming.
Julie L Hayes says:
February 25, 2013 at 11:04 am
I’ve lived in the same house for 35+ years, and I am a packrat, so you can imagine the chaos that prevails here. You know the saying – a creative mind is a messy one? Well, I must be exceedingly creative, cause I have that messiness thing down pat.
And my inner geek is definitely showing.
Let’s not even start with the books, because I have three built in bookcases, one stand alone (well, one and a half since the one my son put together is falling apart and not bearing its full share of books) and books in boxes …. tons of books, and that after I tearfully parted with quite a few (taken away in bags, literally). On one bookcase I have four Death Note figurines and a PowerPuff Girls Christmas ornament. On my desk I have plushies of Light Yagami (two of those) and one of Sebastian Michaelis, along with a photograph of Holmes and Watson (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman).
And in my room – first you’d think I live in a shrine to Sirius Black. I have three posters of him on the wall, two mini-busts, his wand (also Remus’ wand and Lucius’, which is in his cane), a figurine, a plate (#16 out of 500), a Blair Witch chalice, figurines from the Mummy, DS9…. and that’s just what I remember off the top of my head without looking.
When the day comes to move, I won’t be much help because I’ll be having too much fun revisiting everything and screaming You can’t throw that away! My advice is to sedate me and remove me from the premises first.
Good luck with your reorganization. Perhaps you can teach me the skills I’ll need to do that someday 🙂
February 25, 2013 at 11:35 am
Your house sounds amazing! I didn’t get to mention the film posters I have framed on the walls. Been spending the last couple of years getting them signed by cast members. A pride and joy of mine so far is the Buckaroo Banzai poster signed by Peter Weller and Christopher Lloyd. Am hoping for more.
You just have to indulge your inner kid, right? And if our home reflects a bit of ourselves as it should, then it makes it all the more comfortable.
Julie L Hayes says:
February 25, 2013 at 11:45 am
It’s also extremely not clean, as I’m the worst housekeeper ever! But I’m a great cook, so that balances it, right?
Not on display, but in an album, I have autographed pictures I’ve collected from various famous people, some of whom are no longer with us, including Carroll O’Connor and Ray Bradbury and Jason Robards. I sent Ray Bradbury a poem I wrote, and in return he sent me his family’s Christmas newsletter, with a poem he wrote, and an autographed photo of himself. I sent a poem to Tom Baker, and he sent me several autographed pieces, and told me my poem made him chortle.
My dream is to have a house someday where I can put these things on display for everyone to share.
I got my son an autograph from Paul Dooley, who not only sent him a photo, but he sent me one too, and an autographed poster of Strange Brew!
I’m happy in my messiness, and my daughter is used to it. Her room is straighter than the rest of the house lol
Julie L Hayes says:
February 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm
How could I fail to mention my very special figurine that sits near me at the computer? My very own Cardinal Richelieu (if you’ve ever visited my blog, you won’t be surprised lol) Along with the white wolf figurine my daughter gave me, and the Psyduck. I know – very eclectic lol
Bruce Berryhill says:
February 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm
I have had to part with things I love. For the most part I still have my treasures from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. I have the majority of the win-up and battery powered ZOIDS / RoboStrux model robots, I have all of the original Lazer Tag gear (helmet, chest sensors, pistols, rifle, target that shields itself and shoots back), I have models of robots from The Black Hole Disney movie, posters for anime films such as a pre-release Akira poster, sci-fi and horror posters, pins, rubber Surf Ninja keychain surf boards, pins, buttons, etc. Some of these trinkets I got for free from working staff at Dragon Con and other assorted conventions in Atlanta.
I still have model buildings I made back in the 1980s. I wish I could remember the name of the toy. Sure would be cool to get some more of those white plastic panels and fasteners. I used to build powered robots when I was 9. There was not one toy store I did not visit almost daily. Water guns that have powdered additives to stink it up or add disappearing colors. Pens that squirt water. Godzilla, Mothra, and other Japanese inspired 18 inch or taller toys. Pepsi cans that were also powered water guns.
I think I should start a page to catalog all the fun things I have and still play with 🙂
The Jeff says:
February 26, 2013 at 12:51 am
I collect frogs. It was a joke when I was 20 about kissing a lot frogs now it has become crazy. My favorites are the one on my country that holds my measuring cups and spoons and the jeweled ones my brother got me.