Monday, December 30, 2013

the things we find when we downsize our lives

Stephen and I had planned all along that we would take down Christmas today.  To make room in the storage closet out on the deck, we also sorted through a box (or FOUR) to see whether all the old paperwork from our pasts needed to continue traveling with us into our future, or if we could shred, discard, or give away anything we haven't looked at or thought about in over a year.  We managed to shrink four boxes of stuff down to one!  Along the way, I found the following, which I wrote sometime in the last decade, probably as a personal acting exercise (I don't believe it was for a class, although I may have decided to use it as an audition monologue if ever I needed an original piece).  This may have been the only other time I ever looked at that piece of paper since I wrote it.  Obviously, it was never used for anything, but I think it's kinda funny, so I'm sharing it with you here.  I hope you enjoy it, at least a little.

     "Hi, my name is emelle, and I'm a slob."
     "Hi, emelle."

     I think, looking back, I've always been a slob.  When I was growing up, my father worked an odd schedule and my mother stayed home.  As soon as we kids could feed ourselves without burning the house down or cutting each other with the cutlery, my mother ceased cooking.  I don't remember having "home-cooked" meals on a daily or weekly basis - they were strictly for special occasions.  Not that I grew up on McDonalds, either.  Probably mostly peanut butter and jelly or tunafish sandwiches.  But I digress...

     I addition to not cooking, my mother also did not clean.  Not that the house wasn't clean, mind you, but it was cleaned by three little kids who didn't quite grasp the basic concepts of housekeeping until adulthood.  I mean, I know NOW how to vacuum and dust, and sweep and mop, and wash dishes and clothes, and scrub toilets.  But as a child, there was never any motivation to do any of those things WELL - we were much more concerned about doing them quickly, so we could go play.  My entire childhood, I always thought vacuuming was an enormous waste of time; I thought I was allergic to it, because the dust produced by that thing always made me sneeze my head off.  Turns out, the filter was not changed - not once in at least 18 years!  Filter?  What did we know?  You plug it in, flip the switch, and the damn thing makes a lot of noise, doesn't eat the little bits of debris you have to physically "feed" it, and you sneeze the rest of the day!  That's normal, right?

So now I can shred THAT piece of paper, along with the ~1/2 box of other pages we sorted out.  And Christmas is over, but that got downsized, too.  So we're making progress!

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