A Post in Which I Repeat the Word "Crap" Over & Over 

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Misery in my house. We have fallen upon hard times, living in genteel poverty, with the material accruements of the petty bourgeoisie but without the cash to support the lifestyle. As we were sitting in the kitchen, we decided, suddenly, that we really didn't like the red-and-white Mrs. Claus cookie jar.

"Let's sell it!" I said.

We got the kitchen stool. I clambered onto the kitchen counters, pulling off crap we didn't like. Halloween mugs shaped like scarecrows. A mug shaped like a cowboy hat. A beer stein. A statue of red elephants climbing over one another. A china statue of a witch flying past a yellow moon. Candles in the shapes of bears and flowers.

The goose cookie jar stays. Mom would notice if it went missing. We almost threw away the grape salt and pepper shakers but then we realized the butter dish, sugar bowl and napkin holder were all part of the grape pattern.

Then we walked through the house, pulling all junk out. Numerous candlesticks, vintage suitcases, ugly vases, dusty lampshades, a horrible maroon jacket, the glass crap some fellow gave 21-year-old me (because he knew "what to buy chicks"), the collection of porcelain geese and swans. Ugly things were spared only if they were Romanian. We almost threw out some bad art, but the frames still have value for us.

We even pulled the four-foot Santa Claus statue out of his hiding place and threw him into the guest bedroom with the rest of the yard sale fodder.

Next, we have to go through the bookshelves. The foreign language books, art books and classics will survive the purges. The bestsellers are gone.

When we filled half the room, we realised not many people would want our crap.

How did we accumulate so many things we don't like? We've become a refuge for bad gifts.

We would either have to go for slim riches or for order. The mugs, my sister explained, only go for fifty cents at most, not a dollar as I first envisioned. Did I agree?

"Order it is."

Liberation! We always hated that stupid cookie jar.

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