By Mir
December 30, 2005

The battle against STUFF has officially begun in earnest. No, I won’t be done by the end of 2005, but progress is being made.

Um, speaking of purging… there’s an ad on right now for Nutrisystem Nourish (motto: Now with MORE IRONY!), and the spokesskeleton is talking about how she went from a size 10 to a size 4 in just 3 months, or something. First of all? She looked pretty good as a size 10. Second? I’m a size 4, and I’m twice as big as her. What is it about the impending new year that makes everyone want to get so skinny that those of us who were thin to begin with start wondering if we woke up fat one day and didn’t notice?

Sorry, what was I talking about? I was mesmerized by the commercial and then I had to go eat half a pan of brownies in the name of feminism. Yes. What?

Oh, right. Purging. Of the stuff, not the food, variety.

I worked on the playroom some more, today. When I had finished shovelling (yes, actually SHOVELLING) the assorted floor crap into a pile in the center of the room, I was able to complete the rearranging of items in there to accommodate the new computer setup.

I also extracted a bunch of toys to take to the consignment store. If the children are allowed to participate in the culling of items, it’s not so much “culling” as it is “beseeching.” Because they NEEEEEEED that shape sorter that was a really exciting new toy when they were babies. If I point out that they are far too old for such a thing, now, they will ASSURE me that they still play with it, REALLY MAMA. Or they need it for their dolls and stuffed animals.

But hey, when they’re not here, I just take all of their favorite things and give them away. That’s just the sort of horrible bitch I am. Or maybe I take the stuff they never touch and then I rearrange the room so that they never notice what’s missing. Either way. The only important part is that they not be here when I do it.

Turning back, finally, to the mountain of stuff in the center of rug, I spent some time pulling out and putting away legos, magnetix, dollhouse furniture, crayons, etc. After… I dunno… an hour, maybe, of this? I pulled a small plastic dragon from the pile and used it to stab myself repeatedly in the eyes. This had the double benefits of giving me an excuse to stop sorting (because I could no longer see) and allowing me to justify throwing out the rest of the pile (because, after all, it was now covered in blood and, um, eye juice).

Thankfully, this happened late in the evening, when I’d already accomplished lots and no longer needed to see.

So. Toys taken to consignment. Computer boxes relegated to the basement. Christmas taken down and put away. Several bags of clothing removed. Multiple stacks of paper whipped into submission.

And the unexpected crown jewel in my day: My duplicate car title arrived. I expected to be stuck in a paper maze at the DMV for at least a month, so this was very exciting. I can now take this title and send it to my insurance company, and they, in turn, will send me a very large check. This will be useful, because I somehow convinced the nice people at Subaru to lend me rather a lot of money, and I’m guessing they’d like it back. I mean, I’m considering spending it all on fast living. Or shoes. But probably I’ll just pay off the new (old) car.

It’s a nice wrap-up to the year; the last loose end in putting the car accident behind us for good.

I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions, really, but this year I feel like I should come up with a few. I don’t know why. Maybe because the last couple of years I’ve just quipped, “Oh, well, this year is BOUND to be better than last year,” and then of course my hubris discovered that the new year could, in fact, suck just as badly as the previous year, but in a completely different way! I’m thinking I need a new strategy.

It’s been very liberating, getting things cleaned out. I think for 2006 I need to keep going in this direction; stop holding on to old things, things I’m afraid to let go. It turns out that the occasional loss of something I actually DO need (like a car title, perhaps?) is annoying, but hardly life-shattering. Stuff is replaceable, when necessary.

Suppose I went on a 3-month plan where I focused on only the things that nourished me, and completely dropped my standard angst about everything else? I’m not sure I would recognize myself at the end of that process. Imagine the difference. Clearing out all the obstacles, making way for… whatever comes next.

And then I would totally arm-wrestle that Nutrisystem bitch and kick her skinny little ass.


  1. Bob

    I don’t know a damn thing about new year’s resolutions as I have never kept one I’ve made – so I don’t make them anymore. But I will be happy to remind you of yours when evidence of backsliding is apparent.

    I’ll give 2 to 1 odds against the nutrisystem bitch. the brownie-fueled naturally skinny feminist bitch wins every time.

    Happy new year.

  2. BugsMom

    Yeah for you for winning the battle of the stuff. I think my battle will continue well in to 2006, but I am using your methods as a model. And I tottally dig the idea of doing it after a brownie binge…now that’s my type of binging and purging.

  3. udge

    The angst-free new you would probably be quite a nice person, but a somewhat dull blogger :-)

    I would love to take January off and wage my own battle against The Stuff, right now it’s got me beaten silly. Perhaps if I win the lottery this evening (20 million Euros!) I could do that…

    Happy New Year, and may you continue to kick asses in 2006.

  4. shannon

    I was almost brought to tears when you mentioned having Christmas down already…NO FAIR! I have a plane to catch way early in the morning (who plans a trip on New Years Day in which the plane leaves at 6:30 AM!).

    I still have a huge list of things I need to do. Taking down Christmas, one of them. We’ll see if it gets done…

    Happy New Year. Here’s to clearing out the stuff, whether it’s a pile in the kids play room or the clutter that is taking up space in your mind. *clink*

  5. Mia

    I, too, loathe that Nutrisystem commercial. A SIZE 10 IS TOO BIG?!?!?! I’d kill to be a 10! Oh who am I kidding….I’d kill to be a 14. (sigh).

  6. Ms Sisyphus

    Ah, the battle against the stuff. I too have been waging this epic fight this year after 33 solid years of packratism. I’m making avisible dent, but it’s a hard fought campaign. And you’re right, it’s also one that children have no business being a part of.

    Here’s to a better 2006, Mir. I’m sure it could get worse (for either of us), but I’d prefer not to contemplate *how*.

  7. RockStar Mommy

    You have THAT much done before the 1st? I don’t even have my damn tree down yet. You are my hero.

  8. Dawn

    Can you come purge my stuff now? Thanks. I’ll leave a key under the mat.

    Happy New Year to all!

  9. sweetney

    that commercial makes me want to run through an open-air market wildly swinging a machete.

    if only there was an open-air market nearby…

    seriously, was that the best nutri-system could do? i mean, not that nutri-system is universally known for its integrity or something, but jeez, its bordering on unbelievably pathetic (as opposed to their usual *believably* pathetic)…

  10. HomefrontSix

    I agree with Udge. I’m not sure that such a change would be a good thing for your blog. Maybe for YOU, but not the blog.

    Happy New Year!

  11. falwyn

    hee hee. i so remember being that kid — i neeeeeed it, for my DOLLS. even now i am terribly at purging, toys in particular. i remember all the fascinating, unlikely combinations i made with different types of playthings as a kid…
    this is a great entry. thanks.

  12. Fraulein N

    I think that NutriSystem lady is Zora whatsherface, from Joe Millionaire. I am so ashamed that I know that.

  13. falwyn

    Oh, and by the way, don’t let our misgivings about a change in your blog (or IRL friends’ misgivings about a change in your life) stop you from doing it anyway. That last bit was very illuminating, and I think the biggest thing that holds us (i.e. me) back from taking the plunge and making these huge life-altering changes (besides laziness) is the fear, fear of: what is the next thing? will it mean I’m a totally different person? We can’t even imagine who we would be without our cherished obstacles.
    Don’t be afraid (I say to you and to myself). Much though we love your amusing neurotic blog personality now, I’m confident we will also love your obstacle free, whatever comes next, still amusing blog after any growth you want to aim for.
    And I’m sure we could all eat a pan of brownies in the name of personal growth then, too. : )

  14. Susan

    If I see that 1 1/2 minute long Nutrisystem commercial one more time I thinks I will slit my wrists. It is played so often and is so long on every network that interests women, it is like Chines water torture. No wonder women are at greater risk of eating disorders when they are targeted and bombarded this way.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest