these lists tell you everything you need to know about my marriage

It’s grading season, and as a result, I’m doing housework.  Small ideas turn into massive projects.  Messes that have existed for months or years are suddenly intolerable, and I have to deal with them right now.  My current “project” is dealing with the “stuff” on our shelves.

Three and a bit years ago, J. and I combined two adult households into one.  He was solo, I came with only a cat, but we’d each accumulated enough charming, random objects to fill an apartment, and since then, we’ve acquired other ones.  These are separate from the junk that needs to go.  This is our good stuff.  All our thingies.  But when the Christmas stuff (one small box) came out this year, the apartment went into visual overload.

So I’ve been wrapping things in paper towels and boxing them up.  Not to give away, just to hide the way you’re supposed to hide away kids’ toys so that they won’t be overwhelmed by them.  (I’m using paper towels because we haven’t read paper newspapers in years, and in a moment of madness we bought a case of paper towels at Costco and may never use them all up.  I can’t imagine what we were thinking.  Except when I do something brilliant like drop a bottle of olive oil on the floor, we use fewer than one paper towel a week.  No lie.  They just sit there.)

Things I’ve wrapped up and put into storage:

glass telephone insulators

two butterflies pinned in a shadow box

a couple of dozen glass medicine bottles

two beaver skulls

glass paperweights

a slinky

hand-made ceramic objects under three inches wide (gotta draw the line somewhere)

a robotic insect

a wood-cut plate of a turtle

And so forth.  It’s the problem with finding excellent objects in the universe that eventually they take over your home.  I phoned my dad to ask what the proper storage method for beaver skulls is; he said he’d like to do this too, but he’s out of storage space.  (Many of the more exotic objects being tucked away were gifts from Dad, who can find things so remarkable that you’d only expect to find them on a movie set.)

Now, having asked J. for permission, I’ll also be boxing up a couple of shelves of his stuff:

two plastic models of King Kong

Ash (24″ tall)

retro video game joysticks


Marvin the Martian

selected romantically-designed wedding gifts (I don’t know exactly how he became responsible for those.  Possibly I made him give them homes.)

I’m not sure whether I’ll pack up the (currently non-functional) VR goggles, and the brass cricket cage full of rocks should probably live in a box by itself.

If I pack up all of this, and loyally grade my papers, then this weekend we can pick up all the loose hard drives off the floor.


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