If you’re in the market for crapola, you need look no further than my house. My house is the repository of crapola of all kinds. We are a department store of crapola. Housewares? Look over there. Women’s lingerie? Right in that corner. Tools? Check out our selection in the garage. You don’t even want to know what’s in the basement.
Much of what we own is old. Decades old. Very little of it was purchased after the birth of my son, who will be twenty this October. We inherited a lot of it. Since we have a large basement and garage, and since inertia has proven us incapable of moving, we have become the family repository for “what are we going to do with this stuff we don’t want to throw out?” We have a lot of duplicates (and triplicates) because often we can’t find what we need in the dunes of crap and it’s easier to just buy a new one.
Sometimes I think the only solution is to rent a dumpster and a backhoe. Other times I think the only solution is a well-placed match and an oily rag.
Every once in a while I’ll go on an expedition into the basement. I’ll put on a safari hat and wear waders and carry a flashlight and venture in. I never know what I’ll find. A set of golf clubs? A surgical boot? An unopened box of glassware? Check, check, and check.
How many times has someone wandered in the garage and said, “I’ve been looking for this!”
The thing that kills me is that every single piece of everything – every cardboard box, every stub of a crayon, every lonely stuffed animal looking out of a dusty corner with sad eyes – was at one point an exciting new purchase. What treasure did that box originally contain? Who was excited to open it and see what was in it? Which child jumped up and down and got a thrill at that waxy smell of a new box of crayons, eager to see what pictures she could make? Who buried his face in the fur of his new bunny rabbit friend, promising to love him forever? How quick was the transition between beloved object and castaway – between present and crapola?
Yet we still buy, the eternal hope of the shopper. This item, this lamp, this dress, this power drill, will be the one that goes the distance and never ends up in a pile in the basement.
Thank goodness all the people I’ve collected still live upstairs in their proper places, undiscarded and still loved. They’re not so easy to replace at Target when they get old.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.