Sunday, August 21, 2011

Other People's Stuff

Remember last week when my boys donned masks to clean out their room? We did a terrific and satisfying purge of all the crap they'd squirreled away for years. We boxed up Legos, threw away ancient McDonald's Happy Meal toys, cleared away baby board books and otherwise made the place swanky.

When I left on Thursday for my trip to D.C., the room looked fantastic.

Evidently, while I was gone, the neighbors down the street who are getting a divorce and moving, opened their house up as a sort of boys' rummage sale. Except it wasn't a sale, and everything was free. When I finally arrived this afternoon after a two day odyssey whose origins are still unclear (mechanical failure? storms in Chicago?), I was greeted by The Big O's new acquisitions.

A plastic Target bag filled with old magic trick shit

 A broken box of faux Tinkertoys

My bed covered in paper cocktail parasols

Oliver's chest covered in enormous trophies for Chess and sports that Oliver doesn't play

and a six-foot deflated plastic palm tree

It made me sort of want to cry, but perhaps it's because I was stuck in DC with the LA blues again and now have to hit the ground running. Or maybe it's just bourgeois complaining --


  1. No. It's a response to "nature abhors a vacuum." Which sucks when you are trying to get rid of shit.
    Get some rest and then throw some more shit away. You'll feel better.

  2. Well, it's kinda funny if you're not inside of it. Kids. They want stuff and get advertised to relentlessly.
    Hey, if you want to get rid of the paper drink umbrellas, I'll take 'em.
    But no thanks on the trophies. Unless one is inscribed,"Survivor of Super-Long Divorce."
    Glad you are back safe!

  3. Mmm, so the neighbor koan is: "You have come a long way and found nothing. But I don't want you to leave me empty-handed. Please take my junk."

  4. I feel your pain. I hope you can't hear me laughing!!


  5. I imagine the neighbors are quietly laughing. It's amazing the stuff people, especially kids, will take when it's free.

  6. Thinking about your son and bringing home the trophies...what was he thinking at the time? And so many!!!

    Cocktail party with the umbrellas? And you could use the deflated (hopefully inflatable) palm tree for decoration.

    Welcome home mom!

  7. Thanks for the laugh!! OMG the trophies and the bedful of paper umbrellas...

    Sorry about the airport/airplane hoo-ha. What. A. Drag.

  8. Glad to see I wasn't alone in my impulse to laugh which I felt bad about since your impulse was to cry. It really is kind of sweetly funny, especially the trophies. It's a wonderful novelistic image, oliver with his arms filled with thise trophies! Welcome home!

  9. I would have cried. Especially over those trophies!

  10. yesterday the brother of a friend passed me a set of coasters. they were really of beautiful japanese indigo ikat. very special, but one more thing i don't need in a house which shrinks as the twins grow.

    i managed to pass them on to a friend who entertains 24/7, in less than 24 hours.

    perhaps you know someone who could use some jujitsu trophies...?

  11. I'm guilty of the same impulse to collect free (from the curb) or cheap (from the thrift store) stuff that I (and no one else, as my husband likes to point out) don't need. Get rid of it.

  12. Ooooh, not just other people's crap, but other people's crap with their bad energy attached to it. Purge! Purge! :)

  13. "bourgeois complaining"- love it. I'm going to start categorizing my complaints from now on.

  14. Ugh. I love hand-me-downs. Of clothing. Thankfully, I live in a neighborhood that is small enough that I was able to go around and tell all of the parents that I don't want their kids' old toys and crap. They all got it. Whew!

  15. yes, it's the trophies that got me more than anything. How many trips do you figure he had to make to bring them all back. That is exactly what my boy would have done. Live someone else's glory. Love it and what else are you gonna do but laugh else you'd cry :) Besides, at least it was so very blogworthy.

  16. i'm laughing and crying for you, at the same time!

  17. LOL, nature abhors a vacuum, and kids abhor tidy rooms. We seem to go through the "purge with a garbage bag" routine every six months or so. Where does all that crap in their rooms COME from??? And how does it wind up spread all over the house within 15 minutes of me getting everything tidied up?

  18. Oh my God I am laughing so hard at this ..... Only because I've had that happen! In fact my aunt is moving (she should be on extreme hoarders) .... She donated her beading collection to my girls. My friend in California sent a giant box of beading junk from another hoarder. Do my kids bead? NO! Do the girls want me to get rid of it? NO!

    But paper parasols and a deflated palm tree ..... Oh vey

  19. BWAAAHJAHAHA... So aren't we just such good citizens teaching our children to "re-cycle, re-use, and re-purpose" and then when they drag this sh*t home we are re-ally re-thinking our earth mother mantras. I laughed out loud and so hard at this post The Boy walks in and says, "WHAT?" Nothing honey as I'm thinking about that Tony Hawk bike I wasted money on in the garage and the little toddler, GIRLS, pink, scooter you drug out of someone's trash last week and spray painted gold and black. You know the one you're tooling all over the neighborhood on like some dumpster diving lost boy?



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