That’s an actual sentence I uttered to Jay last night after posting (some) of their toys on Craigslist. When I’m done with something, I’m done. When I think you’re done with something, you’re done. If it’s not in your mouth at the dinner table, I’m clearing it. If you’re not wearing it, I’m washing it. If you’re not playing with it, I’m selling it.
Okay maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. It’s not THAT bad. But I am an anti-hoarder. I can’t stand all that “stuff”–how do people let all that crap pile up? I even delight in using up the rest of the shampoo/dishwasher detergent/spice jar so that I can recycle the container and get out something new.
The kids bring home about ten worksheets and random papers a day from school. I typically go through them, save anything made in art class or that is funny or that the kids are proud of and recycle the rest (yes, we pretty much recycle everything we can so at least I’m helping the environment right?). Sometimes they see things in recycling that I didn’t hide well enough and they get back out. “Heeeeey…why did you throw away my (17th) bear picture?”
Just last week Gabe took out his papers and didn’t even hand them to me, he said, “I’ll just put these right in recycling.” Good boy, finally learning after just three short years. Is that sad? Maybe a little. But who needs all that shit? Even with all my throwing out we still have piles and piles of papers and toys and rubberbands and legos and junk all over the counters and tables at any given point in time. Julia just leaves things where they drop, and if I ask her to clean up she just shoves her trinkets into the nearest drawer. (Seriously–open any drawer if you want a good laugh.) A snippet of what’s in her desk drawer: fake flowers, lip gloss, a paper plate, stickers, a used napkin, a broken pen, and some junky festival toys.
But back to Craigslist. People will buy ANYTHING. Gabe’s old, used sheets? Yes. A junky chest freezer left in our basement when we moved? Yes. Old faded strollers? Yes. Drooled-on Baby Bjorn? Yes. Formula-stained rocking chair? Yes. The only thing I can think of that I wasn’t able to sell was the old ugly-ass 1980s chandelier light fixture that used to adorn our foyer. I can’t blame them, it was disgusting.
Not to say all this selling hasn’t backfired on me. A few years ago, in a moment of monetary panic, I listed and sold Gabe’s train table because I didn’t think he used it or would care. Unfortunately the only time the people could come pick it up was when I was alone with the kids and he was awake. He cried and screamed as “the bad people” went to our basement and carted it off right in front of him. I had hit a new low as a mother and as a human being with basic empathy. I felt so awful I turned around and purchased another one (the same, exact table) that night and had Jay go pick it up that weekend. “Surprise Gabe! Look at what arrived last night! They were just borrowing it! See, mommy doesn’t suck as much as you think!”
Lately Julia has been obsessed with having a garage sale. I keep telling her I have nothing to sell because anything we don’t use/want/need has been sold already. I can’t imagine holding on to things we don’t need long enough to necessitate having a garage sale. She is super disappointed about this. So, recently she said she didn’t want her toy kitchen anymore. She asked if we could sell THAT in a garage sale. I said that we could, but it wouldn’t be a very worthwhile garage sale and we could list it on Craigslist and make probably twice the money and buy new toys. She said, “Yes! Let’s do that!” And she hasn’t talked about a garage sale since.
This morning I was reminded of my recent (okay it was last night) spate of postings as I already have received emails about their Pottery Barn stuffed chairs. It occurred to me that even though I asked for a reminder, I still forgot to ask them if they were done with those–whoops. Hoping I can put this lady off long enough to double-check that they won’t be crying when “the bad people” come and cart off their shit. Unless I do it when they’re not home…