Last week I went to visit my parents who are in the process of trying to sell their house. Despite not having made the sale yet, they’ve still decided that now is an excellent time to clear the house and garage of all that old junk that’s accumulated over the years. And by “old junk” I mean all the stuff from my childhood that didn’t make it to the charity shop/jumble sale/tip the last time that they moved house. My mother requested that I return home to “sort through” the stuff that’s still left so I can decide what I want to keep.
After the trip down memory lane where we reminisced about how I used to be a quiet, happy child (probably because I slept all the time) the moment arrived where came to cut the wheat from the chaff, the things worth keeping from the things I keep because I can’t bear to get rid of them. I’m not too good at being ruthless when it comes to spring cleaning. I’m a bit of a hoarder. I’m a lot of a hoarder. I hold onto everything because I feel guilty for singling items out and deeming them not worth having anymore. I hold onto everything else because I’m sure I’ll probably need it some day, and as yet, that day hasn’t come and in reality I’ll only ever remember I have it the next time we decide to spring clean, and throw a bunch of stuff away.
The process ultimately resulted in me returning from their four bedroomed house (with garage and loft space) to our small flat (with absolutely no storage space to speak of aside from a makeshift, glued together MDF cupboard, currently being used as a place to hang my clothes because I don’t have a wardrobe) accompanied by all the stuff I couldn’t bear to give away:
A Pikachu backpack bought in a French supermarket
Twenty-eight soft toys, the larger ones I named as a child (all of which I can still remember aside from that bear at the back. I don’t know who that is or where they came from).
The world’s ugliest prom dress (I was a bit of goth back in high school).
And last but not least, the roller blades I got for my thirteenth birthday, plastic wheels and all.
Take note of the slippery laminate flooring that covers every inch of floor space in our flat. If you were thinking it would be a really great idea to try these roller blades on to see if they still fit (they do) and go for a little skate around the flat you would be wrong. I discovered this the hard way when I skidded over in the hall, and tried to grab onto a totally flat wall to save myself and completely failed to stop myself from falling onto my arse and in trying to grab the wall, also sprained my arm nearly pulling it completely out of the socket.
The sound of the almighty crash as I clattered to the floor resonated through the hall and into the living room where the novelist was forced to throw aside the selection of Nikolay Gogol short stories he was reading to find a pile of tangled limbs and plastic skates that once resembled his girlfriend yelping outside the bedroom doorway.
Having scraped me off the floor and managed to get my arm back into its socket, we removed the offending roller blades and I agreed I wouldn’t attempt to skate around the flat ever again.
Aside from sustaining an injury, and constantly feeling like my right shoulder is a lot closer to my ear than it usually is, I still have no idea what I’m going to do with all this stuff. Obviously, the Game Gear’s a keeper, seeing as I’m already addicted to Columns again – even though it’s not that good a game, even though it kind of rips of Tetris, and it’s relatively easy and not very fun and it’s the game that just came free with the Game Gear and the music gets stuck in my head and I’ve started hearing it in my dreams…
Anyway, Columns aside, I’ve no idea what to do with the rest of the stuff. I guess I could sell the dress to some unsuspecting emo kid on ebay (emobay?) and the Pikachu backpack is incredibly cute but useless, and I don’t have the heart to give away my twenty-eight soft toys, I mean, they have names. But even so, I don’t have room for them, and it does seem a bit weird to own an abundance of named soft toys when you’re a twenty-something aspiring novelist/serious person.
Thanks parents. You’ve completely sent me into an ethical turmoil… If an ethical turmoil involves deciding whether to keep your childhood memories or sell them on ebay… *checks Wikipedia*.