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But Does It Spark Joy?

By this time, and hell, who the fuck knows who is reading this… Is the human race still a thing, or are you decoding this on some non-carbon based life form planet somewhere unfathomable lightyears away?… Who the fuck knows?

By this time, you probably are familiar with Marie Kondo, the Japanese decluttering/organizational skill development lady. I don’t know what her title is. She hasn’t given me a business card. She actually does make some decent sense, even if it is also kinda silly. I generally don’t have a problem giving stuff the heave ho, but sometimes… you know, sometimes you sit there and you’re kind of like, “Jeez, I never wore this and there is nothing wrong with it. I just… never have.” Or… “This is stupid and I got it at this place and even though it is busted and just an eyesore, I love it” or “Jeez, this is stupid, I hate it, and I will probably never use it except if we are invaded by llamas who have opposable thumbs and are wearing jet packs during a storm that features thundersnow, then this would probably be detrimental to survival…” (with the next part of that phrase being, “so I had better hold on to this.”)  She asks the question, which I find both cringey and also really helpful and cute and probably more spot on to what she means when said in Japanese, “Does this spark joy?” If yes, great. If, like me, you realize it’s less joy and more some weird sense of loyalty or obligation to… whatever… you thank the item for its service and either donate it, or intend to donate it and then realize you are never going to be able to find a drop off for stuff and you chuck it.

We did not quite enough of that when we moved. In fact, I had a couple of moving boxes filled with stuff labeled “Stuff [or Things] that we have never used and I don’t know why the hell we’re moving it.” We also hired professional movers, and they were fucking thrilled with that labeling, “So where do we put the boxes of shit you didn’t know why you bothered with in the first place again?” This house is a bit smaller than our old one. It’s older, has smaller closets, and fewer bedrooms, and a smaller, not so good for anything that can’t easily be aired out basement (though it is dry, so that’s good). And we were using three bedrooms for storage at the old place, so yeah.

But at least it is just the two of us and the pugs in a smallish house. It forces us to be creative about how shit goes together, and what we need, and where we should keep it. But here’s the thing: we are two people, but all the other houses here have anywhere between one to five residents, and they are the same size house. So let’s say when the pandemic started and toilet paper was… for whatever motherfucking reason… a scarce item fetching millions of dollars off ebay, when some lady on the next street with slightly larger houses pulled her Range Rover up as I was walking past and literally couldn’t see me in her review because the goddamn thing was packed with toilet paper, I thought, “Lady, that’s wicked fucking inconsiderate. I could not fit a Range Rover worth of toilet paper in the house if I wanted to.”

And god help us if we needed to. I mean, we have two butts. Five butts if you include pugs, but they’ll wipe their asses on anything. We also tend to be people who buy enough toilet paper in advance. Not too much, just enough. You don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants with that stuff on a good day. So we were never really in danger of running out, given the state of things with supply on hand and number of butts and the recent addition of a toilet seat bidet. But the lady down the street has two-preteen grandsons and a college age daughter at home with her, and that’s a… lot of butt, with the same amount of room to store paper. So she was, as she put it, in a rough spot because “if I come across it, I want to scoop up as much as I can because sometimes I can’t find any, but honestly, where are we going to put any extra?”

So aside from the stupid of it all, that kind of made me angry at the Range Rover lady, because yeah. Unless she was redistributing it to her family members elsewhere. It was just a dumb thing to have a run on (ha!) and it truly did fuck over people who didn’t have the options to travel around trying to find it or… even if they did… had to hope the sane amounts they bought and were still just about able to store would still be available the next time they needed to pick some up. And now there’s a lot of people finding that the paper and the hand sanitizer does not spark joy and everywhere is like, “Hey, no returns on that pallet of bleach wipes, assholes. Shouldn’t have bought 900 jars if you weren’t going to use them.”

Also, underbed storage in those little zip tote cases is the fucking bomb, my friends. Those zip totes? Those fuckers spark joy.