Our new crusade: Less Stuff in '09

Our friends and family keep asking me what they should get for the Critter to celebrate her birthday. Seriously, I tell them. Don't bother. Our daughter has enough Stuff to keep her busy right through puberty. We’re taking advantage of the move to slim down the Stuff as much as possible (hers and ours), before it gains spontaneous self-awareness or accrues enough mass to generate its own gravity well. Each time we’ve moved in our married lives (and it’s been a few times now), we manage to get a few more square feet, and think to ourselves “ah… finally. Enough space.” And yet, within a few months, we are full to overflowing again. Now we’re rubbing our hands in glee over the thought of a full basement and a walk-up attic that we can pack with seldom used equipment, like the sea kayaking life vest I insisted I needed (because who knows who was using that rental sea kayaking vest before you got there?) but haven’t used since the Critter was born. Or the two mountain bikes that we bought when we lived in Augusta and loved riding along the deliciously flat bike trail that runs alongside the canal, but once we got to San Francisco there were all those yucky and inconvenient hills to contend with, so really, I can’t be bothered biking this weekend. Maybe next weekend. Ask me again then.

But with more storage space, we’ve convinced ourselves that we can save things that we don’t need for our children. Because one day, you see, they’re going to go off to university, or join a cult, or work in the jute mills, or whatever semi-legitimate reason we can come up with to reclaim our own space again. And they’ll be looking for furniture. And they’ll be glad to have the side table that has that hard-to-remove-looks-kind-of- like-motor-oil-but-wait-maybe-it’s-leather-dye-from-our-first-dog’s-collar stain that we don’t want to use anymore, but has too much life in it to throw away.

Also, I have a pressure cooker with a broken lid that I can't bear to part with. Yes, I am fully aware of the illogic.


Send help.