One man’s trash

Scott was gone today and I had to find something important and time-critical.  It needed to go out in tomorrow’s mail.  Actually, it probably needed to go out in day-before-yesterday’s mail, but I couldn’t reach Scott to ask him where this specific slip of paper was located, so I did the unthinkable.  Of course, no self-respecting beaver would ever have the audacity to go through (and re-arrange!) someone else’s desk, because no self-respecting beaver would ever want someone else to do that to his or her desk.  I, however, violated my convictions and did that very thing.

I dug, sorted, shifted, moved, and completely cleared and re-arranged the four surfaces where Scott’s most important wage-earning, ministerial, and financial management activities occur.  And in all that flurry of paper re-location, I did not find the slip I was seeking.

My next plan was to attack his upper file drawer.  Scott and I have differing filing systems.  He has a filing system that would never work for me, and I have no filing system at all!  (But we’re still happily married.)  Besides his system making no logical sense to me, there was the squeeze factor.  This means that there is simply no way to extricate any given file from his drawer, because said extrication requires one to be able to insert at least two digits into the drawer in front of and behind the desired file.  In the case of the drawer I was invading, this is not possible.  My fingers are too fat.

There is a construction company on the far side of the defunct Mexican restaurant and gas station, and I briefly considered renting a crane that could reach in through the office window and utilize two thin pincers to grasp and retrieve the desired file.  However, I thought that would be too costly, so I resorted to the good ‘ole boy “grunt and pull” technique.  This involves shoving one’s (ahem) middle finger as far down behind the given file as possible, and grunting while wiggling the finger back and forth in an effort to separate the desired file from his closest friends.

Doing several (but less than 10) reps of this maneuver did, yea and verily, bring the file forth, and buried deep within, I did find the elusive and greatly-desired slip of paper, which is now waiting patiently in the out-going mail container.  Ahhh!

This whole endeavor – with its associated frustrations – came right on the heels of a visit with my folks, during which one of the goals was for Mom and me to sort through a lot of sundry stuff, so that I could give my opinion on which items of theirs I might prefer to inherit at some point in the future.  This is NOT an easy task to accomplish, either practically or emotionally.

We did go through quite a number of boxes, and I did note several things that would be meaningful, useful, and/or precious for me to own in the future.  But I also came home with a very clear determination to GO THROUGH MY STUFF and get rid of a lot of it.

Of course, looking at Mom’s stuff, it was easy for me to see what should be discarded.  And going through Scott’s desk, it was obvious to me that about 16 pounds of paper should be thrown away without his ever even looking at them.  I did consider doing that, but I decided it was a lot like church.

You know how it is:  you go to church and you hear a sermon that is TOTALLY AWESOME and you know that your friend So-And-So (SAS) DESPERATELY needed to hear it – because it was PERFECT for her, and just EXACTLY what she’s going through, and oh, could you please request a CD of that and send it to her because she wasn’t there and she missed it. . . when the truth is that the sermon really was great, but if you’d just apply it to your own life, that would probably be at least as important as giving a copy of it to SAS.

So. . . I decided to leave Scott’s desk alone (except that all the stuff is now in a few stacks that are thick, instead of spread out in one massive – but thinner – layer all over the surfaces), and I decided to let Mom deal with her own stuff in the way that works well for her, and I. . .  Well, I will focus on MY stuff, of which there is plenty to attack, stack, sort, re-arrange, and even (gasp!) discard.

And maybe when I stop writing about it, I will have time to do something about it!


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