The Reckoning Week 51: The Joy of Offloading

March 4th, 2021

Is it PMS or is it COVID?

Is it a mild head cold or is it COVID? 

Is it winter or is it COVID? 

Is it a predictable malaise born from the intense stress of the last 12 months of living through this god-forsaken time — or is it COVID? 

Happy pandemic anniversary you guys. Exactly which anniversary are we celebrating here? In my case, the anniversary of the date when my kids’ school shut down “for three weeks,” but then a bunch of assholes refused to stay home or wear masks, and a president exhibited zero leadership, so COVID dragged out into a long-term pandemic, and here we are. 

Forgive me for feeling feisty, but a year of extreme stress, anxiety, and angst, it feels like the right mood for right now.

Let’s talk about something else.

I belong to a local chapter of the Buy Nothing Group, a community that gifts and receives. It’ s become a small obsession of mine, giving stuff away. I’ve given away nice boots that just don’t fit me quite right, an iPad keyboard I never used, kids stuff we’ve grown out of, books, and much, much more. 

Since we are looking at moving in a few months, I’m very interested in lightening my load. With every item I drop off at its new owner’s home, I feel lighter — without the landfill shame. It’s a win for everyone. 

In every relationship, is there one tosser and one hoarder? 

I am the tosser. I love throwing stuff out. It gives me actual glee. 

To be fair, my husband is far from a hoarder. He’s not really materialistic, rarely buys himself stuff, and likes to live in a more spartan way than I do. But he also does not love throwing things out. 

Many a time he has shown me a pile of old socks and asked, can you use these for a craft project? He recently went through his nursing scrubs and put aside the old shredded ones “for art smocks.” Which is fine, but we already have several sets of bespoke art smocks in our repertoire.

And recently, when I tried to give away a robe I never wear on the Buy Nothing Group, he decided he would keep it and throw out his instead. His robe, which he also doesn’t ever wear, is an old, faded, green corduroy number that I’m actually pretty fond of. But one person cannot have two robes. That’s a rule.

He took the green robe off its hook and laid it over the upstairs stair gate. It stayed there for a few days. Next in its alleged eventual journey to the trash, he moved it down to the lower stair railing. A few days later, it migrated to the bench in our breezeway. I stayed out of it. I figured eventually this migration path would take it to the trash cans in the garage.

But unfortunately, we experienced a setback when the breezeway floor got really muddy and the robe was the nearest thing with which to mop it up. Now it’s back in the laundry. Ah well. 

Mud season may be thwarting my plans to lighten our collective load, but I still managed to give away a size 2 dress that I can’t believe once fit me, a backpack, and one of Jon’s old ski coats this week to people in my community.

Highly recommend joining a Buy Nothing Group near you for cheap pandemic thrills!

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What I’m reading:

Why Your Brain Feels Broken on the New York Times

THE UX ON THIS SMALL CHILD IS TERRIBLE on McSweeneys

OKAY, LET ME JUST SHARE MY SCREEN… AH, NOPE. OKAY, YOU’RE LOOKING AT MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT NOW. THAT IS NOT GOOD. on McSweeneys

People Share #TheMoment They Realized The Pandemic Was Changing Life As They Knew It on NPR

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

What I’m watching:

Those creepy-ass Tom Cruise deep fake videos

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