I’ve always been a fan of getting presents. I mean, who isn’t? But lately (read: the past six months or so) I’ve just gotten really frustrated with how much crap I own. Look, my birthday is coming and I want certain things. I do, I’m not going to lie. But I don’t want anything except for the things I ask for.
Please, for the love of all that is Holy in this world, do not get me something I have not expressed a desire to own. (That dinosaur I’ve wanted since I was in the first grade totally counts, but pretty much nothing else I asked for before I was 25 is a valid gift request anymore. And anyone who buys me more crayons will probably get bludgeoned to death by my husband.)
The Destroyer and I have been looking at apartments, and we think we’ve found one that will work for us. It is right upstairs from Oddie’s boyfriend’s apartment, actually, so she’ll be downstairs often and that’s cool. It isn’t in the best neighborhood and the parking situation will be kind of cramped, but whatevs, it will be our very first apartment.
But this leaves me looking at the mountain of crap I own and wanting to pull out all of my hair. Most of the things I own and don’t want are things I’ve accumulated over more than a decade of Christmas and birthday gifts that I didn’t ask for in the first place but kept anyway because they were gifts and it’s rude to throw something like that away.
I’ve come to a realization, though. It isn’t rude to get rid of something you don’t want, not when you’ve expressed time and time again that you don’t want ANYTHING EXCEPT WHAT YOU’VE ASKED FOR. It isn’t the thought that counts, because when I get something I don’t want that will just take up unnecessary space, I shouldn’t feel obligated to keep said object(s) just because someone thought of me and felt like they should get me something. It is more rude to me, more offensive to me, to receive something I don’t want than to get nothing. It’s rude to get me something and expect me to like whatever it is you give me just because you spent money on it. I’m not a child anymore. I’m not obligated to be thankful for every single thing anyone ever buys me. Because it isn’t about getting things anymore. It hasn’t been about getting things since I was a child. It’s just rude to buy something for someone and expect them to like it and keep it when they haven’t expressed any interest in it whatsoever.
Seriously, get me nothing instead if you’re just buying me something for the sake of having bought me something. I understand, people in my life, that my birthday is a momentous occasion to be celebrated by all. I know and accept this, and I welcome all of the Happy Birthday exclamations I will be receiving in a little over two months time. But unless I’ve said “I want this thing” or “I really wish I owned that thing”, please please please please please don’t buy me something that you’ve ‘found’ ‘for me’. Because I don’t want it. I 100% don’t want it.
I’m going to be spending a lot of time going through the things I currently own and throwing shit away. (Sorry about the potty mouth, Padu.) I’m just going to do it. I will keep my photo albums and scrap books and that Chemistry notebook from when I was in 11th grade (dude, I totes loved Chemistry class) because they’re things that have meaning to me.
That crazy board game no one ever heard of before you produced it out of some obscure yard sale for my 19th birthday? That hideous shirt you picked out last year because YOU would wear it? Those knickknacks I never liked and packed away instead of thew away because I didn’t want to offend someone? Yeah, all that shit and more is getting thrown out.
This in no way means that I don’t love and appreciate my friends and family. It just means that I don’t want to have a lot of stuff. I don’t want to tote around so much packed baggage when my husband and I are going to be accumulating and creating more important things.
I’ve moved so many times in my adult life. I moved to South Carolina, and then I moved back to RI. I moved out of my childhood home and in with S and John, and then I moved to Mississippi. Then I moved back to RI from Mississippi. I’m about to move again, this time into our very-first-grown-up-on-our-own apartment. There are boxes I’ve been taking with me on every move, boxes that never got unpacked. Ever. I need to go through these things, because if something has been in a box for the past ten years then I probably don’t need it!
That’s my chore for today: Start exploring the years of life I’ve been dragging from place to place, and begin throwing things away. I finally began the after Christmas purge on Sunday after work (don’t judge). I have a sneaking suspicion that once I clear out the things I don’t want in my life it will make me feel lighter, more buoyant, like when I empty my wallet and purse of receipts and why-on-God’s-green-Earth-do-I-have-so-much-shit-in-here, I feel like I’ve just sprouted wings and can do so much more than I ever did before.