Come for a visit, I swear I won’t pee on you! (Can’t make any promises about my neighbors, though.)

So, you know how most households have a junk drawer?  Well, this household has a junk-guest bedroom/office; it’s basically a 10’ X 10’ space full of random crap PLUS two years worth of items that had just been set there for a second.  Stuff that then decided to pop itself some popcorn, pull up a chair, kick up its feet, and hunker down to watch all the back episodes of Friday Night Lights.  Whenever we host a dinner party, we just gather up all the unsightly crap from the front rooms of the house (ie: stacks of unopened mail, The Brit’s laptop bag, any coats we couldn’t be bothered to hang up), throw it in a corner of that room, and close the door.  All gone!  Kick ball change aaaand jazz hands!!  Heaven forbid anyone actually spend the night; in that case we send our guests in with a clean set of sheets, a description of what the queen-sized guest bed looked like when it was last spotted, and fingers crossed for good luck.

Apparently, this propensity for stacking and storing is not a new habit.  We used to do it at the house we lived in before this one, such that, when it came time to move, we had piles of crap sitting around and our only recourse was to put those piles, as is, into boxes and move them with us.  THOSE boxes, still unpacked, were in the guest bedroom/office/junk-room closet.  Which made that whole room kind of like a Russian nesting doll of crap…a matryoshka of random items, if you will.  One look inside that room and any sane person would have thought we lived by the old adage:  Never get involved in a land war in Asia, never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never throw anything away.  I mean, shit, there might be something important in there and, furthermore, you never know when you’re going to need to cross-reference that scrapbook from 1992 (mine).  Or refer to that paystub from 2003 (mine).  Or…[wait for it]…zone out to the cassette-tape of Tim Wheater’s flute stylings (The Brit’s).

I walked in there the other day to mine for missing dishes and came to the cold, hard realization that we were one stuffed animal collection away from becoming the subject of a Dateline special on hoarders.  And since I haven’t started work yet, I made it my next home improvement project.  Little did I know it would lead to an archeological dig of mythical proportions…the sheer volume of things uncovered was appalling and probably met the criteria for consideration in the Guinness World Record.  Everything from the W-2 forms from my waitressing job in college to just about every patient list I ever printed out in my seven years of residency was in there, all mixed in with random and highly regrettable photographic evidence of some of the more ill-advised fashion decisions of my past.  So, there was a considerable need for some paper shredding is what I’m saying.

I shredded like a banshee, or at least how I imagine a banshee would if she were to engage in such a mundane task.  Before I knew it, I’d shredded my way into shallow papery grave.  Things started to go dark and quiet…peaceful; just like they all say it does right before the end.  But then I was overcome with the will to live (in other words, I got hungry) and clawed myself out by following the light from the window and the smell of carnitas from the taqueria behind our house.  After a snack break, I crammed all the paper shreddings into 5 full sized garbage bags and stacked them in the hallway for later composting.

After the paper was dealt with, I redirected my attention to purging the room of items that we were never likely to use but that someone else might enjoy.  Knick knacks, picture frames, clothes, movie posters, etc, etc, etc.

Now, I live in the kind of neighborhood where setting things outside the front door automatically means that it’s free to take.  True story:  The Brit and I were unloading stuff we’d bought from Costco one day and we’d used a huge package of toilet paper we’d just purchased to prop the front gate open to make the task easier.  We came outside to unload some more stuff from the trunk of the car to find a guy eyeing the toilet paper like it was a filet mignon in lobster sauce over a bed of sautéed spinach.  He bent down, presumably  to pick it up, when The Brit said, “uh…that’s ours.”   He looked at The Brit and said, cynically,  “I don’t believe you.”   A few more words were exchanged, a receipt (proof!) was brandished, and the gentleman was sent on his way.  We should have given him a roll for the road; he looked like he could use a quilted, double-plied wipe or two.

Anyway, I also live in the kind of neighborhood where every corner is The People’s Urinal.  So, I figured I’d set all of our extra, unneeded crap outside our front gate and it would either get peed on or taken.  Or both.  Sure enough, within minutes, the contents of the cardboard box I’d set out were as stripped as a carcass left out on the salty pans of Namibia.

I love my neighborhood.   Just think:  right about now, someone, somewhere in my barrio is rocking out to Tim Wheater while someone else is hanging up a urine-soaked Chicago movie poster on their wall.  And I can finally see my guest bedroom floor!  Win win!!


2 Responses to “Come for a visit, I swear I won’t pee on you! (Can’t make any promises about my neighbors, though.)”

  1. 1 ailsa September 15, 2010 at 2:32 am

    We have a house with a basement and a garage….far too much space to put things you just can’t live without.

  2. 2 mamochka-papochka February 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    But imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and videos,
    this website could certainly be one of the very best in its niche.
    Amazing blog!

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The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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