Have a drink on me.

I have this thing about never throwing away anything useful.

And I have a very loose definition of useful.

Consequently, I have a lot of stuff.  Some of which, undoubtedly, others would classify as trash, or perhaps recyclables.  Whatever.  It’s usable, and I can’t get rid of it.  Until now.  Clearing out clutter is part of the summer’s plan for self-sufficiency.  After all, the less stuff you have to support, the easier it is to get by.  But, somehow, I can’t just donate it.  I have to at least try to make it a part of my life.  I dunno why, it makes no sense, I know, but I have this irrational fear that if I get rid of something, I’ll invariably wish I had it the next day. 

Curiously, in my case at least, this is contradictory.  I end up with so much half used crap that I can’t find what I really need and have to buy another one.  Who needs TWO drain snakes?  And how could I have possibly misplaced the first one long enough to actually go out and purchase a second one?  Those things are nasty after you’ve used them, and awkward.  It’s not like I could have tucked it in a drawer somewhere and forgotten it.  But there you go. I have two. 

And three battery chargers for my camera.

Two food processors.

Fifteen tubes of lip balm.

Are you seeing the problem here?  Lots of stuff.

I have two of these bottles in the cupboard waiting for me to use the last dregs of lotion.

This??  I was saving thise??

Duplicates, I can get rid of, I’m ok with that.  And some things I’ve already tried to incorporate, but they just don’t fit, so I can ditch those too.  I’ve already cut up old bits of clothes and cloth for rags, and I’m pretty sure the Pirate has been surreptitiously chucking out my mostly empty bottles of cream and other care products.  I know he tossed out my toothpaste tube, ‘cause I saw it in the trash.  I could have squashed out enough tooth goo from that tube to last me another month! Longer, if I didn’t put enough on the brush to actually taste it, but I let it go. The rest of my lotions and potions I am using, I swear!  And then I’m throwing the container out!  I swear this on my stack of empty deodorant tubes with just that little scraping left in the pushy bit that is PERFECTLY GOOD so why would I ever throw that away??  ….actually it is perfectly good.  Take out the pushy bits, put them in a bowl and microwave for a few seconds.  The deodorant melts and you can pour it into another tube.  Yeah, ok, I’ll do that today.

This brings me around to food.  I’m becoming one of those “if it’s on sale, buy it” people.  In the abstract, this is not a bad thing.  As long as it’s storable, or something I use, it’s not a problem. I couldn’t possibly throw away food, but I do have other mouths around.  Even the not so great choices (nasty, healthy chips) can usually be dispersed to the chickens, so I justify the risk of buying something unknown.

But what if it’s not even chickenable?  Like coffee.  Like the 50% off, already-on-sale store brand double dutch chocolate coffee.  How bad could that be?  It has ‘chocolate’ AND ‘coffee’ in the name!

Well, pretty bad.

Really, pretty bad.

As in, “now what do I do with this?” bad.

It certainly won’t go to the chickens, I can’t really cook with coffee, and I’m not sure I can manage to drink this stuff.

So I’m stuck with a half pound of vile, bitter beverage that I can neither dispose of due to personal waste-reducing morals, nor consume. I don’t know how to resolve this within my newly defined framework of life.  I’d be happy to entertain suggestions.  Come on over. We can discuss it over coffee.

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