My youngest son, Mark, was up at the house earlier this week as he and I went through the painstaking task of emptying his old room. Mark moved out a few months ago and we were getting round to clearing the decks in preparation for the decorator next week, whose task it will be to transform the space from its former existence to whatever it eventually surfaces as. At the moment, it might manifest as the spare, spare room. I inhabit the existing spare room most days as that is where my computer is located on the three days in the week that I currently work from home.
Alternately, there has been mention of the room being utilised as a dressing room, which I suspect would turn out to be code for 'open the door and throw all the shoes, coats and other assembled items which presently inhabit the hall in, before swiftly closing the door'. If my wife, Karen reads this, there might be words. Whatever it turns out to be, it will at least be tidier than when populated by its previous occupants. Even if we decide to just open the door and throw stuff in, it will still be in a more organised state than before.
As a youngster, I shared a room with my two elder brothers, my two elder sisters shared the second bedroom and my parents the third. When you look back on it, there was no real space for solitary time on your own. Unlike my boys and their fully equipped, gadget-laden bedrooms, as a youngster time on your own was not even a thing that people searched out or longed for, well not in my house anyway.
My older (not oldest) brother was particularly slovenly when it came tidying up, something which I know perplexed my mother. He could, however, get away with anything such was his endearing nature – in her eyes anyway. On one occasion, he came bounding downstairs into the living room, demanding to know where his trousers were from the day before. My mother exclaimed in frustration that she had picked the said items up and put them in the wardrobe. Quick as a flash, he replied: 'Why did you do that, I had carefully hung them on the floor?'
It has been said of me that I am a hoarder, though on numerous occasions I have explained to Karen that it is not the case. It's just I find it difficult to part with things. I come from a long line of people who find it difficult to part with anything. At some point in the future, the said item or times might come in handy. It has not happened yet, but the time will come and when it does who will be the smart one then? I do not say that last bit out loud because, by then, I am making my way to the rubbish bin to deposit stuff. However, on the night in question, Mark and I did some good work and ensured the bin was full to the brim on collection day. Naturally, it was able to be fully closed in compliance with the regulations for bin collection – we are
I would go as far to say that I enjoyed the experience and felt no sense of loss as we cleared the redundant stuff. Maybe I've turned a corner and have got the hang of this letting go thing. Let's start with all those shoes and boots lying around the place – none of which belong to me.
If you would like to contribute to the Cafe, please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org