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Billy Joel was wrong...if it's old junk, it's not still rock n roll

Kelly and I frequently discuss one of the pitfalls of relationships being the wrong assumption that your partner will be the same person today they were yesterday. Sometimes we share stories of our former selves and laugh because we have nothing in common with them.

Now, I cannot say that everything I cleaned in Ohio had value at one point. Some of it, frankly, was just junk. A drawer was full and it didn't look useful enough to go on a moving truck so it got stashed in a box. But I'm going to say a significant percentage of my belongings at one point seemed useful enough to pack away for the distant future.

Funny thing is the future is here and I see little use for it. Dumpster filled.

Part of it is that Kelly has done a wonderful job--our crowded, small vintage condo in an urban area adding as well--convincing me that keeping the memory is different from keeping the souvenir. If you're not actively enjoying whatever it is you've kept then why keep it at all?

Another part, I suppose, is not knowing who you'll turn into. 20 years into the past you're talking about potentials and hypotheticals. Now, you're dealing with reality. And reality is that you don't need the program from your freshman year band concert or a magic set you thought maybe you'd give to your kids.

Not only is my child completely different from me and likely to have completely different interests, but even if he/she did want a magic set I'm not sure I'd want them playing with a couple-decades old toy with missing pieces, questionable product recall history, or the like. My mom has a drop-side crib in her storage locker that I'm trying to explain nobody wants or can use anymore. It's a museum piece, maybe. But you'd be crazy to put a baby in it. She feels like it's wasteful to throw it away.

And I did feel that urge. The environmentalist in me was appalled at what we sent to a landfill. Though we did salvage quite a bit for resale or donation. But nobody wants my college chemistry notebook. Nobody.

I'm not sure my mom feels free and refreshed. Now that my junk is gone, it perhaps puts the pressure on her to sort through her own stuff.

But, at least for me, I found it quite liberating.

If my kids ever ask why I threw away my old bowling pin trophy from middle school, I'll remind them that it's the same reason they don't see those embarrassing photos of them naked in the bathtub.

There are some things that deserve to be left in the past.