Finding myself in the Middle East

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stuff and Nonsense

When huricane Katrina hit, with all of its horrible destruction and devastation, the second thought that accured to me (the first one being, OMG! of course) was the weird and chilling idea that the people who were killed had been murdered by their own things.

That is to say, their own stuff flew in the air and killed them and in effect caused all of the horrors that they are still facing today.

Stuff. We have so much stuff. Furniture and pots and lipsticks and files. Food and mugs and books and linens. And as I'm packing (not very well at the moment, since I am actually BLOGGING and not packing at all, you see) I think the weirdest thing is--we are getting along fine right now. Okay, pasta for dinner is not ideal, and I never want to see another peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, but if we are okay--WHAT IN THE WORLD IS IN ALL OF THESE BOXES? I'm tempted to light the whole stack on fire and see if I even notice.

Except for the toys, I think, since Princess and Coco-pop are wandering around the apartment like two little lost kittens, looking for balls of yarn. (If kittens, ya know, in some kind of parallel-infinite-possibility universe threw tantrums and asked impossible questions, that comparison would be perfectly apt.)

When I was growing up, I had so little space to call my own that I became a tosser. If I didn't need it, into the garbage it went. I even (though I regret it now) burned (I was a kind of dramatic teenager) all 20 of my journals that I had accumulated over high school. My motto for cleaning, gleaned from the wisdom of my mother who raised 10 kids in a four bedroom house, is when it comes to tossing, "it only hurts for a second."

Outdoorsman, on the other hand, is nostalgic. He keeps things. (But Di, it's The Very First Discman that I ever bought!) It's very sweet, actually, but I think that he needs a Man Cave in the basement instead of random keter drawers filled with things that I have no idea what to do with. The problem with a Man Cave in the basement is that most apartments don't come with basements. Oh well. I think that there is some unwritten law, somewhere, that marriage is composed of two people--one who cannot sleep with the windows shut, and one who cannot sleep with the windows open. Ditto on the keeper/tosser thing, I think.

Except I think that in spirit, he is ready now, too, for a clean new start. Especially after packing 60 boxes in 4 days. Maybe I can sort of pay the mover to drop some strategically placed boxes...

NO. That would be totally wrong.


Edited to Add:

I found the rule! I found the rule! It is not unwritten after all, and is in fact written brilliantly by Ogden Nash. Here 'tis:


How wise I am to have instructed the butler to instruct the
first footman to instruct the second footman to instruct
the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered
into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and
a woman who can't sleep with the window open.
Moreover just as I am unsure of the difference between flora
and fauna and flotsam and jetsam
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one
of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate
or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the
window sill, it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all
right, it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of
the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life,
particularly if he has income and she is pattable.


Mystery Woman said...

I love the poem!

JerusalemStoned said...

I know, isn't Ogden Nash the best?

nmf #7 said...

Gosh- I love that poem. I think I need to put it on my wall to remember every day.

Anonymous said...

We miss you!

A Fan said...

Where did you go? Are you okay?

JerusalemStoned said...

I am fine! Thanks for the concern. I am just unpacking and making BBQs and being overheated and pregnant.


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