It began as a typical Friday afternoon, working at home on my books, breaking every so often for a workout, a stretch, some cleaning, or a meal. I finished lunch but the TV was still on, and when I happened to glance at it, notice of a tornado warning trailed at the bottom of the screen—in effect until ten p.m.
I always get nervous about these things. We’ve had them, but they are so rare here in New York that I still associate tornadoes with Kansas and Oz and okay maybe Texas.
My son, Jesse, would be on his way over soon, so I went on a detail-seeking mission, like what time exactly might this event occur and the exact percentage of its likelihood. The internet said it was a watch, not a warning. Still, I wanted to know how fast it could change from watch to warning. I was obsessed.
Once Jesse arrived, things just about returned to normal. I was making a honey mustard/barbecue chicken stir fry (always so delicious over couscous.) The place was lamp-lit with the a/c on, nice and cozy, and I was listening to the rain. Then, in my still “kind of nervous” rushing around, I managed to drop half a box of the couscous all over the kitchen floor.
I had another box—good thing. (I’m so prepared.)
But we have this thing about bugs. Jesse always had a slight phobia when it came to insects or rodents. As for me, well I just don’t want to see them crawling or watch them die. My place has been a pest-free zone. Seriously, I have not seen a bug since I moved in here two years ago. Jesse had always been appalled at the notion that they could casually stroll in like a guest, and I’d be all like oh, damn, the thing has to suffer a horrible death now. I can’t have that.
So I had to get every single morsel of that couscous off the floor because bugs. I thought it would be a quick vacuum, and that would do the trick, but it managed to get under the oven, so we had to move that. Still not a huge deal, but my son has this way of catastrophizing that is right on par with my anxiety. Every time I thought I had finished, he’d be like, no there’s a truckload more under there or a ton more under that thing. I was arguing there wasn’t even a truckload or a ton in the box to begin with! A lot of it did manage to get wedged under the cabinet on both sides, though, so I had to lay down and reach under with utensils and paper towels until every trace of it was gone. Meanwhile, Jesse managed to get a paper towel sucked up into the vacuum and had to take the whole thing apart to get it out. We laughed, and I cautioned him about getting the fork sucked up and confiscated it so that couldn’t happen.
This unanticipated ordeal took about an hour, but it got done, and soon after, dinner was on the table, which looked a lot like this:
Despite everything, it came out great, and after that, we sat down to binge watch “How I Met Your Mother.” I bought that whole series along with “Big Bang Theory,” because I love funny stuff, and laughter is everything.
So with the disk loading up now, my son turns to me with this really serious look on his face and says, “So now a tornado is coming to finish us off?”
I laughed for ten minutes.
Yes, now that we survived the zombie apocalypse, Armageddon and all—
And there was no tornado, but clearly, panicking and catastrophizing never really does any good.
© Copyright July 1, 2016 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission.
Wizard of Oz 1939 photo by Insomnia Cured Here
Chicken photo by jeffreyw
And here is his recipe
This is the recipe I used except I add jalapenos.
Well, I am moving.
Of course, this comes with high hope and unsettling realizations.
I can take a little credit for keeping everything (all my clutter) neat and clean and for giving things away when I could sell them. That is right to do if you can do it; therefore, on second thought, no brownie points for this consideration. On this matter, I am serious, but going through cabinets, drawers, closets and shelves, I had to see some humor amid the horror.
Like why are there three jugs of the same laundry detergent and three tubes of aluminum foil and two things of carpet deodorizer or whatever the hell? Did I not bother to check when I needed these things? Yes, we get busy, but that’s nuts.
I can’t count the number of books, yet they moved with me again and again, boxes full of books, and I offer no apologies about hoarding literature. I will make one adjustment. I will give away the bad books. Yes, there are bad books, much as I hate to admit it.
I can certainly throw away those books about things I wanted to do for five minutes like “Become a Personal Trainer” and “The Dumpling Cookbook.” I don’t know when I would have found time for personal training, and by the time you find all the ingredients needed for some of those dumpling recipes, yeah, no…
In my desk, I found pay stubs going back for eight years. Why? Who is going to ask me for my pay stubs from eight years ago? Nobody, that’s who… I will vow to keep a year of stubs and no more.
In the drawers, I rummaged through tops, tops, and more tops. I am talking to myself saying, oh, hey, I forgot I had this top; this is so cute. How much of a hit could it have been, really? I never missed it.
It shouldn’t matter that clothes still fit after twenty or thirty years, and my logic tells me, for that reason, I should keep it. If this is the rule, I get to keep them all.
I have a cashmere coat my mom gave me in 1992. It was hers.Who knows how long she had it, but she kept everything in great condition. It reminds me of her. How do I part with that? I can’t.
The top shelf of my closet was hilarious, even to me. I had cowboy boots, some weird white knee boots, thigh-high boots from the 90s I may have worn once or twice. I had Harley Davidson biker boots from another 90s phase, and boots I never wore that hurt when I tried them on because they obviously didn’t fit…ever. I tossed all of them in the good-bye pile along with the cowboy hats that went with the boots. I counted four cowboy hats, going back to the 80s. I know I was a fan of the TV show Dallas once, but I am a New Yorker. I doubt I’ll ever be required to don the whole cowboy get-up just to visit a ranch.
I found a bunch of hats I never wore and likely would never wear, like this pink baseball cap that somehow reminds me of Britney Spears. I remember using it for a photo once. Other than that, I have no idea how it got in my closet.
There were sweater dresses. You can wear sweater dresses and jerseys with a tiny hole for your head when you’re sixteen or twenty-two because you’re not suddenly hot out of the blue… and then cold again ten minutes later.
I have shoes, shoes, and more shoes though most of them just sit there in the dark. I wear my favorite shoes and boots all the time, and that’s that. They are comfortable. I no longer see a reason to feel uncomfortable ever. As much as I love three and four inch heels, I am tall, so they serve no purpose for me.
It was liberating to part with sacks of stuff. I was almost giddy.
My son, at a young age, told me, “When you have too much stuff, mom, you get rid of some stuff. You don’t just go out and buy more storage (dressers) for the stuff.”
You have probably seen this George Carlin video before, but if you haven’t, you must. I’ve watched it many times. He sure had me pegged.
Never fear. I am changing my ways…
My sister, Denise, recommended minimalist.com to me along with their Facebook page.
While I see the humor in this, I also find it sad.
I realize more and more, how unimportant all this “stuff” is, and while some habits are hard to break, it weighs heavily on my conscience. We take much for granted and become accustomed to a way of life that is far out of reach for many. It can put us out of touch. I have more than enough “stuff” while some don’t even get what they need.
Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to my fresh start in another place on my journey. See you there.
Have a great weekend!
© Copyright January 21, 2015 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission.