With all this time I've spent cleaning in the past week, I've come across some items that let's just say I was fairly certain were destined for the trash heap. No questions asked.
Let's be honest: when you are cleaning, sentimentality needs to take a back seat. Most of us should admit the following: we have too much stuff. For those of you who don't, I want to rub up against your leg and purr. But many of you, I'm guessing, live in domiciles that are stuffed to the gills with, well… stuff. And much of that stuff you just don't need.
I like to attack areas in my home with a straightforward conquer and destroy mindset. If it hasn't been worn in a few years, gone! If it's falling apart and in danger of causing bodily harm, gone! If it doesn't fit, gone! If it's ugly, gone! If we will never use it in a million years, gone! If it will make people wonder whether or not we were on drugs when we bought it, gone!
Gone can be one of two places: the Goodwill, or the Good Garbage Out in My Alley. Take your pick. Doesn't really matter to me.
So as I'm cleaning out the front entry closet last week, I came across this old pair of Dan's shoes, circa I have absolutely NO idea from what era they came. I don't even know if I've ever seen them on his feet. What I do know is that they've been in that closet for 14 years. They just keep getting shuffled back into the mix somehow, while every other shoe has managed to either be tossed or given away.
Why? Because they say "Rockport." That's my guess. Good brand of shoe, don'tcha know? Nevermind the fact that one would have to have their foot surgically flattened to fit comfortably in the right shoe. Nevermind that they could be used as props in a theater piece called, "The Hobo's Not-So Magical Shoes." Nevermind that they haven't been worn in 14 BLOODY YEARS.
So here's what happened: I had a giant bag of trash going, and I grabbed these relics, tossed 'em in, and even said aloud, "If he still wants these, I'm going to have to move out." I've made the mistake, to Dan's credit, of "recycling" things that he wasn't ready to part with. I've made amends for those transgressions over the years. But these? I mean really. COME on. They're outta here.
Then I shared the story with some friends via email, LOL-ing about the old shoes, explaining how I was probably going to get in trouble for tossing them, but "wasn't it a KILLER shot of shoes taken with my new camera?" I just needed a group of my peers to give me a little bit of consensus and say, "Of COURSE you would throw those away." Duh!
Just as I hit "send" on that email, it happened. The long, cold shadow of What-the-Hell-Are-You-Thinking-Woman? crept over me, causing the sudden urge to run downstairs, pull the shoes OUT of the bag, and put them back, just where I had found them. What had been a bold and confident move just minutes earlier, had turned into a "what if this is one of those bad "recycling" decisions and he's gonna be pissed" sorts of feelings.
So I did it. I dug through to the bottom of the bag, pulled them out, and placed them back into the closet, the only sad pair of misshapen hobo boots in a sea of mismatched vacuum attachments and scarves.
When Dan got home from work I told him the entire story of throwing away the shoes, bragging about it to friends, losing all my confidence, and then digging them back out.
Dear God, it is a good thing he's so damned cute.