Like many couples, my guy and I have philosophical differences. We don't have meaningful discussions about the afterlife or whether veganism will save the planet, but we do look at the world differently. If our lives were represented on a stage,my set designer would need to be more of an editor than an artist. The scene would be tastefully (of course) minimalist, no tchotchkes, no heart-warming sayings framed on the walls, no cutesy lids on the scented candles.
My husband's set could be ripped right from a performance of Lady Windermere’s Fan. There would be carpets, sculptures, and plants on pedestals. The (many) tables would be blanketed with objets d'art and the (again, many) couches awash with pillows and afghans. For one of us, less is more. For the other, more is definitely better.
It is no surprise, therefore, that he is a keeper and I am a thrower. I believe there is a fine line between hoarding and thrift. I sigh each time I go down to the basement to do the laundry and am filled with a compulsion to purge. The shelves against the wall hold such useful treasures two VCRs, a set of enormous speakers, and piles of mystery cables. There are boxes filled with yes, boxes. There is a broad assortment of dried up cans of paint. There is a huge cradle so unsafe that not one of the past two generations of children have been allowed to use it. There are also two tables, one rocker, four chairs, and several metal cabinets that are sure to come in handy one day (they've been there for sixteen years.)
I've been reduced to missions to the Goodwill that would make a secret agent proud. The most difficult part is spiriting the items up from the basement, through the house, and to my car unseen. All this subterfuge has sometimes been foiled when he glances in my trunk and asks where the broken paint rollers/length of frayed wire/box of souvenir mugs is going.
Most troublesome of all is when we're in the throes of some project that hits a rough patch and he emerges triumphant from the basement with a broken curtain rod or three-way plug that saves the day. The mystery boxes in the basement are vindicated once more, reawakening my fears of being trapped in our slowly darkening house as stacked newspapers reach to obliterate the windows.