September 15, 2016


Partly because of the “Ack! I’m mortal! If I die, people will come into my house!” realization that comes with cancer, partly because I’m no longer the proverbial spring chicken, partly because—although I don’t subscribe to the Gratitude way of being—I want to better appreciate the unbroken, unchipped, and unstained things I do have rather than mindlessly buy more, I’ve entered a phase where I get more satisfaction out of deep-sixing crap than acquiring it. I’m not taking it to what I consider the emotionally frigid Marie Kondo/KonMari extreme; I’m more in the “Do you really need six colanders, a set of kitchen knives that bend when you use them, eight moth-eaten t-shirts, and an 80's dress with big shoulder pads?” camp. With the collateral result that lately I’ve been avoiding buying anything that smacks of “tchotchke.” However…

Many years ago, the ex- bought a new overstuffed armchair. I made the mistake of sitting in it the “wrong” way: sideways, my back against one armrest, my legs dangling over the other. There was much and immediate scolding, finger waving, clutching of pearls, and insistence that the chair was now going to crumble into dust at our feet. (It didn’t.) Fast forward a few years: I acquire a new overstuffed armchair. From that day forward, I make it a firm policy that any friend who comes to the house for the first time has to spend at least a little while sitting sideways in the armchair. (The armchair has acquired quite a bit of good juju that way, not to mention the great satisfaction I've acquired out of giving the ex- the virtual finger.)

Further, friends, family, and Dear Readers who know me to any extent know that I go a little mad around books, so much so that, a few years ago, I went to our local library sale—which is so vast it takes up an entire warehouse—and came home with 70 books. Seventy. Seven followed by a zero. (Also one of the reasons I’m simplifying. While most of my life I subscribed to my mother’s theory that books are somehow hallowed, over the years that feeling has greatly diminished. True, I have the one Bookshelf of Sacrosanct Books but the other mumblemumblehundred books started to feel simply burdensome and were trundled back to the library for another go-round.)

Lastly, there are these two goofballs, the loves of my life:


To put together all these fragmented pieces—tchotchkes, overstuffed chairs, a neurotic ex-, books, and cats—I present a recent acquisition which powered right through my new “no tchotchke” firewall:


I know, right?!

Plus, every time I look at it, another virtual finger goes wafting my ex-‘s way.

Posted by Ryan at September 15, 2016 02:57 PM

Borrowing a question from Mari Kondo, does it bring you joy? YES !!

Posted by: Diana on September 15, 2016 04:45 PM


Posted by: Big Sister on September 15, 2016 05:00 PM

One item that coveys three ideas, I call that compact and efficient. Good job!

Posted by: Patience on September 15, 2016 07:07 PM

That's just perfect! Of course you had to!

Posted by: ccr in MA on September 16, 2016 04:55 AM

That's just awesome.

Posted by: Caroline on September 16, 2016 05:35 AM

What a hoot!!!! Good chuckle with this one. So apropos.....

Posted by: DeEtta Vincent on September 16, 2016 08:15 AM

LOL I would have bought this for all of those reasons and for the fact it would make me chuckle every day. Great to hear your voice again today.

Posted by: anj on September 16, 2016 11:57 AM

Oh yes. Any tchotchke that makes you smile every time you look at it, let alone dust it, is a keeper.

Posted by: carlarey on September 17, 2016 04:21 AM


Posted by: kmkat on September 18, 2016 10:19 AM

Perfectly perfect in every way.

Posted by: Kimberly Fawn on September 18, 2016 08:20 PM

Love it, love it, love it!

Posted by: janna on September 21, 2016 06:01 PM

Dear Cuz: (sorry I'm late to read...) Guess what I'm doing: de-crappifying. This means: getting rid of 100 or so frogs, given to me over the last 45-60 years, saving a few precious ones out. Today, I attacked the book shelf WITH your mother's, our grandmother's and MY mother-the-English-Major's voices gasping and scolding. But we're getting the house ready for selling and enough is enough. Copper cook ware from my great grandmother anyone?

Posted by: cuz Lu on September 23, 2016 01:08 PM
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