I have a rule in my house. For my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas or even one of those “I love you because you are you,” days, the present has to meet the prerequisite requirements to come through the front door.
The rule is that if I can’t eat it up, use it up or wear it out in one year, then shop some more. I made the rule a few years ago after I spent twelve hours dusting all the gee-gaws in the living room.
How could I throw away that porcelain hummingbird Great Aunt Molly bought at her neighbor’s garage sale? Or the picture frame with hot pink roses and bull frog green leaves that she came hauling in once when she found a ninety percent off sale at Hobby Lobby? Then there was the glow in the dark floral arrangements and the two candy dishes. They all had to be on display or else she’d throw a pure old southern hissy.
And they had to be dust free because Aunt Molly has a hot line straight to heaven and believe me, there will be no open gates for unappreciative or lazy women who do not keep things dusted.
Then Aunt Molly went to live with her granddaughter in
bless that woman’s heart. I loaded up all those priceless things and took them
to the donation center that helps provide care for dogs and cats. They took one
look at the items and ushered me right back out the door with the boxes still
full. Evidently that place called all the other donation places because I got a
strong smell of garlic in one place when I walked inside the door and the other
man met me and made the sign of a cross with his arms. Canada
Finally, I carefully wrapped it all in half a dozen black garbage bags and took it to the dump.
And the rule went into effect right then and there and it worked.
Then a few weeks later my daughter found this cute little pewter candle snuffer. It’s shaped like a swoosh with a star landing on a cloud. She told me she realized she was breaking the rules but it was so small and it reminded her of one of my older books, A Falling Star. It was a tiny little thing that none of the other relatives would even notice up there on the shelf in the living room.
But that little tiny falling star chunk of pewter created a big problem. I’d moved a picture to place it there and there was a smudge on the wall behind the picture. So that meant repainting the whole living room. That job made the dining room and kitchen look horrible so they had to be painted, also.
With fresh new walls in the great room, now the bathrooms looked like 1970 rejects from a condemned tenement. So I commenced to checking out the price of new tile, paint and oh, my, those counter tops were so dated, they’d have to be replaced.
When that was done, I shut the door to the guest room, my office and my bedroom. I refused to think about paint or even dumping the trash cans in those rooms for a whole week until the remodeling fever left me.
And it all happened because I did not stick to my rule. A little thing, no bigger than a thimble, had caused a major remodeling job. So we’re back to if I can’t eat it up, wear it out or use it up in one year…don’t buy it. Besides I have a book on the shelf titled All The Way From
What could happen as a result of that title is down right scary!
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