Clutter Clearinghouse

Home Shopping Network–QVC
Bazaars, yard sales, closeout sales
One-of-a-kind Items, as-seen-on-TV
Tactile, pleasant-textured items
Gently stroked, then taken home
Stored away in attics and garages
Remedies to drive away aches, pains
General malaise of everyday life struggles
Wasn’t as much about winning
As, not wanting to lose

Hello–How Are You?

An obligatory greeting, we’ve said thousands of times. When someone truthfully answers, it’s an awkward moment. Because, “nobody’s got time for that.”

There’s not much we really know about those outside our close circle of friends. Relatives pass away and are eulogized with a few pretty words. Did their cries for help go unanswered? Perceived as eternal blackness, for which there was no way out?  Some refuse help, even when it’s available.

My brother-in-law passed away suddenly yesterday. He was a quiet, sensitive man. No one will ever know what went through his mind in the months before his death. Two years previous, he survived another near-fatal health crises.

He bounced back, seemed to be on the mend. This summer and fall, signs were there–his personal demons were back. Emotions are still raw, but there is peace, because my friend’s soul is free.

The Easter Egg House

In the spirit of the season, a retake on “The Easter Egg House” from three years ago.  This was a cautionary tale, on the perils of not consulting one’s spouse, when it came to home decorating ideas.

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The shutters were faded.  Formerly Wedgewood blue–they looked more gray than blue.  “Honey, if I painted the shutters they would really make the front of the house pop,” I suggested.  “Just don’t spend too much money.  Keep it as close to the original color as possible.”

My helpful paint store friend showed me color chips–and more color chips.  There was “On the Town” blue, “At the Opera” blue, “Philadelphia Independence” blue, “Katmandu” blue, and what the heck was “Etruscan” blue?  In the hundreds, perhaps thousands of chips, there was no Wedgewood blue.  I was all alone–lost in the color forest.

It was dumb on my part–I didn’t bring a color swatch with me.  A picture–anything, would have been helpful.  On to “Plan B”–select what I imagined, was closest to Wedgewood blue.  My good intentions jumped the track at that point.  I selected “Regatta Blue.”  It was a pleasant color–who didn’t like ships, sailing, and the sea?

My color choice became the talk of the neighborhood.  At home my “Regatta Blue” morphed into a garish, happy, Caribbean steel-drum band blue.  It should have been, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” blue–I was gonna’ be so dead.  There was no easy way out of this dilemma.

“The house looks like an Easter egg,” She said.  “You’ve got to repaint.  I can’t bear looking at this every day.”  This time we went together to a different paint store.  I wasn’t going to risk going back to the same store and explaining.

A darker, more tranquil shade of blue was selected.  I hated do-overs.  For the colors to match, all shutters had to, first, be painted the lighter, brighter blue–then top-coated with darker blue.

Then, the gossip started.  the phone rang off the hook.  “Do you know what your husband is doing?”  “That color is hideous.”  “Where did you get that color?” “Why is he painting your shutters two different colors?”  “When is he going to do something about it?”

None of my neighbors called my bright blue shutters ugly to my face–only behind my back.  I knew what they were thinking.  Nobody had to spare my feelings.  The shutters looked good, with what turned out to be six coats of paint.  I’ll carry this, along with the approximately 2,917, plus another 32, blunders made in my life–thus far.

I got in digs with one particularly pesky neighbor.  “Would you like me to paint your shutters and trim when I’m finished?  I’ve got extra paint left over.  Could I paint your birdhouses?  They’re looking a bit shabby.”  There was no response–only silence.

Spilled Coffee…Other Blunders

Spilled coffee on my favorite shirt to start the day.  Correction–it’s one of my favorite shirts.  It’s gaudy and crass–a blue, Hawaiian souvenir shirt from four years ago.  The “just to knock around in shirts” are beginning to clutter my closet.  With application of “Stain Wonder Pre-Treat” it will be almost good as new.  Sure, it’s a little threadbare, that doesn’t mean I like it any less.

Wardrobe changed and off to the races.  “Off to the races” is a euphemism for an entirely different thing.  In this case it meant resumption of regular morning routines.

There were euphemisms aplenty when I grew up in the fifties.  Bodily functions were talked about indirectly.  Pregnancy meant someone was “in the family way.”  Little boys sometimes talked about their “winkies.”  “Seeing a man about a dog,” meant someone needed to go to the bathroom.

No, I don’t want to play (to the dog).  You want to go outside?  OK, I can do that. 

There were worse blunders.  Owning up to mistakes, when mature; knowing there could be consequences, were the worst.  Several years ago, when helping my father on the farm during winter break, I caused an expensive equipment repair due to my forgetfulness.

All right–I hear you.  Don’t tear the door off.  I’ll be right there.  I can only go so fast.  The dogs demanded to be let back in.

“Just getting over getting over you.”  Wouldn’t that make a great country song?  Like most flashes of sudden brilliance, it has probably been done already.

Cynicism/Realism #sarcasm #communication

Sometimes it’s hard not to give advice–whether solicited or not.

People are doing the same things I failed at miserably in the past.

Knowing the difference between what is said and what is meant comes with experience.  High pressure sellers never take “No” for an answer.

There are no definitive answers, only probabilities.  Why?  Because there are so many variables in human behavior.

Express checkout–12 items or less: the flustered young mother in the crowded checkout with three screaming bratty kids will not be turned away–even if the cart is overflowing.

“I hear what you’re saying.”  The same tired drivel you always say.

“Always good to see you”  …Only if I see you first.

“He has a lot of potential.”  The search is on to find it.

“It’s a real fixer-upper.”  Interpreted as money pit.

“We’ve been talking to some of your neighbors.”  Love this one, used by door-to-door sellers.  My neighbors barely talk to each other–let alone to salesperson strangers.

Used car ads are a personal favorite.  The problem–how to put lipstick on that clunker, pig of a car, and get rid of it in a hurry.

“Lots of new parts”  Did you include a net to keep them from falling off on driver and passengers?

“Soon to be a classic”  Maybe after the other 500,000 go through the crusher?

A healthy dose of skepticism goes a long way.

 

Selling–Nobody’s Buying

Broken pretzels

The absolute worst

What was better

last or first?

Tried hard as I could

Hung on every word

Dark thoughts

Drifted overhead

Lead–or be led

Towns passed by

In the blink of an eye

Roadside crosses

Lives cut short

Tar-bubbled streets

In summer heat

Nothing there–I

Could ever repeat

VERILY, I SAY–DON’T BE DISTRACTED

The example given was a good one.  Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most beautiful compositions ever written.

Rev. Larry continued, “Every year, Bob the tympani player, looked forward to performing with the community orchestra.  Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead as he tuned his instrument for exactly the right moment.  Nothing but perfection would do.  Even though the audience wouldn’t know the difference if the drum skins were tuned a bit flat or sharp–Bob would know.”

“That’s because Bob refused to be distracted from the task at hand.”

“Are you distracted from the important things in life?”  Rev. Larry asked in my dream this morning.

Rev. Larry resembled the pastor of a large local church from television commercials.  The good reverend wore a toupee.  Not being an expert on hair replacement products–it appeared to be a good one.

How did Rev. Larry know that I’m easily distracted?  It was uncanny.