Posted in Education, Family

Living in a Disposable World

It’s kinda like a material world…or is it?

I’m still sick, more sick than I’ve been in years.  I guess that’s good, but man oh man I feel like crap; eyes running & itching, nose stopped up & running, sneezing, coughing, headache, can’t sleep, nothing tastes good, chest is heavy, yeah…good times.  Because of this fact, I decided yesterday that I was going to make what my mother has always called – Jewish Penicillin, simply put – good ole chicken soup.

Making the soup, I started thinking about a good friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to in over two years, who just happens to be – you guessed it – Jewish.  I called her.

I love her.  I have known her for about 20 years and although there’s 26 years separating us in age, I’ve never met a more kindred spirit to my own on so many different levels.

We spoke on the phone (between fits of coughing – me and dog’s uncontrollably barking – hers) for four hours, we easily could have talked another four.  We relate to one another and understand one another completely.  I feel like a younger version of her, while she is the older version of me.

Being in her 70’s and a widow, her children want her to sell the home she’s lived in for 40+ years and downsize.  Understandably so, as the home is large for one person with numerous stairs.   She has had hip replacement surgery and is in pain much of the time so she definitely needs something more manageable.  Her dilemma is one that many of us have when facing a big change; getting rid of, de-cluttering, throwing out, downsizing, there’s a thousand terms coined for the process, but really it’s simply getting rid of stuff you don’t use, don’t want or won’t have a place for.

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Years ago, she and her husband owned a dollhouse shop (which is actually how she and I met and became friends) and she still has quite a few dollhouses that were built by her husband and/or given to them by once popular, but now defunct, dollhouse manufacturers.  Being that her husband is gone and her children are long grown up, she wants to keep these dollhouses, these beautiful moments from another time.  A time that can never be relived or duplicated, but really – will she have the space for these mementos and if not, what then?  Store them?  For what?  For whom?  Sell them?  To whom?  Donate them?  No one will appreciate the work and love invested as she has, not even her children.  Sentimentality is a lost art, memories unless digitized aren’t acceptable any more.

The realization that she won’t have the space nor the ability to take everything she has accumulated in 40+ years has left her in a quandary.  What will she do with these items that she loves and that bring up such wonderful, irreplaceable memories?  She will have to dispose of them in one way or another.

One unsettling issue with moving is deciding what stays and what goes.  She has beautiful, top quality, well crafted, wood furniture that no one, and I do mean no one, wants.  I am left wondering why?  The crap they try to pass off as “quality” furniture is absolute nonsense and the price they charge leaves me scratching my head wondering who would pay that?  Thin wood veneer, cheesy knobs and hardware, lasts two to three years if you don’t use it for much, why do we purchase this under the guise of “quality” and say it’s ok?  Why have people decided that poor quality & short life span is the way to go for furniture?  Eh, throw it away, we’ll just grab some more later when we go grocery shopping?  We’ll just go pay big money for sub par crap.

I beg to go to auctions and flea markets and when I find a well constructed dove tailed drawer in rich pecan wood I swoon and wonder where I can fit this newly found, old world masterpiece in my home.  Others – younger (?) people wouldn’t even give it a second thought?  Of course furniture isn’t the only thing that’s disposable in this country, but it speaks volumes of how we’ve begun to settle, how mediocre is good enough.  We’re ok with buying crap to use in our homes and to throw it away and replace it every couple years when in reality, these items should outlast us as well as our children’s children. We as a country need to re-assess what we’re “o.k.” with.  Good quality construction & long life shouldn’t be of such little value.

xoxo

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A work in progress, always trying to better myself and find my purpose.

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