Bonfire of the Sanities

Unknown-2Regarding last week’s column “Emptying Your Rice Bowl” – an expanded meditation on the nature of all the “stuff” people fill their lives and their houses with ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Kudos to the clever reader who sent me the photo-shopped picture of his two car garage with door lifted up and a man-made mountain of rice spilling out onto the pavement.
But the prize goes to another reader, a certain local celebrity historian who shall remain nameless. He sent me the following paraphrased missive:

Dear Sir:
Next time you come snooping around our house looking at all of our “stuff” I’m going to sic the dog on your snooping ass!
I’d write a longer e-mail but I’m going out to rummage through one of our three storage lockers. Two of them date from October 1989 when we moved a lot of fallen-down-“stuff” out of the house. It was just going to be for a couple of months…The third locker was acquired when the other two filled up, parents died and we couldn’t bear to part with their “stuff”.
But seriously, I’m reading down the column, nodding and shouting at my wife, “Read this! He’s talking about US! He’s been in the HOUSE! He knows our problem!” And then…I lift the paper and turn it over thinking that maybe the rest of the column is on the back ’cause we need you to tell us what to DOOOOO about our “stuff”! Tell us what to DOOOOO oh wise one.
I guess we’ll just have to call the dumpster company and get them to drop one close to the house. Then we can just open the front door, jack it up and tilt it forward so we can let all the “stuff” run out!


I know it all sounds so silly. And yet, all so painfully close to the funny/tragic, ironic truth that almost everyone out there can relate to.
How do I know? Because I’m a Realtor and I’ve been to your home. Or at least tens of thousands of other homes like it! And I’ve talked to you about your stuff. Or at least thousands of other people like you who were wrestling with the pathos of their own relationship to what they’ve consumed, collected and carted around over the years.
Together we’ve organized their stuff. Hidden it. Hauled it. Stored it. Put it in pods. Thrown it away. Staged around it. Together we’ve dealt with all of it like it was one big metaphorical bonfire of the sanities. At least for those willing to crawl out from under the weight of their own “stuffing” it was.
The great thing about real estate is that in order to sell a house and move on you actually have to do something. You can’t just talk about doing something. Next week I’m going to start telling you what to do with your stuff. The big question is: Are you going to do what I tell you to do? That part will be up to you.

That’s it for this week. I’d say more but I don’t think I can “stuff” any more words into today’s column 🙂

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