Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Need It

Just over a day into my little experiment and I'm already thinking about all the things I "need" and can't buy. I find myself making a list in my head of items I meant to get before this self-imposed deadline and just didn't really get around to buying.

I realized I've lived for years without a plastic cover thing that you leave in your microwave to use as a barrier for splattery dishes, but suddenly, now that I won't buy one, I desperately need it. How can anyone actually make due without that? And I think glumly about how much better my entire life would be if only I had thought of it before starting on this silly experiment. It's irrelevant that I rarely use my microwave and can use a plastic lid or a plate to the same effect.

And a fly swatter. How, I wonder, have I ever made it through life without that simple little gadget? It must be much better than a rolled up magazine or they wouldn't have them at every dollar store. And now I have to live my tired dreary little life without the benefit of something so basically important to civilized living.

Oh yes. The list goes on. I stomp around my house making an internal note of those things I can't live without, but will somehow have to for a year. I don't think I've realized how utterly lacking my life was before now.

On the up side to this little tirade, however, is the realization that I have plenty of things for the give-away pile. While searching my house for those things that I "need" I uncovered a lot of the unnecessary I had forgotten about. I tried nobly to convince myself that I had gotten rid of nearly every peripheral thing and the getting-rid-of part of this experiment was going to be the hardest. But that's not actually true. I still have plenty of things that can march their way out and by next year I won't even remember what they were. Today it's a pair of black shoes that look eerily similar to two other pairs of black shoes I have. Who knows why I have so many pairs of black shoes, but it's one less today.

One of my friends thought that a better way to do this experiment would be to put everything I own in the basement and only allow one thing a day to come back up. Anything left in the basement at the end of the year would then obviously be unnecessary. That's something I'll have to try another time. I just don't have the energy to haul everything I own to the basement. Plus, it would take a month just to get all the truly necessary stuff in my bathroom back.

But most of my friends just try to bail me out. They offer to give me some of their things to give away and they try to think of ways to get around any rules I may have. They are very creative in their ideas: things like giving them money and having them make the purchases or trading them for things I really want. They've all offered to give me junk that I could then give away and have great suggestions for things that would be less painful to give like pennies or food items. Some suggested before I start I buy a bunch of things I don't really need and then exchange them as the year wears on.

Who knows. I may resort to bending the rules enough to justify something, but for now I'll just keep pretending this is a hard thing to do and try to think less about stuff and more about life.


KL said...

Just so you know...I had one of those stupid plastic things that cover you plate for years. I finally got rid of it before I moved here and haven't missed it once. I find that paper towels work better and even soak up some excess grease. You can buy paper towels, right?

As for the fly swatter, they are a waste of money. I personally have bought over 5 this year and can't seem to find one. You'd be better off just saving those 5 dollars for some soap!! =)

Laura said...

I remember NEEDING a fly swatter. I went to buy one and had the hardest time actually finding it, but finally in the cleaning aisle at Kmart I snagged one. That was at least two years ago

I was cleaning out my laundry room just Friday and found it hanging on the coat hook behind the pile of coats from last winter. I have never used it, not once.

TravelByTurtle said...

You could give advice "away" everyday....

DeLaina said...

Pay no attention to the box of my useless junk that may show up on your porch one'll just have to give it away, and I'll be saved from a trip down the mountain!