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My Froat Hurts

I can’t believe it, but I’m down with another sore throat.  For once, I actually think this one can be blamed on allergies, but I’m not taking any chances.  The headache, the fatigue, it could be anything.  This may cause me to miss The Lost Boys in Santa Cruz.  Aww piss!

I had an exciting birthday weekend that included another great show by Slim Cessna, as well as some dinners and lunches with friends and family.  This weekend is a merciful three-day, but as I’m too lazy to drive down to SoCal for Hootenanny (I-5 on a holiday weekend?  No thanks.), I’m left with some time to kill.  Could this be the weekend I finally make some headway with storage?  Let’s consider:

The Facts
When I left the East Bay in 2004, I put everything I owned (that I wasn’t taking with me to S.F.) in a storage unit out there.  We’re talking years of toys, sports equipment, baseball cards, school papers, books, and God knows what else.  I haven’t even cracked the door on this place in the last six years.  I don’t remember all of what was in there or even how much of it there was.  For all I know, the unit was broken into the day after I left it, and I’ve been paying monthly rent on an empty unit for the better part of a decade.  This is hundreds of dollars going out the window every year, and for what?  Because I haven’t gotten off my ass to take care of it.

The Options
The way I see it, there are four possibilities, and they are as follows:

  1. Do Nothing
    There’s nothing that says I have to do anything about it now.  It’s not that expensive, and I could leave it all in storage for another 10 years if I wanted to.  The upside is that it costs me no effort.  The downside is not only the monthly rent but also the mental and spiritual weight of knowing I have all these possessions in my name that are going to waste and occupying space in my consciousness.
     
  2. Keep It
    There’s too much to move in my car in one trip, and it’s a 45 minute trip one way.  But I could take a few trips, or else rent/borrow a truck and get all of my stuff out of there.  The question is: what would I do with it?  I don’t have room in my place for all of that crap unless I want it in a big pile in the middle of my living room.  And then there are the spiders to consider.  After all these years undisturbed, I shudder to think how many critters — alive or dead — might be lurking in all those dark boxes.  The last thing I want to do is bring that nightmare into my house!  All I’d really be doing here is trading the cost of the storage unit rent for space in my living room.  No me gusta.
     
  3. Give It Away
    Now we’re getting into the more serious options.  I think the reality is that I have lived this long without this stuff, to the point I don’t even remember most of what’s in there.  Do I really need it anymore?  I guess I always thought I’d have kids someday and that they’d inherit all this stuff and it would find the perfect use.  Even if I do have kids though, they’re going to be all about Nintendo.  What would they want with an old G.I. Joe or a box of baseball cards?  I feel like the era of passing toys onto your kids has started to pass.  It’s not the same as it was with our parents’ generation, is it?  Or is it?  I can see the value in going through all these old toys again and the memories it will surely evoke.  Is that final going-through-them-in-preparation-to-give-them-away a sufficient final extraction of value?  Or do I need to keep them longer?  Or could I get away with taking and keeping pictures of them?  The memories could be preserved that way.  It feels like a scary proposition to just give all this stuff away.  For all the time and effort and money that went into collecting it and storing it for what amounts to almost my whole life… to just wake up one day and sweep it out the door?  That’s huge!
     
  4. Sell It
    This feels about the same as just giving it away.  It has the bonus of at least feeling like it’s going to someone who appreciates it.  I mean, if someone bothers to track down a Hot Wheels from me, he probably really wants that car.  So it would be like it was serving a purpose again, plus there’d be at least some money in it.  If I could snap my fingers and sell everything in that storage unit for its fair price, heck it might not even add up to what I’ve spent on storing it the last six years.  And of course it won’t be that easy.  It’d probably be a big pain in the ass to catalog and sell all of that stuff.  Ebay?  Craig’s List?  It might take weeks to move it all.  And this isn’t exactly the economy to be selling trinkets.  But I feel like I should be getting some money for it at least.  I mean, my parents paid for most of it with their hard-earned money during my childhood.  The least I could do is get a return and pass it on to them.  Just getting rid of it feels like it would be an insult.

The Horns Of A Dilemma
On the one hand, I feel like I need to shed this weight, but on the other it pains me to think of the wasted money and stress of keeping it for all this time just to suddenly dump it unceremoniously.  So in all seriousness, I’d love to get your input.  Surely some of you have been through some variation on this same experience.  Am I being ridiculous?  The Buddhist in me says “give it away, let it go, it’s served its purpose, and it’s only hurting you now.”  And I secretly fantasize about what it would feel like to know all my material possessions are right here with me, easily tracked, easily moved, and easily disposed of.  Like I’d be more mobile.  Lighter.  What to do?

The Sudden Change Of Subject
That debut album from The Drums finally came out.  It’s pretty good, kinda like Joy Division with an upbeat surf slant… and a healthy dose of new romantic.  In terms of accessibility, I think their “Summertime!” EP was a little catchier, but this album is still worth a hear.

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6 Comments to “My Froat Hurts”

  1. Oh noes! Feel better soon!

    As for your storage? I think you will be suprised at how theraputic it will be to go through your storage stuff and start clearing it away. May not be very fun and kind of a chore of sorts but you will have a chance to reminiscence about the younger, easier, more simple days of your life. It will be kind of like a cleansing of sorts. You may even wonder why you didn’t do it sooner once all the weight of the past is gone. And not saying any of it would have bad memories at all, in fact I’m sure it would be quite the opposite for you. It’s more of starting another chapter in the Book of Benjamin. Then of course you can blog about all of your findings for us! Not to mention the $$$ you will save/make for future quitar purchases or such.

  2. All of the above. Get youself one sturdy storage bin and make a time capsule of the toys and tchotchkes nearest and dearest to you. allow yourself that one bin to edit your memories and let the rest go. Donate to an independent thrift store , where more than likely your stuff will end up in the hands of kids , not at the dump (goodwill dumps tons ) someone can use your stuff and wasting your time trying to sell will be an exercise in frustration.

  3. Additionally I’d say keep friends and kids of friends in mind when sifting through , but let it go. Sounds like you’re ready . Bring loads of handi wipes cause it’s gonna be messy. Oh and no kidding, a dust mask. you’ll aggravate your allergies digging through all that. If you need a cruelty free bug catcher I can lend you one. Not that you helped with my spiders or anything….
    btw what commercial is that from?

  4. Great advice, thanks! I hate the idea of giving it away mainly because I think about what it might be worth. I mean some of it is junk sure, but there will be a lot of little things that collectors might be into? Seems like a waste not to see that it goes to someone who’ll appreciate it?

  5. Also, any volunteers to come help? Only half kidding. :P

  6. UPDATE: I visitied the old unit today for a test run, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! After six years, it looks the way it did when I left it. Hardly any spiders or webs, barely any dust, and really nothing else to fear. I could probably fit it all in one SUV load, and I’ve already started formulating plans for what to do with it all!

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