My sweet husband cleaned the garage for me. Theoretically, I was helping. In practice I was mostly a hindrance, hovering, fretting and rescuing trash from the trash bag. I form sentimental attachments to things, and it hurts me to throw them out, even though most of the stuff has been hidden for years and I got along fine without it. Pictures I drew in 4th grade, an old mat that went with me on school camping trips, other miscellany and junk. Each time he put something in the trash my heart bled a little. Each object brought up a storm of memories I didn’t know I had. Each time he threw things out, I felt as though my memory was being ransacked and disposed of, along with the physical representations of the memories.
He on the other hand, is not a sentimental hoarder. He can throw anything away, without a second thought. Hair dryer? Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but it’s sticky, so into the trash it goes. Little book that my grade-school friends signed and gave to me? He’d have tossed it without opening it. Fancy watercolor paper in huge sheets? Crumpled and tossed, despite my screams of pain. He is merciless, and I need him to be.
Why did I beg him to do this for me? Because I have a treadmill in that garage, and I want the space around it to be navigable and attractive. Once the place is cleaned, I can use it as an exercise room. I actually have kind of a lot of equipment, but no place big enough to use it in. I need new running shoes, and we will probably go get those today, I hope.
Anyway, my husband is the superhero of disposal. I’m glad I can count on him when I can’t count on myself. I’m so grateful to him. But, as he says, we still have far to go.