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The Real Housewife of Cape Cod: Out With the Old?

Are some things better left in the past?

It seems that once your parents reach a certain age, they no longer want to hold onto your "stuff" hanging out in the attic, garage or basement. Long gone are the days of them keeping your room in place while you go to college, i.e., skating trophies on the bureaus, posters of Wham! or the Celtics taped to the door. They want to purge and start anew. This seems to be a common phenomenon amongst my friends these days.

You know, you get that call or text: "We're going to the dump. Think you could come by and sort through your stuff?" Now it makes a lot of sense that they want to get rid of these extras hanging about and taking up space (believe me—being part OCD, I get it... I hate clutter and can move in like an hour with two duffle bags); purging is a part of life. But I can't help but feel a bit upset! Why don't they want any remnants of me left in their house? Is it really that bad to have a few trash bags with my college comforter and my old letters from friends hanging out in the storage space?

Now that brings me to another subject: what to toss and what to keep? I went over to my parents' house and found this huge box of old letters; some were from friends and others were like potent love letters! Now why wouldn't we want to hang onto those? They might come in handy on those days when you're feeling lonely or ugly and need a little ego-boost or pick-me-up: "Wait! Someone was so in love with me once!! It's here in writing!" (Not that we don't get the anniversary and Valentine's cards now...those are awesome...but you know what I mean...those 4-page letters gushing, oohing and ahhing? And who writes letters anymore?).

BUT! Is it really necessary to keep that stuff? Maybe it's time to move on. Maybe those letters have cobwebs on them because they're actually like cobwebs in your life and they should stay that way...why read that stuff and bring it out now? It's in the past and maybe should stay in the past. Furthermore, it's just a lot of extra bulky crap that you hold onto and read like once every 10 years.  I couldn't decide! Toss the letters or keep? (And another thing—isn't it kind of mean to hang onto old love letters when you're married? I mean, at the very least they should stay in the parental attic, not hide under yours and your spouse's bed! That's like bad karma or something, isn't it?)

Well, I need to make another trip back to my parents' attic. Just pondering how many trash bags I should bring...

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Erica Wilson July 07, 2011 at 06:01 PM
I'm constantly throwing things out becaue I cannot stand clutter around me. The one thing I regret throwing out is my high school yearbook from my senior year. What was I thinking? Still, it doesen't keep me up at night. Have fun purging Alex!

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