So while visiting the parents this week at their ancestral home I continued with my project of encouraging my mother to purge extremely unnecessary, useless, broken and unwanted items from her attic and basement. She continues to resist vociferously, e.g. You and your sister bully me around; and, You can do this when I am gone; and, Aren’t you glad I actually did save those old garter belts?
We went up to the attic where, in classic maternal style, everything is impeccably labeled, as in a zippered bag bearing this rubric: “Ecru and taupe hose, pre-era of Pantyhose” .
The very first drawer I pulled open was a bonanza of completely dispensable items. I identified a bag full of moldy and soap stained curtain rings, about two dozen assorted plastic curlers in tempting shades of Pepto-Bismal pink, prickly with that Velcro-like adhesive that was favored for curlers in the 1960’s, and a plastic bag full of old hairbrushes and combs, all well used, with missing bristles and teeth.
I said, “Mom, see how easy this is. Throwing these things out is a complete no-brainer.”
She said, “What just a minute. I’m not throwing out those hairbrushes. Some of them were very nice hairbrushes.”
I said, “But they have overstayed their welcome. They are decrepit. And they have been in this drawer for decades and you haven’t once missed them.”
Mom said, “There you go bullying me again. I kept those hairbrushes for a reason.”
I said, “Well at least you can’t argue about the curlers. You don’t use curlers any more and neither does anyone you are remotely related to.”
Mom said, “Maybe I could give them to my hairdresser for her salon.”
I said, “What an excellent idea. They’ve probably been looking for old, used, unsanitary hair curlers for ages.”
Mom said, “You and your sister think you are so funny.”
I said, “We are funny.”