Peace, Love & Junk

You Are What You Keep?

You Are What You Keep?

Since the early 19th century Americans have been obsessed with dieting. We take extreme measures to shrink our waistlines and purge ourselves of toxins to create more healthy and happy bodies. We use mantras such as ‘You are what you eat!’ to help remind us to put down that second artisnal cupcake (or that second helping of squirrel pie perhaps if you were said early Americans). As I was doing a spring-clean recently -ok, it was mid-July- I began to look at all of the things I had accumulated over the past several years in my long-term apartment and began to wonder…if we are what we eat are we therefore also what we keep?

Just as those pioneer Americans worried about their ever increasing caloric intake and what it was doing to their figures and health, we early 21st century Americans are beginning to hardcore obsess over our hoarding tendencies and what it is doing to our ever diminishing floor space and swelling closets. Is hoarding the new fat? At least once a year I try to go through my closets and purge myself of items, big and small, that I no longer really need or use. I’m talking to you BoomBox. What i usually end up throwing out are stacks of old newspapers, way past due bills and the odd piece of clothing that I’ve finally given up on ever fitting into next year. I go in full throttle with the greatest of intentions to PARE DOWN my load yet I still end up with the same junk just now in neater stacks.

What remains makes me question heavily why I’m holding on for dear life to these things. My old home-recorded VHS copy of the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics Ladies Free Skate. Do I need to watch Oksana Baiul dominate then American hero Nancy Kerrigan one more time? I don’t even own a VCR but maybe someone out there will. Maybe time to add that to my list of needs on my online dating profile. Do I need that shattered Fiddler On The Roof figurine I received as a gift in high school? Will I ever piece it back together again or just continue to haul around the sad sack of jingling ceramic shards? The jury is out on that one. How about that giant Boom Box that only still works on FM stations IF you put a brick on the top left side? If I am what I keep, what do these relics say about me?

What does your junk say about you?

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