Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guilty pleasures

Every now and then, something slightly off-kilter or mildly inappropriate makes me giggle. I am genuinely not amused by crude humor or jokes that aim to offend, but the funnies that reach out a toe to wiggle it over the line? Sometimes, I can't help myself.

There are a couple of websites that are often riotously, hilariously funny. One is Cake Wrecks and it details poorly illustrated or verbally expressed cake toppings. Another site that never fails to bring laughter is Awkward Family Photos, because it is exactly what it says: photos from personal collections that are just uproariously ridiculous for a variety of reasons.

Seeing as it's card season here, what with grads, dads, and the end of baseball approaching, I found myself in the card section at Target. And there, lo and behold, they have a section of greeting cards created by the folks at Awkward Family Photo.

People, I chortled aloud, by myself, in Target. Maybe I'm just a weirdo, but something about these cards cracked me up.

So, yes. I confess. I laughed out loud at real people on cards at the department store. And it felt kinda good.

P.S. If I drop off the face of the earth for a few days, it's because we're packing, playing playoff baseball games, finishing the school year, closing on two houses in one day, and then physically relocating to our new home. Did I mention that it all goes down this week, to be completed by mid-day on Saturday? Yep. Prayers are appreciated. Thanks.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Falling out of love

I come from a history of "stuff" people. I'm not saying that any of my ancestors were hoarders or anything; I'm just saying that a lot of my relatives really liked (and still like) to surround themselves with their favorite objects—all one billion of them.

Perhaps your lineage is similar to mine (rampant with collectors); or, it's possible that you just happen to be in love with stuff, like most of the folks in our country. If I'm talking about you, and you'd like to change, I have a wonderful solution. Read on.

First, get big piles of your belongings—not the stuff you use every day, mind you, but the stuff that you like and that isn't sentimentally loaded with meaning. For example, the bowl set you got on sale (but not Aunt Mary's measuring cup). The funky little lamp that was on clearance but doesn't really match anything in your home, the kitchen "convenience" that has been responsible for more dust bunnies than culinary wonders. Or you men: the third tool set, perhaps, or the great gift, years old now, that has never left its box.

Now, put all those items in containers and hide them completely out of sight—in the attic, a shed, the darkest corner of your basement.

Then, wait at least six weeks. Don't peek in the boxes.

And then, peek. Ponder how little you've missed the items. Think deeply about how their absence made not one iota of difference in your day-to-day life.

Take it a step further: picture in your mind all those same items, along with all your other truly necessary possessions, being hoisted, lifted, and cursed quietly by your friends who have to pick them up and move them to another dwelling.

Now, take all the items you've suddenly realized you can easily live without, and cull any truly valuable pieces for secondhand sales attempts on craigslist. The rest of that stuff? Place it all in the back of your car. Drive to a nearby charity. Leave it there, and drive away.

(Regarding the re-sale attempts, establish a firm, short sales window and stick with your deadline; if the items don't sell, get rid of them the same way you got rid of the rest.)

Finally, breathe deeply. Life is all about perspective. You just had to gain a new perspective about a significant chunk of your household trappings. All that was required was a mental image of people you know and like, sweating and struggling, working to transfer all those unused space stealers.

It's so easy to fall out of love. Isn't it?