Twenty years and dumpster

March 18, 2022
by Andrew Meuleners

This year marks my 20th year of wedded bliss.

We won’t celebrate our anniversary until June, so stay tuned for a sappy overload of lovey language at that time.

This week I want to talk about the mass of stuff we have accumulated throughout living together. For example, this past weekend, I went downstairs to change the filter on our furnace, something I do regularly or at least anytime someone starts sneezing a little too much.

There are very few reasons I go downstairs in our house, mainly because I know that I might get roped into doing something that I really would rather not do.

An example of this is checking the laundry. Yes, the laundry room is down in our basement, and the laundry room is a place that I try to avoid as much as possible. However, it seems like if I am downstairs, even for a second, I hear my lovely wife from upstairs, asking, “can you check the dryer?” In my head, I say yes, I can, but do I want to? No.

OK, anyway, before I get too off-topic.

As I lumber down the stairs and get to the bottom, I immediately see the contents of one of the rooms. This room would be the all-purpose storage room packed with decorations, children’s clothing (which we will never use again but feel compelled to keep for our future grandkids), and other various things for which we don’t have a place.

Take a right and then in the central part of the basement again, are boxes and shelves filled with things we want to store or things we just haven’t gotten around to throwing out yet.

So at this point, I will stop explaining to you all of the stuff that we have in the basement because if I don’t, I fear that my marriage might not make it to the 20-year mark.

I have always been a sort of packrat. For some reason or another, I keep things that I feel will be useful again at some point, like an old VCR or broken TV.

I always have grand ideas that I will somehow fix all these things or use parts from the broken items to fix something that breaks down.

I still have clothes from high school and college. Why? Because I think to myself that if I work out, I will somehow fit back into a pair of jeans from 25 years ago. Yeah, that is never going to happen.

I have a collection of shot glasses, beer mugs, margarita cups, and other oddball glasses from bars that I “borrowed” back in the day. I am pretty sure I will eventually return them.

You would think that one of us would be good at getting rid of stuff. However, I will remind you that I am married to a first grade teacher. Therefore, everything could eventually have a purpose in a classroom.

When we first got married, I remember I kept beneficial things like a power cord from a computer I had gotten rid of five years before. Instead, my wife kept utterly useless stuff like toilet paper rolls or take-out containers.

It amazes me, though, how inventive teachers utilize everyday things for their classrooms. It also means that those things do eventually get out of our house.

So again, this weekend, I was looking at all this stuff that we have and thinking about how we need to get rid of it. I have said this before. We have discussed a strategy on how to get rid of this stuff.

We had a garage sale once. That was not at all worth it. It was a lot of work for people to come to your house and haggle with you about a one-dollar item. Never again. Don’t hate on me. I understand some people love putting on garage sales and going to them, but I am not one of them.

A couple of years ago, I had friends who got into the Dave Ramsey way of doing things. He suggested selling all of our unused stuff and then saving that money or using it to pay off debt. All good things to do, but that takes work and dedication. At the end of the week, I don’t have the motivation to get that done.

So this year, when I asked my wife what she wanted for our anniversary, it wasn’t a unique vacation. It wasn’t a nice piece of jewelry. Instead, the thing she requested was a dumpster.

Some people get paid to help you declutter your life; I am too cheap to pay someone to help me grow up and throw things out.

So this year is the year baby, 20 years of wedded bliss, and a dumpster.

Have a great week, people.

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