your next mission

This morning I posted my ski boots on Craigslist. They hadn't seen the light of a snowy day in a very, very long time. They say that if you don't use something for six months, you should get rid of it. I hadn't used these in six years. Plus they were a gift from my former in-laws, a pair of individuals with whom I have zero pleasant associations.

Terence hates getting rid of things. Just a few days ago I went on a clean/purge spree and he rescued a weird, small, mysterious halogen bulb from the trash where I'd tossed it. "What are you doing?" I said. "We don't even know what that goes to. It doesn't have a regular screw-in base."

"It must be from one of your lights," he said. "I'll return it to Samy's Camera. They can use it."

I gaped at him, trying to comprehend. "What are you talking about? You don't even know what it's for! You're going to drive forty five minutes and spend gas money returning what's probably a five dollar bulb? They're going to look at you like you're crazy." I didn't add what I wanted to, which was that if he's got forty-five minutes to spare, I know some baseboards that could use wiping. Physician heal thyself, or some shit.

But that's just another inverted mirror we see each other in. Hoarder vs. purger. Every time I start a new pile for Goodwill, Terence worries over my discards. "But what if you need that?" he'll say, watching me stuff a tutu into the bag. "What if you go to, I don't know, a tutu party?"

This exasperates me. He'd probably say it's optimism at the heart of that thought, but I see fear. Fear of letting go, of moving ahead into the unknown. Of saying goodbye to tangible, touchable remnants of good times. And anyway, a tutu party? Yeah, maybe. But packing for every random contingency in life sounds like a really cumbersome way to move through it.

He asked whether I'd made the Craigslist ad funny, as I usually try to do. (In college I posted a flyer in my apartment building's laundry room trying to unload a fish tank. "From non-smoking home, housed non-smoking fish." I got a call a day later from a guy in the complex who didn't want the fish tank, but wanted to meet the girl who wrote "non-smoking fish". I had a boyfriend, but the lesson stuck. Funny gets love.)

Not really, I texted back. Though I did include a crack about obviously not skiing much lately, so I sent him the link so he could read my post.

I like the intrigue of why you used them just once in 2009. :)

LOL. I should imply a torrid affair with a ski instructor. Brief but torrid.

Super spy on an Arctic mission. You held onto them awaiting your next mission.

I posted some other stuff, too. Pieces of another me that don't fit anymore. I'll get pennies on the dollar relative to what I paid for them, but their value lies in the memories they made me, anyway.

Sometimes it's hard to be honest with yourself about what you no longer need. Hard, but necessary.