Tuesday, October 21

My closet is a mess, or how TLC and the Safety of Objects conspired to ruin my life

I have too much stuff. I've come to this realization slowly, because I worship the consumer ideal and have thusly spent great quantities of my wealth on nothing at all. Several events in the last few weeks have forced me to come face-to-face with the reality of my overwhelming quantity of crap.

I first began to be suspicious that I might need to throw some stuff away when I watched TLC's new home-improvement show, Clean Sweep. As you may surmise, the show's purpose is to rid people of the unnecessary detritus that hangs about their home. Every time I see the show, I think, "I need to clean out my closet." (And it's true, people. I have vests in there. Vests.)

Last weekend, I had dinner with my friends, and at one point, my friend brought up feeling envious of a woman who had lost all her worldly possessions in a fire. "Sometimes, I wish my house would burn down," she said, and I replied, "Sometimes I wish my life would burn down." Not a good sign.

Last night, I watched The Safety of Objects, which was an odd collection of short stories turned into an oddly effective film. (And I'm not just saying that because Glenn Close is generally amazing and my boy Josh Jackson was in it.) By the end of the movie, I was convinced that I had far too much stuff and that I wasted far too much time on things that are not important. The mere idea of being free from it all -- my stuff, my life -- is far too heady for comfort.

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