My Mind Is A Blank

Here’s another weird thing about me, and no, the list of weirdiocrity is nowhere near exhausted.

I have a weird aversion to stuff. Things. Possessions. Paraphenalia. I hate stuff. Tchotckes. Home detritus. Accoutrements. Appurtenances. Trappings. GEAR.

You know those people that Oprah likes to parade out for all of us in a 21st century style freak show, the ones with hoarding problems? And that Australian guy who comes on and makes them get rid of all their piles of twenty year old never used wafflemakers and their closets full of brand new clogs? And we all get to say “oh my god, they are SICK!” and feel so good about ourselves because although we may have a display case full of miniature giraffe knickknacks and Thomas Kincaide figurines, at least we aren’t LIKE THEM?

I have the opposite illness. I don’t like having stuff around me. At all. Blankness, to me, is nice. I love it. Mm, mm, good.

What does this say about me? I feel like a stuff-anorexic. And it’s not even like I feel this way for saintly reasons. I am not trying to make a big statement about the Overly Bloated Consumption of Crap in American Society. Although I do think people tend to have too many things, that is pretty much a fringe benefit to my feelings. A bonus. Like I can pretend that it’s because of that that I don’t like having stuff, but truly, it’s an aesthetic thing for me.

I think things look nicer when there isn’t a lot of stuff crammed everywhere.

That’s right. I just think it looks prettier. How shallow.

So, even though I am a librarian and I likee the booksie, I haven’t bought a book in like…years. The sum total of my book ownership is twenty two books. I just counted. I don’t have knicks nor do I have knacks, I have one set of mugs (what is with the mugs, people? Everyone I know has a bazillion mugs!), I own less than a dozen movies, I have four canvases on which I paint, and when I am done painting on one, I just paint right over it. And clothes? You think I have a lot of clothes, right? Not true. Whenever I buy something, I give something away. I have four pairs of earrings. I have three necklaces. I have two tubes of lipstick. Not because I am Mother Theresa. Not even close. It’s just because if anything in my living space gets complicated, I will seriously lose my shit.

Let’s just think about that for a second. If anything in my living space gets complicated, I will SERIOUSLY LOSE MY SHIT.

That just don’t seem right, do it? There’s a little screw loose somewhere, is what I’m thinking.

The latest thing for me is my mantle. When I moved in, I was excited to have a fireplace. I was not excited, however, for the ugliforousness of the fireplace. Check it.

ugly fireplace
That’s a Pa Ingalls stew-making fireplace if ever I saw one and you know I am right.

So, I started the home improvement whine machine. Here’s how it goes. I whine for a day or two. Then Nordic Boy springs into action. A weekend goes by… and voila! I get a new mantle.

new fireplace
Dang I love that dude.

So now, I have a pretty fireplace and a nice big mantle. With nothing on it. What the hell is a mantle for, if not for putting out pictures, and knickknacks, and objects aplenty? THAT’S WHAT IT’S FOR.

But I couldn’t do it. It was just so…uncluttered the way it was. And uncluttered floats my boat to an almost sexual degree.

To much information? Sorry.

Someone who was in the home interiors business once said to me that one’s home should reflect one’s soul. That your outer landscape should reflect your inner landscape. I have always loved that.

But! Then it would follow that I am a vacant person. Do I look dead behind my eyes? Has Elvis left the building? Are the lights on but nobody’s home?

Last weekend, Nordic Boy coaxed me into putting stuff out on the mantle. Just try it, he said. You might like it.

So I gathered up a few things. Photos, all the vases I own (three), a decorative bowl that I usually keep fruit in on the kitchen table. I kept it there for a few days, and the whole time, it bugged the everloving shit out of me. I HAVE A MANTLE DISORDER. And as a result, I took it all down after a couple of days of interior design pain. And you know what’s even sicker? The only thing I got out of this exercise is my saying to myself “Three vases? THREE? Why the hell do I have three vases? THAT IS TOO MANY VASES!”

Oprah, please help me.

I’m out,
Librarian Girl


  1. Nordic Boy built that mantle in a single weekend?! Holy god, what a feat! Ummm if I whine enough, will he come build a mantle for me? It doesn’t matter that I don’t have a fire place. What does matter is that I need a place to store more of my stuff in a more beautiful way.

  2. Will you please come visit the greater Milwaukee area and help me cure my addiction to clutter? It could be the start of a lucrative career, perhaps even a cable show? You and Nordic Boy do house calls: you banish clutter and Nordic Boy builds beautiful mantles (I don’t have a fire place but I would still really like a mantle)

  3. seriously, that’s some fine handiwork by Nordic Boy. don’t feel bad, i think there are a lot of people out there who are trying to be how you are naturally.

  4. I feel the same way about my computer. I can’t have anything on my desktop – not one single icon. And for years I just had a blank screen as my background. Not even a picture.It just seems so much more…calm and clean. I’m with you, LG.

  5. i don’t think that stuff about your outer landscape reflecting your inner landscape is necessarily true. i think people fill their homes because they want to see things to have things to think about. you seem to have enough thoughts in your head – memories of childhood, song lyrics, etc. to keep you busy forever. you don’t need your outer landscape interfering.

  6. Hello,Um.. where do I begin! Ok, maybe from the beginning, i’m told that’s a good place to begin a confession. From the beginning: I’ve been reading your blog for quite a few months now (without comment, sorry, i’m a bit of a comment-a-phobe..what?) anywho, yeah, I absolutely LOVE your writing and everything you write! Everytime i read I have to read aloud at least a few favorite excerpts from each post to the b/f. It’s as though you take the words right out of my mouth! (at this point i think i’m beyond the beginning and nearing the end of the ramble of a comment…perhaps an inclination as to why i don’t post comments often) but I too have a bit of this “stuff-anorexia.” I’m constantly trying to clear off things: counters, table tops, beds, desks, floors. I just can’t stand it! I want it to be CLEAR! smooth, it’s just nicer that way. Oprah can shove it! Oh! and clear mantle! now everyone can easily admire nordic boy’s handiwork (without useless vases getting in the way!)Keep posting, lovin it!

  7. it made me laugh to see this appear today- a day I had dedicated solely to removing the majority of my boyfriend’s crap from our house. It might sounds familiar to you that I despise THINGS. Stuff. Clutter. I want everything clean, simple, empty. And my boyfriend… well. He keeps everything that he has ever, will ever, might ever and will never use. Today i removed 6 trashbags and one giant bin from my house.And, deary, it is STILL too cluttered.-Kayte

  8. LG…no! I feel like a little of me has been robbed. I had this idea in my head that you’d have wardrobes stuffed to overflowing and accessories galore. We have this friend who has no “stuff” and everytime we go and visit we’re so scared by the no-stuff house that we come out of there asking “where do they keep all their stuff???” Perhaps, like you, they just don’t have any. Ho hum

  9. As a painter, I gasped out loud when you said you paint over your paintings. I don’t think I could ever do that. Well, actually I did it once but it was because the painting was so incredibly horrible that I had to cover it up. I have a serious stuff/clutter problem but I blame it on the fact that I moved from a 1200 sq foot place to a 700 sq foot place and inherited many pieces of antique furniture from my grandmother at the exact same time I moved. I’m about to explode out of my apartment and it does kind of make me feel crazy.

  10. I wish my whine machine worked such wonders with my husband. 🙂 And … think of it this way. Your soul is clean, fresh, pure, open. Not vacant!

  11. i am your separated-at-birth soul twin. cannot stand clutter. and yet i find myself in the midst of a sea of it–are you shuddering yet? i am–because all of our belongings are in two rooms and a hallway while the rest of our house is undergoing major renovations. cannot wait to have the house back to ourselves, though it is, as you said, nearly sexual to walk through these rooms with their newly plastered walls in smooth, matte white, the only thing to catch your eye being a fireplace or a huge window.

  12. beautiful mantle. Will you come live at my house for a bit. I could use some some uncomplicating of the junk. Not Oprah-equse but annoying none the less.

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