Give it away, give it away, give it away now

One of Nordic Boy’s nicknames for me is “Get Rid of It.” Librarian “Get Rid of It” Girl. That’s because I, for some reason, constantly want to be giving things away. I think there might just be a small part of me that would not mind living in a house that had no furniture, no pictures on the walls, no books, no possessions whatsoever. Perhaps my true calling is to live as a cloistered nun (except for the pesky organized religion and that whole no sex thing). Or in a padded cell, more likely. I am not proud of it. As a matter of fact I am a bit weirded out by myself on this one.

So whenever there is a question about something being kept, or given away, I will most certainly vote to get rid of it. Nordic Boy and I got into a whole discussion last weekend because when he went grocery shopping, he decided to buy two of everything that was not produce, so that we would have an extra one on hand. When I saw the cupboard contents, I was all “TWO CANS OF PINTO BEANS? THAT’S NUTS! WHY WOULD WE EVER NEED TWO CANS? ARE WE HAVING A DINNER PARTY?”

Do you have those things that you know, even as you are saying them, that you are being totally weird and crazy, but yet you can’t stop yourself? Yeah.

I have figured out, in my typical navel-gazing way, many of the reasons why I love to Get Rid of It. It is multi-layered and I shall save most of it for people who know me and love me already and have to listen to my nonsense unconditionally. However, I was thinking about one aspect of this that I thought might be of interest to you, as it will result in your being able to laugh at me, which is something that must be blogged about according to my blog bylaws.

I was brought up to be overly gracious about receiving gifts from people, no matter how weird and hideous the gift was. I was expected to not only be thankful for the gift, but to also use the gift. No immediate re-gifting allowed in my house. Not that that was an overt rule or anything. It was one of those unspoken things I learned. Not being thankful for a gift and not using a gift was just not done. So when I was a young adult in my late teens and early twenties, I started to realize, epiphinany-style, that I didn’t have to keep and use crap that I didn’t want. I learned that I did not need to be the Statue of Liberty of gift-receiving, and that I did not have to welcome the tired, poor, huddled masses of Precious Moments figurines and Santa Bears that people wanted to give me. Really, it was kind of a big realization. I could still be thankful for the gesture, but not have to keep the stuff.

This is where you are welcome to chime in with a collective “No Shit, Sherlock” if you feel the need.

Let’s get to some examples, shall we? When I was in middle school, I loved classic movies just as much as I do now. My geriatric movie tastes started young. One summer, I had seen “Some Like It Hot” oh maybe three million times. That same summer, my best friend’s mother thought it would be a nice gesture (it was), to get me a poster of Marilyn Monroe in a sexy dress. And although I loved Some Like It Hot, I really didn’t need or want a big ass poster of Marilyn Monroe on my wall. No matter. I put it up. That same summer, my sister decided it would be funny? nice? a good idea? to buy me a lifesize cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe. I ask you. Why would anyone want a lifesize cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe? I know, some people want this. But I didn’t. Still, I propped that sucker up right next to my bed and left it there.

You know something? Those dang presents are still in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house to this very day. Because YE SHALL NOT REBUKE PRESENTS LEST YOU BE SMOTED. Smoted? Smoten? Smotified?

This was par for the course for me (look at me, using the golf talk like an asshole) growing up. The other day, I was emailing with a friend of mine from high school, and she sent me a funny picture of the two of us in 9th grade, when we dressed up like “nerds” for Halloween. The picture of us is funny, it’s true. But the thing that slapped me in the face about the photo? Well, you go ahead and take a look.

Dudes, that huge poster on my bedroom door? THE GIANT HEAD OF BRUCE WILLIS.

Listen, no offense to Bruce Willis. I know that he is a big star and that people buy and love posters of him. But I can say with unequivocal certainty that there was never a day in my life where I thought that I needed a Bruce Willis ANYTHING. I have never seen Die Hard in my life. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a Bruce Willis movie. Wait- there was that gangster one with Matthew Perry. But other than that- nada. I did watch Moonlighting with my parents when I was a kid, so ok, there was that. But truly, Bruce cannot count me as one of his fans. And yet- there he is, on my door when I was 14 years old. And do I have to tell you why?

Someone gave me that poster as a present.

I swear to you, if someone had given me a photo of a bird turd, I would have framed it and put it up.

Now do you see where the rebellion comes from? Why I am so adamant about not having shit that I do not want? And let me just say this in as Life Coachy of a way as I possibly can: I am telling you that once you start down the path of accepting things into your life that you don’t want there, once you start settling, that path can only lead to bad things. Like Bruce Willis wallpaper on your bedroom door.

And also, let’s all pretend we didn’t see that giant Swatch clock on my wall, shall we? That one I bought myself.


  1. I assume because you are a human who watches TV you know what "Hoarders" is. From this post I learned you are the opposite of the people featured on this show–a good thing–and I know what needs to be done:You should appear on "Hoarders" as a Life Coach.

  2. My penchant for weeding in my house came from my love of weeding at work. My practicum project in graduate school involved weeding part of the children's collection at my library and it was SO! CATHARTIC! that I couldn't help but do the same in my house. I'm a compulsive giver-awayer.

  3. I am so jealous of you and your Swatch watch clock. I wanted one SO BAD and was so proud of my Swatch watch with the changeable bands. I changed those things every day to match my outfit.

  4. But your giant swatch watch is sooooo cool :))Ruthless is the name of the game in my house at the mo with the posessions. Try cramming 2 houses into 1. "One for the car boot sale" is the chant du jour.

  5. For reasons that I am confident you will understand, I actually LIVE in an old convent. One room and a bathroom. All of my stuff could fit in a truck. … and yet I still fantasize about living, in, like, a tiny yurt. Or even a car. I mean, I might have to shave my head to make that one work, but it would be worth it. What?

  6. Ohmygosh, just found your blog and it's rocking my socks off. Always good to see that there is another hip (not hipster) librarian out there. Keep on keepin' on.

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