King Tut’s Lawn Chair
WE HUMANS ARE, TO PUT IT GENTLY, PACK RATS. We are loath to throw away anything. How many of us have an attic, basement or garage filled to the rafters with stuff we haven’t used, or even looked at, in years. Even King Tut took a ton and a half of junk with him when he set off for the Afterlife. Over three thousand years later his tomb looked like a garage sale run amok.
Some things we hold onto because there is a sentimental attachment – a piece of jewelry worn by a beloved member of the family or a favorite hat from when you played on a team, but what about that broken lawn chair that you’ve been meaning to fix since 1971?
“That’s over here somewhere, next to that broken lawn chair.”
I got to thinking about all of this the other day when one of the characters in my morning “Play Group” as Dawn calls it mentioned that he still had all of his grade school report cards.
“Why?” I had to ask him. This is a man in his 70s.
“I have a lot of things from my childhood; toys, books, etc.”
Either he has never moved or his episode of “Hoarders” will air next week.
This all got me to thinking about the other stuff we hold onto. What do I have?
Aside from some family photos and yearbooks there isn’t much. I don’t think that I have anything that goes back farther than my college years and those are scripts from shows I was a part of. I also have some other Programs and Scripts from plays I did, but beyond that…
I guess that I have moved often enough to curb the need or desire to carry more boxes than absolutely necessary.
My father was a real pack rat. He still had toys from his childhood. I know because I played with them when I was just a toddler. My mother was the exact opposite. She had nothing. His family hadn’t moved in a hundred years. She and her family were Eastern European immigrants who came to this country with just the clothes on their backs. They were used to walking away from “things.”
What about you? Are you part Gypsy, travelling light through life? Or are you like King Tut – determined to take it all with you whatever happens? I guess that the way any of us deal with material things – what to keep and what to pitch – is a very personal behavior. What does any particular thing mean to us? A memento from an important event in our lives surely carries more meaning than that broken lawn chair in the garage – unless there is some psychological short circuit at play that gives them equal importance. If that’s the case then you probably have the nearest “Mr. Storage” rental facility on Speed-dial.
I think that tomorrow morning I’m going to rent a dumpster and the first thing to go will be that broken lawn chair.