About $150 for junk removal, is what Wolfman tells me we paid. We marked the autumn equinox while pushing a mattress on top of the big white van. Not moving on up, but moving. That day, the air carrying something of the scent of a late September reprieve from summer's brutal heat, we ate a standing brunch of shiraz and a Butterfinger pumpkin in the room which had just days before been our office, stuff piled in the corners. Then, together we lifted the pre-fab desk my brother and grandpa put together for me a few years before, which promptly fell apart in our hands.
It's not exactly my favorite subject, but I don't mind admitting that finances have not always been the easiest aspect of our life as man and wife (or as single man and single woman before that). When Wolfman and I decided to marry, he looked me in the eye and told me firmly, earnestly, "I'll never be a rich man," to which I answered, "I'll never be a rich woman, so we're even." I have an old friend who once told me she wouldn't date a man if he didn't drive a certain kind of car, and I looked at her like she'd just announced she wouldn't date a man unless he knew the truth about Area 51 and had a pet unicorn. My family history being one of varying degrees of impoverishment, I suppose money, the attainment of (one way or another), could very well have become a major driving force in my life had the thought occurred to me. It did not. But, regardless of all that, coming home to a dark house and the discovery that our electricity had been shut off was an unkind realization--after juggling our bills for so many months, we'd dropped one.
After two nights spent in candlelight (the upside to that being that my skin is velvety perfection in candlelight), we bid a hasty farewell to our crooked little newlywed bungalow. We bagged what we needed to keep with us (clothes, toiletries, a few select books and the record player), we boxed what to store in a rented unit (kitchenware, art, so many more books), and gave away as much as I could bare to part with. And then, there was the junk removal--for the things we were holding onto which weren't even fit for Goodwill (how does that happen? and why?)
We've been living spartan for a couple months now, and every other day I toss an item of clothing into a box in the corner for Goodwill--any time I try an outfit on in the morning and it doesn't work (because it's ill-fitting or because I'm just not feeling it), I toss it in the box. And the stuff--my books, my little trinkets, my things--packed in boxes in the storage unit? I don't miss them. I don't need them.
Today I did another closet weeding--the honorary one celebrating my freedom from secretarial work and button-down blouses. And, when we can gather the strength, we'll begin the big storage unit clean-up. The process of moving, of junk hauling, has made me aware of just how much junk I do hold onto, and just how much junk I buy. My most important purchase of 2012, it turned out, was not an acquisition, but the freedom from such. A seed has been planted, and now I am letting go. One day, yes, I will have the witchy little cottage, stuffed to the brim with books and artifacts, crystals and fishbowls. But, now, though I will not be living out of a back pack, I think I can manage living out of a couple of trunks.
Prompt, Day 2 - What was your most significant expenditure in 2012? It doesn't have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact. What difference has it made to your life?