Moving out and moving on means dealing with drawers of ‘baggage’

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Packing for my divorce-induced change of address, I confront a question: what kind of man owns seven Hawaiian shirts? Occasions to don such apparel are few, and yet…my closet inventory inexplicably includes a tropical fashion choice for each day of the week.

Packing for my divorce-induced change of address, I confront a question: what kind of man owns seven Hawaiian shirts? Occasions to don such apparel are few, and yet…my closet inventory inexplicably includes a tropical fashion choice for each day of the week.

Sorting through my possessions, other riddles arise. Who in the world would have reason to own five fezzes?  Sensible replies to this query include the Casablanca Chamber of Commerce President or the local Shriner Temple Potentate. But, as the owner of these thimble-shaped chapeaus is me, the correct answer is, “a real whacko.” 

That conclusion might also explain my ownership of 25 ball caps, two berets, two Santa hats, a fedora, porkpie, ascot, pith helmet, sombrero cordobés, beanie, and the headrest cover from my old car that, when squeezed over my sizeable cranium, most resembles the national hat of Serbia, a Šajkača.

With moving day some three weeks off, I amuse myself with ridiculous things acquired over the years. Who would not covet my imposing collection of ugly eyewear, including binocular glasses, Army surplus motorcycle goggles, some hideous shades briefly hawked by Dow Corning, and alien-looking spectacles labeled “German Emergency Sunglasses”? 

You might scoff, but should a German emergency occur, I’ll be ready.

Unfortunately, I will soon be caught between a rock and a hard lack of storage space. When the time comes for the growing stack of boxes to be removed from my present home, I will curse having so much stuff.

Lord knows, the place I’ll temporarily shack up has no place to put this cargo. I’ll be lucky to shoehorn my clothes and computer set up into the new, momentary domicile, while the rest of my junk ends up in some rental locker.

The problem of two tuxedoes is easily solved: get rid of one. More difficult will be the disposition of sentimental treasures – photos and report cards from grade school and high school, cards and letters from old friends, parents, and dead relatives, my children’s artwork from grades 1 through 6, ticket stubs from concerts, movies, and junkets to family vacation spots.

Perhaps I am trying to not forget where I’ve been and what I’ve done. If so, I’d best find a more practical way of doing that.

If nothing else, I must increase my sorting discard percentage. So far, I am able to part with a quarter of the things I own. By the time I find a more permanent place to live, I hope like heck I’ve found the fortitude to designate three-quarters of my property as “throw aways” and “for donation.”  After all, worldly possessions merely tie one down.

Still, for now I’ll hang on to my deceased dogs’ collars, and keep my ten kites in the hopes they’ll fly again. I will save the juggling clubs, the dozen circa 1982 Chinese wind-up toys, and the sundry musical instruments I can barely play.

The time may come to get rid of more things. Until then, I’ll happily horde belongings that hold personal meaning, in true wacko fashion.

Which reminds me, if you want crazy good deals on hardly-worn Hawaiian shirts, let me know.

Pat Grimes, a former South Bay resident, writes from Ypsilanti, Mich. He can be reached at pgwriter@inbox.com.