Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stuff

(I freely accept that my ideas here may have been influenced by some American guy whose name I can no longer remember ... Bucket ... fuckit ... and he wrote a book about Pirates or something like that and also about Stuff).

As a child I lived in the same house for eighteen years. I was born in that house and my biggest move was from the box room to the attic after it had been converted. Since then, in seventeen years I have moved thirteen times. Surely that has got to be crazy? That can’t be right? I even wondered whether I could count fourteen as strictly speaking there was a short period after university where rather cleverly on my part I forgot to apply for any jobs and extended my summer holiday for another eight months thanks to the tax payer and my parents who lodged me. But I decided no. A rucksack and one box does not a moving make. No for it to be a proper move there has to be STUFF.

And with that stuff comes rules. For instance rule. 17 in the Miss V moving manual is: Thou shall not move thy toilet brush from one abode to the other. Why? When did I decide that? Well, actually I can fill you all in on that one. It was about the moment I shoved everything from the shelves into a placcy bag and chucked it into a box and there before me was the toilet brush and in a blinding flash I just said NO.

Rule 11 is: Thou shall buy new duvet covers to welcome you into your new abode. Again I ask myself why. Well strictly speaking I have spent the last year with one full duvet set and two half sets, because he who shall not be mentioned buggered off with half of each and isn’t anywhere as anally retentive as me when it comes to matching sheets. But I stress that I never saw that as a good point, that was a FATAL FLAW. However, I do also recognise that it is also a pretty fatal flaw on my part too. Why oh why must they all be matching colours and go with the rug on the floor too? What is wrong with me?

So back to the stuff: I have big plates, little plates, pasta plates, bowls, red wine glasses, white wine glasses, champagne glasses (admittedly one of each but there was a whole set once upon a time). In the last week I’ve used the same plate, same wine glass (and maybe used it a little bit too much last night) and same cutlery – which incidentally I spent my birthday money on a couple of years ago because I decided the Carrefour cutlery was crap. When did this happen? There was a time when the only time I did the dishes was when I ran out of stuff to eat off. OK that time was about March of this year, but that was exceptional and I really tried hard never to let that happen again.

OK but what’s the point? The point is that whether you want to or not stuff rules your life. Here was rule no.1 in the moving manual: Yon apartment must be big enough for all my stuff to fit in. I searched around Paris with this unwritten rule foremost in my head unaware that I had become dominated by stuff. This is the same person who when she saw the two French women waltz into the hotel in Bali while their packhorse boyfriends carried their rucksacks and their own said: ‘If you can’t carry it, don’t pack it. How much stuff does one person need?” Well in answer to my own question; 40 odd boxes of crap, piles of furniture, lights and various other shit.

I remember one idealistic day in my past when I tried to make a promise to myself that I would not become materialistic. Since then I appear to have accumulated more crap than I really should have and at various times have been part owner of three cars (even though I don’t possess a driving licence) an apartment in Paris, and a washing machine that I cannot be parted from – Rule 3 in the manual: Thy washing machine is not a frivolity, it is a necessity.

I could go on, but really what’s the point. Yes, I have a lot of crap. Yes, I bought some more today. No, I don’t really need it and no I don’t really have the courage to drop out of the societal loop sufficiently to rid myself of the need of stuff. So there we go, that was a pointless and circular argument if ever there was one. A bit like stuff really.

3 comments:

Minx said...

Breaking news - Verilion title and links, back where they should be!

And stuff, oh yes lots of stuff, stuff is what a person makes, a person making stuff...is good!

Motto - no moving unless one can hire a herd of sherpas to take new stuff to warehouse-like new abode!

Lee said...

How funny. I also posted about stuff today.

Verilion said...

There I was thinking: Oh just resave my template, but for some bizarre reason I decided to add Google Analytics and guess what? When I went back to the page it was COMPLETELY BLANK! I didn't get to see ANY of the three episodes of FBI: Porte Disparu last night, spent the time depserately recreating my page. So I am VERY GLAD it's working again.
Hey and I'm glad you've come and had a look Lee I've been reading some of your fiction.

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