Keepsakes, clutter or justifiable homicide?

Much to my chagrin, I was forced, by the angelic janitor on my right shoulder, to hire a backhoe, (courtesy of Wallace Hyde Jr., in Springboro), in order keep up with the mandatory spring cleaning craze that currently sweeps the nation. Get it? I said, “sweeps the nation.” OK, I'm clearly not hilarious in this paragraph but, I will try to seize your attention later in this piece.

I'm not talking about light dusting and vacuuming at all. I mean total, hideous, horrid, time-consuming, back-breaking, purification of this *&$#@ shoebox we call a dwelling. Whew, I'm in the aerobic state from typing that.

When Barbie and Ken started to use our cobwebs for trapeze practice, it became abundantly clear to me that the time had come. What's your view?

Now, I am not going to lead you to the land of slumber by prattling on incessantly about scrubbing walls, floors and anything that pauses for any length of time. (Perpetual has never sparkled so much, by the by.) I am, however, going to impart something that came to light, in a major way, during one of the purging episodes.

I knew that Perpetual was somewhat of a, well, er, “hanger-on-er” of materials but, I had no clue how far his disorder had gone, until recently.

Women are oft' considered to be pack rats and men are not. However, just the opposite was illustrated when my darling life partner set aside time in his schedule to assist in hoeing out the structure. He rented a fire truck in order to utilize the hose for dust and junk removal purposes. I know, we sure have a lot of heavy equipment lounging about.

We were knee-deep in tornado remnants—I mean in dust particles, when he unearthed a most fascinating and worth-keeping piece of memorabilia. Hold on to something as this was a major archaeological discovery. It was, quite possibly, the most valuable find in this home in at least a week.

I know you are eager to learn of this relic so I will not torture you any further. You've suffered enough, at this point. Anyhow, we found a small piece of an old cereal box on which were the words: “Perpetual's Sliver.” (I used his real name but, I'm trying to protect his identity. Do NOT tell him about this column, if you know him. I mean it.) Yes, you read that right. In addition to the description, there was an arrow pointing in the general direction of a splinter, (about a half-inch long), which was once lodged in the finger of my adorable gent. We secured said splinter to the cardboard with a piece of tape and had, evidently, set it aside. I really didn't expect the man to hold on to the treasure for so many years but he did.

Guess what? The artifact lives on because he simply HAD to keep it. Am I the only one who finds this to be a bit, well, insane? I could understand if I had plucked it from his paw and it had led to his declaring his undying love for me but...

Another major find was a small ball, which was filled with water and also contained some sort of colorful beads within. Mind you, this thing lost its bounce-ability probably around the time of Joan Rivers' first plastic surgery appointment. We literally had an argument on whether or not this item should be kept or tossed. I finally turned to him and explained that there was another one under the freezer in the kitchen. I'm serious. One of the cats knocked it under a decade ago, give or take.

Can you believe any of this? I can't.

Then, I dug deep within the dungeon of dust and plucked one of those tension rods from the debris. I turned to him, gently yet effectively, and said, “I am not keeping this just because I MIGHT possibly use it one day. I will buy another one if need be.” He was so taken aback that he literally stepped away and tripped over a mushroom, which had taken root in one corner. He replied, “Boy, that's something I'd NEVER say or do...” I must digress quickly at this time. We really did not have a mushroom sprouting forth in the home. I threw that in for effect, or is that affect?? Just kidding, I do know the difference. How was that for a digression?

Thus far, I've been conned into keeping items ranging from broken picture frames to toenail clippings that resemble pools of lava.

I suppose things could be worse. Actually, they were, at one time. This would have been when I was attached to the freak of nature I like to call my ex husband. Mother would tell me stories of how, when I'd leave for work, he would make multiple trips to the garbage receptacle, located in her driveway.

He trashed my high school letter jacket, Pookie—a teddy bear with sentimental value, a small rocking chair from my youth, our only child's baby book and various other items of interest.

At least I know, for a fact, that Perpetual would preserve a tissue from that time I cried during a movie, rather than part ways with the soggy object. (See, I'm so hardened from the whole life experience thing that I rarely tear up during motion pictures.)

I have to abruptly end this piece before Perpetual arrives. I only have a small window of opportunity to secretly dispose of his container of old nose hairs. I shall also burn the white suit that he once wore in a disco dancing contest. Hold me.