Saturday, August 02, 2008

Junk Magnet

Jake and I pull up in front of the Salvation Army.

"Now seriously Jake, I need you help here," A large box is pulled from the backseat and placed in his arms. "You know where to go. Just take it in and come back, there's more."

I pull a large garbage bag overflowing with old clothes from the truck. Sometimes I'm amazed at the speed that Jake grows out of his clothes. They literally shrink before my eyes. Before long he's back, ready to take another bag in.

"Hey Mom, there's some cool stuff in there."

No freaking way.

"Jake we just spend two days getting rid of stuff we don't need. We had a garage filled to the brim with junk-YOUR junk. We are not adding to it anymore. Here, take another bag."

He silently takes the bag and walks with me into the shop.

"But Mom, this is cool."


"It's only a couple dollars."

"NO. We are here to GET RID OF STUFF, not BUY IT." My voice becomes louder. The clerk next to me smiles, and suddenly I'm feeling a bit embarrassed. It's just...well....

Most of the stuff that we threw away was junk that Jake brought home. Well meaning people giving him old appliances to take apart, pieces of wood he's picked up, shells he's collected, pine cones he's hoarded. I just can't stand having anymore useless stuff filling up the nooks and crannies of our house.

I sigh and eye the collectibles and old appliances in front of me. It's like trying to stop the tide or the rain with this kid-the stuff just keeps coming. In a flash the moment passes and I've re-grouped, ready keep my willpower intact.

"Jake, we're NOT BUYING anything," briskly I turn and walk to the exit, but as I walk by a display of glassware it catches my eye. The most beautiful wine glass I've ever seen stands out among the rest like a treasure. The red and gold swirls melt into the glass, catching the light. Suddenly I stop and pick it up.

"How much is THAT?!" The words come out in a gasp.

Jake starts to giggle.

"We're NOT buying anything, Mom. Put down that wineglass."

His voices snaps me back to attention.

"Oh. Right. Of course." I gently set the glass down and stand transfixed, eyeing it like a piece of forbidden candy. It's only 75 cents, after all. That's dirt cheap. I can't even buy a coffee for that.


But I don't drink wine, really, and it's only one glass. On the other hand, it's so pretty. Maybe I could...

"MOM, we're NOT HERE to BUY ANYTHING." Jake needles me in the ribs.

"Yes, yes, okay, we're going," I poke him back with a grin. "Just making sure you were paying attention."

Wonder if I can swing by the shop on my way to the library tomorrow?

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