Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Personal Grooming & Other Dangerous Hobbies

by Susan Sey

My curling iron exploded last week.

Okay, so maybe exploded isn't the right word as it implies flames & suchlike. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say my curling iron spontaneously disassembled itself. While I was using it.

It was a shock at the time. There I was, holding a tube of million-degree metal inches from my eyeball when one of the screws holding it all together shot across the room. I had just enough to time think, "What the hell was that?" when the other screw shot out, too, & the whole deal went SPROING (seriously, it made that noise) as the clampy bit that grabs your hair hurtled across the room at high velocity.

I wish I could say this came as a surprise but it didn't. Not really. For some time, I'd been contemplating putting the old girl out to pasture. It was at least a decade old. The plastic bit that keeps your thumb from roasting alive had disappeared years ago. The little foot that keeps it from melting your bathroom counter? Same thing.

But my inner eco-warrior kept saying, "Oh come on. You use it, what? Like once a quarter? You really want to toss this one in the landfill while it still adequately bends your hair?"

Well, yeah. Yeah I did. But I want lots of things I probably shouldn't have. Dessert for breakfast. An unlimited supply of paperback books. A reason (any reason, please lord) to skip the gym. And since my idea of personal grooming rarely extends beyond showering, brushing my teeth & using deodorant, could I really justify a new curling iron?

Clearly I could not.

Was I being frugal? Environmental? Stingy? Careless?

Nah. I think I just hate change. I liked my old curling iron. It had an on button, an off button & it curled the hell out of my hair. (No easy feat, that. Teflon only wishes it was my hair.) Now I have to go back to the dance & find a new partner, which a recent trip to the beauty aisle at Target has assured me will be complicated. Nano-ceramics will, apparently, be invovled. Jeesh.

Now some people like newness for newness' sake. I am not one of those people. I will wear underpants until they are nothing but a band of elastic. I once owned a car that required a set of instructions if anybody besides me drove it. ("The gas gauge doesn't work so you'll have to reset the trip tyche every time you fill up & calculate your mileage to see when you're due for a fill up. You also have to roll down the window & let yourself out the drivers' side door as the inside handle's broken. Speaking of the driver's side window...")

I think maybe it's not newness I dislike so much, but the choosing. I hate trying to pick out the best new thing from a whole bunch of other new things. It's so much pressure. What if I choose badly? What if I screw it up? What if it's an expensive mistake? What if the choosing process forces me to acknowledge unflattering truths about myself? (Underwear shopping is great for letting those unflattering truths out of the bag, by the way. I'll bet I'm not the only girl out there wearing her unders to shreds.)

Same goes for starting a new book. Is this the right hero? The right heroine? The right match up? What if this other guy's better? Is this the right tone? The right conflict? The right place to start? I have probably written more Chapter Ones than any person on the face of the planet. And it's all because I'm the kind of girl who holds onto her curling iron until it explodes on her.

So how about you? Do you hold onto stuff (or habits or theories or people) until they blow up on you? Or do you thrive on novelty? Does new give you a kick or a headache? What was the last thing you kept too long, from leftovers to an outgrown boy/girl friend?

92 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Pack Rat = Aunty

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OMG! I can't believe I actually beat out Limecello for the GR!

Hmmmm, actually I heard he might have a covert op here in California... One can't be too sure with the wylie chook.

Smoov, you had me rolling with your description of the death throes of your curling iron. My recently died too, but it wasn't nearly so dramatic. The spring broke and I couldn't lift the part you stick your hair under. :-( OH WELL!

As for items I have kept faaaar too long. I have many, but I think the prize goes to my cosmetic bag that I used for travel. The top closure finally gave out and the duct tape I used to replace it kept sticking to everything else in the suitcase so I FINALLY had to spring for a new one, which I do NOT like. :-P

Helen said...

Well done Aunty Cindy what are your plans for the day with him

Susan
Loved the post I tend to make things last as long as I can I don't want to waste money on new things when it could be used for buying new books to read LOL.

I still have a set of heated rollers that I got before I got married 32 years ago and they still work well they did the last time they were used when my daughter had her formal a few years ago. And yes we have had a car like yours as well but I do have a nice car now that is only 7 years old but it was a hard choice deciding which one to buy.

So answer your question yep I hang onto things as long as I can

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Sugden said...

ROFL Susan!! Glad you weren't hurt by your curling tongs - those things get hot!!!

AC - I'm a pack rat too!!

I'm a bit of both. I hate throwing things out, especially if I like them. Over here we have great charity shops and recycling centres which will take stuff from you, so I feel like in those cases, they're going to a new home or being put to good use instead of being landfill.

I still have lots of clothes that I have a snowball's chance of ever fitting into again. But, I love them ... so I keep them.

I do like getting new things, but I don't enjoy shopping (except for shoes *g*). I'm always disappointed because I can't find what I want or I do find it, but it won't fit. *sigh*

The last thing I kept too long? My ex! LOL

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Do you hold onto stuff (or habits or theories or people) until they blow up on you?
I did that with two of my three ex husbands.Or do you thrive on novelty?
I don't exactly thrive on novelty, it depends on what it is related to. My hair is straight as a stick and now very long, if the novelty item says it can curl it then I will be tempted to buy it, other than that, not so much.Does new give you a kick or a headache?
Mostly it gives me a headache, most of the time new is not necessarily better, just different.What was the last thing you kept too long, from leftovers to an outgrown boy/girl friend?
Clothes that were outdated and I have put on so much poundage now they will never, ever fit this body again.

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirsten said...

Oh Susan, classic post! A curling iron would explode only for you! :-)

I don't have a problem with change. I am a dedicated "purger" and regularly clean out my closets and such to get rid of things we don't use. I enjoy disposing of things and getting new things. Sometime I must restrain myself because I'm a little TOO fond of new things. *g* I think this goes along with my absurdly short attention span. I tend to like things for short periods of time, then get bored and like a two-year-old, want to try something new.

(Speaking of which, it's almost spring. Anyone want to hit the mall with me?)

I think this may be why I have written historical, YA, contemporary, and paranormal books. And why I have changed jobs two times in the past four years. And why I have an intense desire to rip the carpet out of the living room and put in Pergo, even though the carpet is only six years old.

Yeah, now that I think about it, I may be addicted to change. Thanks for helping me identify a new psychological disorder, Susan! :-)

Terry Odell said...

Oh, argh. We're planning to move. Major move. Like enforced retirement, put the house on the market and get out of Dodge move. Been in this house for 20 years. I would LOVE to simply start from scratch, but I know I couldn't ever face making all those decisions -- even if we could afford it. I've probably got 5 curling irons I never use, but with each hairstyle variation, I'd try a new approach.

(I also discovered a great site -- freecyle.org, where you can get rid of "stuff" that doesn't fall into the charitable donation category. At least it keeps stuff out of landfill)

I blogged on a similar topic not long ago.

I think I'm more agreeable to change than hubby. We'll see what he is willing to part with once the time comes.

Susan Sey said...

AC!! Congrats on the GR! Stepping between Limecello & her chook, though? You are a brave woman indeed!

And I'm nodding with sage recognition at the description of your cosmetic bag. I have a few of those in my house. (But it's just the right SIZE, I'll tell my disapproving husband. And I love this adorable POCKET. How can I give it UP? Have you SEEN the cosmetic bags on the market right now? JUNK!)

His point is always that my current bag looks a lot like junk too, which only proves that there are certain things men simply do not understand. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Helen wrote: I still have a set of heated rollers that I got before I got married 32 years ago and they still workHelen, I bow down before you. My curling iron was only ten, twelve years old. A 32 year old set of hot rollers? And it still works? I stand in awe.

My personal contention is that they make stuff purposely disposable now so you'll have to replace it & shore up their (the manufacturers) income stream. Back in the day (back when TVs were built like furniture & cars like ocean liners) stuff was made of actual metal & had some staying power.

A ten year old curling iron that still worked was like a miracle & refusing to replace it was sticking it to the man!

I kinda miss my old curler.

Susan Sey said...

Anna wrote: I still have lots of clothes that I have a snowball's chance of ever fitting into again. But, I love them ... so I keep them.

The last thing I kept too long? My ex! LOL
You know, the one thing I seem to have no trouble throwing out is clothes. And like you, though, I don't throw them. I give them to Goodwill or consignment shops. After it became clear that I wasn't going to return to the workforce anytime soon after having babies, I gave away most of my suits, figuring they'd been way outdated by the time I needed them again, & somebody out there probably needs them now & cheap. And as I hated my job, I was thrilled to see them go.

And LOL about keeping your ex too long. I'll bet there's not a woman alive who doesn't regret not cutting some loser loose a few years sooner.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning, Susan! Laughed at the exploding curling iron, but also thought, "Thank goodness it didn't shoot the screws into your eye!" That would've been horrible!

New doesn't mean better. I bought a big curling iron not long ago because I'd used my sister's on a trip to Chicago and liked the affect on my hair. I had it less than two months when parts loosened up. The thing is...I can't bring myself to replace it, yet. It's new, it still works, money doesn't grow on trees. Will I replace it? Yes, probably before the trip to Nationals.

Kirsten said...

Susan, you are exactly right about them making things to break (says the woman who just had to buy a new washing machine -- to replace the broken one that was only FIVE YEARS OLD).

Grrr...

Susan Sey said...

hrdwrkdmom wrote: Do you hold onto stuff (or habits or theories or people) until they blow up on you?
I did that with two of my three ex husbands.
Okay, Dianna, I have to ask. I just assumed it was #3 you got rid of on time but it occurs to me now that maybe it was #1 or #2 who got the boot in a timely fashion. Maybe #3 was one of those charming scamps who skates on stuff just because he's so darn adorable? I know I've got one or two fo those in my closet, myself. Fun to date but hell to keep.

Kinda like the GR? :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

YAY Aunty !! The GR has had it WAY too easy with Lime! Put him through his paces!!

ROFLMAO at your description of the demise of your curling iron! Classic indeed!

Do I hang on to things? Uhm, my refrigerator was made in 1957. Does that answer your question? Hey, it works, why get rid of it! Have you SEEN the price they are getting for new ones?

I am a huge pack rat. I think it was my upbringing. My Mom is one of these waste not / want not types. My Dad on the other hand would strike terror into all of our hearts when he announced "I'm cleaning out the garage." That meant ANYTHING that he deemed useless was going to the dump. We would all run down the stairs to rescue those items we just KNEW he was going to throw out. One time had all three of our bicycles on the truck. He said "You haven't ridden them in over a month." "Dad, it's England in December and it's been snowing since Halloween!"

Joan said...

Susan, you poor thing! You could've had an eye put out...

I gave up curling irons and hot rollers about 6 years ago. Discovered a great stylist with a good cut, a round brush and hair dryer.

However, in that same vein for YEARS I hung onto...hair perms.

It's freeing not to be pulverizing my hair follicles.

I'll admit...I like a new car. I'm going to hold onto my paid for Camry for right now, but when it starts giving up the ghost...it's new for me.

Oh, yeah. And recently realized I'd held onto a nursing management postion too long...about 2 years too long. Gave it up, went back to the bedside where--despite literally running the halls for 12 hours straight and not getting to eat--I am more content than I've been in a long while.

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten wrote: Sometime I must restrain myself because I'm a little TOO fond of new things. *g* Speaking of which, it's almost spring. Anyone want to hit the mall with me?Heh. Remember the last time you tried to take me shopping?

Scene: Kirsten's favorite consignment shop.

Kirsten: Oooooh, look at this cute dress! You'd look adorable in this & it's so itty bitty!

Susan: That won't fit.

Kirsten: Why not?

Susan: It's a size four.

Kirsten: As I said. Teeny tiny.

Susan: My five foot nine sister wears a four these days. I am a short girl, & sizing creep (that insidious evil perpetrated by fashion designers everywhere) has stolen all shopping pleasure from me. I now shop in the children's department.

Kirsten: I'd wondered about the Grrrranimals. But still. That's ridiculous. Try that dress on immediately.

Susan: Okay but you'll see.

Two minutes later.

Kirsten: Oh.

Susan: Uh huh.

So, no mall for me, please. :-) Though I totally support your desire for Pergo in the living room. We've had ours for over ten years & it's AWESOME. Indestructible, cleans up easy. NOthing like it for houses containing kids and/or dogs.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Louisa said: My Dad on the other hand would strike terror into all of our hearts when he announced "I'm cleaning out the garage."LOL, Louisa this is my Dad, too! One of his favorite parts of my trip home every fall is the day he and I clean out mom's refrigerator! He stands over the disposal and I hand him things to put down it. Ooooooooold bottles of stuff, tupperware of bowls of leftovers. You name it we toss it out.

Mom hates this. Probably because I also clean out any old medications she has "stored up for a rainy day". Sigh...Drugs have a shelf life, dang it!

Susan Sey said...

Terry Odell wrote: Been in this house for 20 years. I would LOVE to simply start from scratch, but I know I couldn't ever face making all those decisions -- even if we could afford it. Amen, sister. My husband's brother & his wife built a new house from scratch a few years back & while my heart is indeed full of envy for their beautiful, spacious, gorgeous new home, I would rather drink paint thinner than be faced with all the decisions that go into building a home from scratch.

Lord. Give me a shabby 70s split level any day...

Oh, wait. That's what I have.

Well. As I said. Give me the split level. I can un-seventies it one step (and one decision) at a time.

And good luck with the move! Keep us posted!

Susan Sey said...

Suz wrote: Laughed at the exploding curling iron, but also thought, "Thank goodness it didn't shoot the screws into your eye!" That would've been horrible!Spoken like a true health care professional! Thankfully I was wearing my glasses (again, contacts? Pah. Too much trouble, plus my eyes don't like 'em.) The screw went heaven only knows where (I still haven't located the second one) but not my eye, thank god.

And my condolences on your crappy new curling iron. SEe what I mean? Newer is not always better. Sometimes newer just means more disposable.

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten wrote: (says the woman who just had to buy a new washing machine -- to replace the broken one that was only FIVE YEARS OLD). Oh, I'm so sorry about your washing machine. That blows.

On the other hand...did you get one of those adorable high efficiency numbers in a bright, shiny new color? I lust after those everytime I visit Home Depot. I like the red ones. So cheerful, & lord knows laundry could use a little charm.

Susan Sey said...

Louisa wrote: Do I hang on to things? Uhm, my refrigerator was made in 1957. Does that answer your question? Hey, it works, why get rid of it! Have you SEEN the price they are getting for new ones?Yes. Yes I have. And it grieves me because while for most things I, too, am a packrat, when it comes to major appliances, I have lust & envy in my heart. I want a new fridge SO BAD. Something super efficient that dispenses filtered water & crushed ice. A washing machine that uses water & energy sparingly. A dryer to match that sits on top in one of those shiny, candy-apple colors I've seen at the store...

But then my inner eco-warrior comes out to play & I find myself replacing the door gasket on the fridge instead of springing for a new fridge. (That was a two-person job & quite an adventure in husband/wife DIY projects, if anybody's interested.)

Did the same for my dryer. And cleaned out the stupid air vent, too, which effected a minor miracle in terms of drying efficiency. (Darn it.)

Susan Sey said...

Joanie wrote: Oh, yeah. And recently realized I'd held onto a nursing management postion too long...about 2 years too long. Gave it up, went back to the bedside where--despite literally running the halls for 12 hours straight and not getting to eat--I am more content than I've been in a long while.Good for you, Joanie T! I'm so glad the change is working out for you. Nursing is such physically demanding work, isn't it? I have a sister who loved her job in the surgical ICU but eventually had to give it up because it played hell with her back. Lifting & moving all those comatose patients.

And I hear you on the perms. I, too, have a five or six year period there where I was routinely frying my hair follicles. And I do mean frying. It takes some serious harsh chemicals to bend this hair of mine. I finally gave it up after a good third of my hair cracked off about a quarter inch from the roots & FELL OFF after a perm.

Yep. FELL CLEAN OFF. Good thing for me I had a lot of hair to begin with. Still, that was the end of my love affair with perms. Eeesh.

Joan said...

Nursing is such physically demanding work, isn't it? It is, Susan. Seriously. Last week? Working 2 days? I lost THREE pounds!!!!

Makes getting up the energy to go to the gym on my off day THAT more challenging. Hmmmm...think I'll plant flowers today...in my NEW pots.

Yep. FELL CLEAN OFF.Yikes! Here, let me clean that hair up..with my vacumn that makes whirry noises when I use. Should have that mess cleaned up in..oh, about a week...

jo robertson said...

OMGosh, flat-out hilarious post, Susan! You've made my morning and woken me up without coffee or pepsi! Speaking of, better pour me some Pee-Zee!

AC, didn't know you were a pack rat! Hmmm, maybe I should get an INVITE TO YOUR HOUSE, girl!

This is me, Susan, avoidance of change and getting new things. Which is why Dr. Big bought my last car, sight unseen, and I now have an orange Honda Element in my garage. Which I love, BTW.

I'm the OCD person who turns the lotions and shampoos and gels upside down, removes the pump, and niggles out the last tiny drop with my pinkie. Can't help it. I just can't throw anything away until I've squeezed the last iota of usefulness out of it.

How sick is that?

jo robertson said...

I so get the appliance, Kirsten. Built-in obsolescence!

p226 said...

Susan, I think I found your problem.

The first "screw" was probably a safety pin.

The second "screw" was probably the spoon.

One should not curl their hair with a hand-grenade.

I'm just sayin'.

p226 said...

Here, let me clean that hair up..with my vacumn that makes whirry noises when I use....

In my house... that sound may or may not have had anything to do with the accidental vacuuming of rifle primers dropped, and lost in the carpet.

(The little explosions apparently do bad things to vacuums.)

Kirsten said...

Did we get a bright shiny new red washer?

No. Deep sigh. We had a HE front loader already, and we stack the dryer on top of it. So we had to get the identical washer, so they still stack right. So you spend $700 and get...status quo.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BOOM! That's the sound of yet one more thing that I too have hung onto hitting the floor...grins. I'm popping out of the cave for a laugh - got that - and a moment of sanity from trying to decide if I've got the right hero.

Uh-huh. And the book's due to the editor June one. I'm nearly done with it. Revisions. Edits. Oh, bloody hell am I going to have to write the whole thing OVER???

Panic ensues.

I'd rather buy a new curling iron. Shudder. (Just so you know, mine's well over 10 years old.)

Thanks for the chuckle Susan! Congrats on nabbing the chook, AC. He's been perving on Limecello long enough this week. Teach him some manners, will ya'? Heeehee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226...SNORK. Rifle primers in the carpet? Uh-oh, Chico, I think it's gonna go--BOOM.

*crackling radio* Fire and REscue, this is dispatch. We've got report of an explosion at...

Susan Sey said...

Suz wrote: One of his favorite parts of my trip home every fall is the day he and I clean out mom's refrigerator! He stands over the disposal and I hand him things to put down it. Ooooooooold bottles of stuff, tupperware of bowls of leftovers. You name it we toss it out.Oh, I love tossing leftovers. I do this at my mom's house, too. She comes here for a visit & tries to stick a tiny tupperware into the fridge with like two bites of peas in it, & I know it breaks her heart when I say no. But why throw it out after paying to cool it for two weeks? I say toss it into the woods NOW.

Susan Sey said...

Joanie wrote: Last week? Working 2 days? I lost THREE pounds!!!!Silver lining for every cloud, then, huh? :-) Skip the gym & plant your flowers with a clear conscience!

Susan Sey said...

Jo wrote: I'm the OCD person who turns the lotions and shampoos and gels upside down, removes the pump, and niggles out the last tiny drop with my pinkie. Can't help it. I just can't throw anything away until I've squeezed the last iota of usefulness out of it.
Jo! My sister in thrifty ways! I always have an upside-down bottle of something or other on the counter, propped up by the bananas or the napkin holder or something, so I can wring out the last few drops of olive oil or ketchup or what have you. I don't know why I can't let it go. I just can't. Nice to know I have company. :-)

Susan Sey said...

P226 wrote: One should not curl their hair with a hand-grenade.

I'm just sayin'.
Sage advice, P226. My hair is difficult to curl, but maybe I shouldn't have gone quite so far as attempting to fire bomb it. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten wrote: So you spend $700 and get...status quo.
And that is the heartbreak of being a grown up home owner. :-(

Susan Sey said...

Jeanne wrote: Oh, bloody hell am I going to have to write the whole thing OVER???

Panic ensues.
Oh, honey. I'm so sorry the cave is being so rough on you. But we have faith in you. Your hero is absolutely the right one. I'm sure he's a delicious hunk of yummy man-candy, & your readers will eat him up with a spoon. And they'll love your heroine, too, but would happily shove her into the rose bushes for a crack at your hero. :-)

You just have to write him now. I'm sorry. But we're all waiting for you when you emerge from the cave, spent & weary. Sven waits ready to work out the kinks, & I'm pretty sure a gladiator is on stand-by with a cold beverage.

Now write. You can do it.

Barbara Monajem said...

I not only wear old clothes until there's more stitching than fabric, but I can't bring myself to wear new clothing until I've had it for a while. Months, sometimes. And I'm totally fixated on finishing things. The shampoo, for instance. Every last drop has to be coaxed out before I toss the bottle. I have finally learned to throw away shampoo other people have left behind. The bottles collect and distribute mildew. The stuff ruins my perm if I use it... but I was keeping it just in case. In case what?

Christie Kelley said...

Great blog, Susan! I've also had curling irons that have fallen apart on me. It's not fun.

I do tend to keep things far longer than I should. I think that's why my dh likes to move, so I clean out my junk.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan, LOL about shoving the heroine in the bushes to get to the hero. Come to think of it, he IS that yummmy. Hmmmm....

BTW, Thanks for the atta boy. It' IS true. I can write through anything if there's a gladiator and a cold beverage of choice waiting on the other side

*keys clicking*

*muttering* Just remember the gladiator, gladiator...not Titans...gladiator...beverage...gladiator...

Donna MacMeans said...

Lord - I love your posts, Susan! Can't wait for your book to hit the stands - I'll be grinning ear to ear.

My daughter and I were having a similar discussion recently. We needed to go out to dinner because my husband and son weren't home and frankly - I didn't want to cook for just the two of us. She wanted to go to a new restaurant - try something different. I was content to stick with the tried and true. I explained to her -- there was a time when I was younger that I wanted to experiment and try new places. I laughed at those that hugged the sides of their ruts. Cowards, I thought.

Now I know - deep in the rut that I am - that it's comfortable down here. No need to waste time experiencing with new looks, new tastes, new anything. I can focus my attention on things that truly matter - nothing cowardly about that.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ARGH! I had to tie the GR's beak shut to keep him from crowing me awake this morning. :-(

I just sent him off with the DH to the recycle center, speaking of never throwing things away. The DH paid for our last cruise with $$ collected from turning in cans and bottles from the neighborhood. The neighbors all know him and leave bags of recyclables outside their doors for him. If they only knew we were cruising on their trash... HA!

AC
who also has a counter full of upside down bottles so I can get the very last little iota of whatever out of them

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Sorry, Jo-Mama but you haven't been invited inside my house for your own good! First there are the two yappy little dogs who do not like ANYBODY in their house (and one of them bites). And then there is the general disaster inside... I will NOT be responsible for causing an angina attack in a woman with known heart issues. I'm just sayin...

Speaking of the dogs, they have been skulking around the patio muttering about perimeters or some such. I'm afraid the GR has been advising them of some rather extreme tactics to rid the area of squirrels.

AC

Susan Sey said...

Barbara wrote: stuff ruins my perm if I use it... but I was keeping it just in case. In case what?
My husband's point exactly. What am I saving (fill in the blank) for? For when I NEED them, obviously. Like our basement full of cardboard boxes. Whenever I want to mail something, I just traipse down to the basement, select the perfect box & happily mail away. My husband would prefer to recycle the boxes immediately, then go out & BUY a box from Mailboxes or the UPS store or suchlike whenever he needs to ship something. WHY??

We drive each other nuts, but whenever he needs something mailed, where do you think he goes? My box stash in the basement. Thank you very much. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Christie wrote: I do tend to keep things far longer than I should. I think that's why my dh likes to move, so I clean out my junk.
I shudder to think what I would have to do to get ready to move. We've been here ten years now & I've accumulated a LOT of stuff.

My in-laws were military--my husband moved something like twelve times his first fourteen years. I can see why he feels no need to move, & it works out great for me, as I have no desire to sort out all the stuff in the basement.

I live in awe of people who move often. You guys have to be crazy organized. But I'll bet you have a stash of favorite boxes in your basement, don't you? :-)

Susan Sey said...

Jeanne wrote: BTW, Thanks for the atta boy. It' IS true. I can write through anything if there's a gladiator and a cold beverage of choice waiting on the other side
So true. Throw in a bowl of ice cream (or chocolate) & see what happens.

We're rootin' for ya, Duchesse.

Susan Sey said...

Donna wrote: there was a time when I was younger that I wanted to experiment and try new places. I laughed at those that hugged the sides of their ruts. Cowards, I thought.YES! See, you totally get it! It's not that we're cowardly, it's just that we know what we like. And especially when it comes to new restaurants & the like I don't enjoy experimenting. We eat out once a week--Saturday night is mom's night off from cooking. I want to enjoy it, damn it. What if we go some crazy place & I hate the food & then I've wasted my Saturday night out?

I know, small potatoes in the overall scheme of things, but a night off cooking can't be over-estimated when you're a stay at home mom.

Susan Sey said...

AC wrote: The DH paid for our last cruise with $$ collected from turning in cans and bottles from the neighborhood. The neighbors all know him and leave bags of recyclables outside their doors for him. If they only knew we were cruising on their trash... HA!
My heart is filled with admiration, AC. Seriously. I absolutely love it that you finance your globe trotting with other people's recyclables. You're my hero. And give your DH a brisk salute from me.

Susan Sey said...

AC wrote: First there are the two yappy little dogs who do not like ANYBODY in their house (and one of them bites). Oh, isn't it stressful to have a biter?? I had one once & the risk he'd bite somebody (other than me, of course, I'd gotten used to it) weighed on me something awful. We eventually had to put him down, but it broke our hearts. We worked with him with a doctor at the U of M's veterinary hospital who specialized in behavioral issues for a year or more before it became clear we weren't going to fix this dog before the baby (my oldest) arrived.

We hated to do it but the sense of freedom that came with being free to invite people over--little kids included--was wonderful.

Beth said...

Susan, I love change and trying new things but I've also been known to hang on to items way longer than I should have.

For instance, the hair dryer I got when I attended cosmetology school (many moons ago *g*) was fabulous! It had all the settings I like plus, it had some kick to it :-) Which is very important since I have thick, hard to dry hair.

I kept that baby until it burned out and started smoking. I still miss it *sigh*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

...invite people over... LITTLE KIDS?!?!ARGH! See Aunty does not like guests (she does like BEING a guest) and little kids give me hives after about 5 minutes. I'll take my dog ANY DAY! But then she never bites me, the DH or my son. She was abused by her previous owners (whom I think let their kids torture her), but then again, maybe she is just channeling her owner! :-P

I hear some definite rumblings from the patio and do hope the GR has not supplied any lethal weapons for the dogs to use in their ever vigilant quest to keep the squirrels at bay.

AC

Anna Campbell said...

AC, YOU GOT THE ROOSTER!!!!! Party time in the lair! Break out the barrels of rum!

Susan, your posts always make me laugh. And I must say I blushed in fellow feeling when you described the disgusting state of your underwear drawer. The problem is old stuff is SOOOOO comfy. None of that starchy new material feeling. And everything's stretched to fit the bits of me that sadly have stretched too. Sigh.

Susan Sey said...

Beth wrote: It had all the settings I like plus, it had some kick to it :-) Which is very important since I have thick, hard to dry hair.
I'm so glad you said this! I thought I was the only one with this problem. Because I HATE the hair dryers they have at hotels or the gym. What makes them think a faint puff of warm air is going to do anything toward drying my hair? I like my hairdryers to put out hot air like a jet engine, or else what's the point, right?

Susan Sey said...

AC wrote: But then she never bites me, the DH or my son. She was abused by her previous owners (whom I think let their kids torture her), but then again, maybe she is just channeling her owner! :-PAh, this makes all the difference! If she's a sweetheart with you & yours, then it's a whole different story. My dog had a loose wire somewhere in his noggin, & though he was a great dog 99% of the time, that other 1%? Woe to anybody who got between him & whatever it was he'd decided he wanted. Food dish, spot on the stairs, whatever.

And I totally hear you on little kids. Some days I think I'd like a kid-free house, too. But I always change my mind after a desperately needed hour or two of quiet. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Anna Campbell wrote: The problem is old stuff is SOOOOO comfy.I know, right? And the last time I screwed up my courage to go underwear shopping, I discovered that while my store still carried my favorite style & brand, the manufacturer had changed the fabric! Alas, alack. Much weeping resounded through the land.

But I adapted. I figured out which of the new fabrics worked with my, ah, stretchy bits (as you so charmingly put it) & bought like three dozen pair. Hopefully I will not have to face that particular challenge again for many moons. Because there is nothing more demoralizing than a forced reckoning with one's jiggly bits.

Joan said...

Because there is nothing more demoralizing than a forced reckoning with one's jiggly bits.ROTFL

Tawny said...

OMG ROFLMAO - what a hilarious post. How long DID that car last, Smoov? And your curling iron? To quote my mother, "you could have put your eye out!"

Hmm, thats actually a hard question for me. I do tend to hold onto things forEVER, but if I lose things, I'm totally not upset about it. I guess I'm a very zen pack rat *g*

Pat Cochran said...

Does our house count? We've lived
in this house for forty years on
June 2. Even with just Honey and I
here, we could use much more room!
Like Aunty, I am such a pack rat!
That is most of the problem here in
the house. If only I could force
myself to clear away some of the
bits and pieces!

Pat Cochran

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Susan Sey said...
hrdwrkdmom wrote: Do you hold onto stuff (or habits or theories or people) until they blow up on you?
I did that with two of my three ex husbands.Okay, Dianna, I have to ask. I just assumed it was #3 you got rid of on time but it occurs to me now that maybe it was #1 or #2 who got the boot in a timely fashion. Maybe #3 was one of those charming scamps who skates on stuff just because he's so darn adorable? I know I've got one or two fo those in my closet, myself. Fun to date but hell to keep.

Kinda like the GR? :-)
Actually #1 was around for 2 1/2 years, the other two I held on for way too long. #3 was the charmer and just skated close to the thin ice but never bounced on it. Until I was in a crisis and asked for help and didn't get it. At the time my mother was sick and living with us, her sister had had a stroke and I was trying to care for her, my daughter was living with us, and my special needs son was keeping me hopping as well, I was working 40-50 hours a week and was skating near the edge myself. Not only did he not help, he aggravated an already loaded situation.

Pissenlit said...

Okay, I just went from nearly snorting pulp from the grapefruit I'm eating at the title of the post to being totally freaked out. If I wasn't scared of curling irons already(all that really hot metal near your head *shudder*), I'd definitely be afraid after reading this! No no no no no! Things made out of hot metal are not supposed to go "SPROING"!! Gah! Glad you're alright. :S

Oh ya, I'm a packrat. I also like new things though that doesn't mean I'll get rid of the old. I still have my beloved hairdryer that stopped working. I haven't thrown it away yet 'cause ya know, maybe it was just that one time and maybe if I tried, it will start working again!(I am so kidding myself, aren't I?) I haven't put the theory to the test...

PinkPeony said...

Hi Susan!

I've owned maybe three curling irons in my life and tossed the last one out a few months ago. I remember the burns on my neck from those things...that would sometimes resemble hickeys...
I would like to say I'm more of a sentimentalist than a pack rat. I still have my first teddy bear, my first Radio Flyer wagon (made of cast iron, not like the plastic ones they make now), and my first rocking chair. Last month, I had an Olivetti typewriter, circa 1950from my parents' days in college serviced. It was cleaned and oiled and they put in a new black and red ribbon. It was the first typewriter I banged out my stories on as a kid. I liked it so much that I dragged my 1955 Royal that was a scavenger find and had been sitting in the garage for over ten years to the typewriter shop and it serviced as well! It types like a dream! I know, I'm crazy but I like old things and just because they're old and obsolete, doesn't mean they should be destined for the junk yard. And last week, my husband, as a favor to me, took my vintage 1960's to the sand blaster and had them blast it and give it two coats of white powder coat. I upholstered the seats covers and it's gorgeous. The neighbors used to walk by our open garage and peer in...and make comments like, "You know, Jen, you can call someone to haul this stuff away for you..." I think every time we opened the garage we lowered the property values on our street. My old Radio Flyer is going to the sand blasters next month and I can't wait. I've kept almost every letter/postcard ever sent to me since I was old enough to write, like letters my mom sent me when I was at summer camp. The other day, I found an old apron that I wore in Chem lab when I was in college. Good grief! I washed it! :) Never know when it might come in handy! Now, if I could only find my old Chem goggles...
Um...my basement is also filled with cardboard boxes...I love a good box for mailing and storing stuff. :)

Christine Wells said...

Smoov, as usual, hilarious post and one I totally identify with! I am a creature of habit from way back. It takes an earthquake to get me out of my rut. I almost always feel better for it when I have tried something new, though.

As for writing, when I'm in the zone, I know exactly what choices to make with writing. Then it feels less like my choice and more like transcribing something that's already happening. It's when I'm not in the groove yet that choices produce so much anxiety. It's also why writing never seems to get any easier. Sigh.

Woohoo, AC, Congrats on the GR!! He hasn't visited you in a long time.

Joan said...

I remember the burns on my neck from those things...Here's an odd but true curling iron story.

Many years ago, I was at my Mom's getting ready for an event. I had brought my curling iron and when I was finished with it, set it on a hot pad on the twin bed to cool down and get out of my way.

I then began to put on pantyhose. Some of you may use the same technique I did....lay on your back with your legs in the air....(ok, that didn't sound right)...

Anyway, I plopped back and because I have some decreased sensation between my shoulders due to surgery did not feel the THIRD DEGREE BURN happening for about 30 seconds!

Yeeeowwww......

Maybe that's when I decided to stop wearing panty hose???

Caren Crane said...

AC, I can't BELIEVE you landed the GR!! Did Hades freeze over? Am I in the right plane of reality?! *swoon*

Phew! I almost forgot what the blog topic was. Oh, yes, old crap. Dearest Susan, see if this answers your question:

I drive a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE with 236,483 miles on it. I just had the transmission replaced for the FIRST TIME at 236,085. Yep, I drive 'em til the wheels fall off. I hate shopping for cars! I also hate change, but that's a whole other can of worms.

I have a pair of pajama pants with completely wanked out elastic. The things slide down to my hips every night when I put them on. The only reason they don't slide off is because my hips are exceptionally wide. I tried to find a new pair this spring, but I didn't like any of the ones I found. The old ones are perfect - well, except for the no elastic thing. *sigh*

The only thing I have never had trouble getting rid of was men. Pretty much as soon as they worked my last nerve, they were gone. The exception is my husband, whom I chose to keep (for reasons that somedays seem vague and hard to recall). He has stomped on that last nerve many times over the years, but I still keep him. It's lurve!

Caren Crane said...

Susan, Satan made those red front-loading washers and dryers just to make us want them! I'm going to go kiss my extra-large capacity chipped white top loader just for thinking about the luscious ruby red top loader....*drool*

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Lordy. I went to a new place for lunch with my book club from work a couple of weeks ago. The horror! The menu was enormous and each dish sounded more scrumptious than the next. I read and read and read...finally made decision. What I ordered was very good, but I wished I had ordered that other thing instead. Or maybe the salad version rather than the rolled pita. *sigh* I like going where I know EXACTLY what I like!

Caren Crane said...

Pissenlit, I had to laugh about not throwing out the old hairdryer. I was going on a trip with my girls recently and my husband wanted to know if we were taking both hairdryers. He has really thick hair, so he needs one or his head looks like the GR danced on it.

Me: "No problem. The old dryer is still in the cabinet."

Him (skeptical): "Where?"

Me (rummaging): "I know it's in here. Here it is!"

I triumphantly pull out the dryer (which must work or why would we still have it?), unwrap the cord, plug it in...and figure out it has no switch to turn it on. The sliding actuator has, apparently, fallen off. No amount of messing with it produces results.

I make the girls leave theirs for their Daddy. *eg*

Nancy said...

AC, congrats on snagging the rooster!

Susan, I keep everything (except issues of the NYT I mean to save, it seems). I've been known to take tweezers and clear the lint out of the hair dryer vent when it starts to smell hot, so I don't have to get a new one. Finding a new one exactly like the old one never happens.

Can't ever find a purse just like my old one!

I envy those with curling iron skills. I've never been able to do anything but cause unwanted creases (ugh, so not fashion forward) with one, so I long since gave up.

Susan Sey said...

Tawny wrote: How long DID that car last, Smoov? 230,000 miles, baby. And then I put it out to pasture by donating it to one of those groups that gives cars to single working special needs moms or something.

I guess I'm a very zen pack rat *g*I'd sell my first-born to be zen anything. Can you be a zen worrier? Because when it comes to worrying, I'm frickin' aces.

Susan Sey said...

Pat Cochran wrote: We've lived
in this house for forty years on
June 2. Even with just Honey and I
here, we could use much more room!
Isn't that the truth? It's like some sort of law--your stuff shall expand into all the available space. And forty years in the same house is amazing! My folks have been in their house since, let's see...1979? So that's thirty years, I guess? You've got them beat out by a good decade! Nice!

Susan Sey said...

hrdwrdkmom aka Dianna wrote: #3 was the charmer and just skated close to the thin ice but never bounced on it. Until I was in a crisis and asked for help and didn't get it. Geez. I hate it when charm covers up a vast pit of selfishness. It's impossible to see through the aren't-you-cute to the vile beast underneath until you're already committed. Here's to you for cutting him loose.

Treethyme said...

Appliances? Not so much. Everything else? Yes.

I inherited the pack rat gene from my mom (and my grandmother before her). Luckily, we've moved several times, and each move necessitated a weeding out of surplus "stuff."

Now, I've gone to the other extreme. Every time my kids come home I urge them to take things: You like the TV? Take it? Sofa? Chairs? Pictures on the wall? I'll go put them in the trunk.

I bring bags of books I've read to every chapter meeting to give away, so I'm not tempted to keep them all. Whenever any of my kids' friends move into an apartment, they know to come here before shopping for anything.

My parents moved from a huge house to a tiny one last year, and my mom would only part with things if she thought one of her kids was keeping it. Seriously, even if we all lived in museums, we couldn't have fit it all. You think I'm kidding? She KEPT over 100 quilts!

We would load up our cars, then make surreptitious trips to Good Will. I kid you not, my dad took so much stuff to a local secondhand shop, THEY STOPPED TAKING DONATIONS.

My mom hoards everything she owns as if it were a treasure. My feeling is, you can't take it with you. Once I read a book, it's always in my head. And I can do without almost everything else, with the possible exception of all those baby pictures.

I don't have any broken hair dryers sitting around, but can I interest you in some pictures for your wall?

Susan Sey said...

Pissenlit wrote: I still have my beloved hairdryer that stopped working. I haven't thrown it away yet 'cause ya know, maybe it was just that one time and maybe if I tried, it will start working again!(I am so kidding myself, aren't I?) Oh, honey, welcome to the neighborhood. I have a whole drawerful of small appliances that might work again some day if the planets align just so. Plus you never know when you might need to club an intruder with a non-functional hair dryer. You hang onto that. It'll come in handy one day, mark my words.

I am such an enabler. Ignore me. Pitch it! :-)

Susan Sey said...

PinkPeony wrote: I would like to say I'm more of a sentimentalist than a pack rat.Way to reframe it, PinkPeony! I like the way you roll! And I'll tell you I used to spend hours banging away on my Mom's old Royal manual typewriter. I loved the way the keys would get all bunched up & stuck together.

Even now, if you notice, you can tell who learned to type on a manual keyboard rather than a typewriter or computer. My mom has this gorgeous typing posture & she strikes the keys like a piano player. I'm all sloppy & loose but I can type & delete like lightning, whereas my mom's first instinct is to print & proof.

Susan Sey said...

Christine Wells wrote: As for writing, when I'm in the zone, I know exactly what choices to make with writing. Then it feels less like my choice and more like transcribing something that's already happening. It's when I'm not in the groove yet that choices produce so much anxiety.Exactly! I only wish I spent more time in that no-choices place than in the oh-my-lord-am-I-hosing-this-up place. Any advice on how to make that little leap? :-)

Treethyme said...

By the way, if you should ever meet my mom, the two words (well, four words, really) you really don't want to mention are: vacuum cleaner and washing machine.

She bought a) a fancy new washer and b) two of those crazy robot vacuums within the past few months.

I kid you not, she talks about the robot vacuums as if they were pets: "Oh, it's so cute the way it goes under the sofa!"

How odd, I don't think any of my heroines have mothers...

Susan Sey said...

Joanie wrote: Anyway, I plopped back and because I have some decreased sensation between my shoulders due to surgery did not feel the THIRD DEGREE BURN happening for about 30 seconds!
Oh, Joanie, I am CRINGING for you just reading this! See? Curling irons are extremely dangerous & not just when they're plugged in & exploding! I could have been killed by a flying, nuclear-hot screw! You were actually maimed by your evil curling iron. This personal grooming business is way dangerous & I cannot think of a single thing men have to do that is as dangerous. Except possibly shaving & if you go the electric razor route, the chances of hurting yourself drop considerably.

but you went for the twofer of women's torture--curling iron AND panty hose. I can totally see why you'd give up one or the other. hell, I'd opt for both.

Come to think of it, I may have done that already. At least on a daily basis. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Caren wrote: I drive a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE with 236,483 miles on it. I just had the transmission replaced for the FIRST TIME at 236,085.CAREN. You are my HERO. I've only made it to 233,000. But I have my sights set on following in your footsteps.

And good on you for keeping your husband regardless of the occasional nerve-stomping. My feeling is that it's only when you keep them in spite of the nerve stomping that you truly know it's love. :-)

Susan Sey said...

Caren wrote: Susan, Satan made those red front-loading washers and dryers just to make us want them!I'm SO GLAD to hear somebody else admit to lusting after major appliances. I do it all the time but it makes me feel like such a housewife. Which I am, so I don't know why I'm ashamed. But I do so want one of those candy-apple red HE washer/dryer stackables.

Susan Sey said...

Nancy wrote: Can't ever find a purse just like my old one!
Amen & hallelujah to that. I've been in diaper bag mode for a number of years but I dread purse shopping again. I happen to like a certain size & style that is all but impossible to locate. But my sisters (fashion forward women that they are) refuse to let me toss my wallet into a backpack & call it good. No, I must have a real, grown-girl purse.

It's coming. My baby's 2 & a half. I won't be able to pull off the diaper bag thing forever...

Susan Sey said...

Treethyme wrote: I kid you not, she talks about the robot vacuums as if they were pets: "Oh, it's so cute the way it goes under the sofa!"
I think those vaccuum robots are a little creepy myself. Then again, the thought of somebody (something?) else squeezing under the couch to suck up the junk under there?

I could be persuaded. :-)

Joan said...

Susan,

Maybe you could train the little robots to do hair?

:-)

Cassondra said...

Oh...yeah.

I'm so there.

I hate picking out something new because I prefer to buy something ONCE, even if I have to pay three times the normal price for it, if it's high quality and better than average and will last forever.

Hair dryers are my pet peeve.

I have a lot of hair too. And hair dryers from Wally World last me about two months. So several years ago--maybe fifteen--I went to a beauty supply store and paid $75 for a hair dryer. WAY too much money. But it was worth every penny, and I never had to worry about whether I was going to get half way through drying and have it start to whine, get slow, and spark a little, crackle crackle, then nothing. This hair dryer kicked butt. And last fall, it died. I've been using my teensy tiny travel dryer ever since, because I don't want to have to go and choose another hair dryer. It's too much research (time) figuring out if I'm getting the right one.

And it HAS to be the right one.

Oh yeah..I'm with you.

Wallets are even worse. Finding the perfect wallet is torture. Wallets and hair dryers. You use them every day, you really don't want to hate them, ya know?

Cassondra said...

Nancy and Susan said:

Nancy wrote: Can't ever find a purse just like my old one!
Amen & hallelujah to that. I've been in diaper bag mode for a number of years but I dread purse shopping again.
OMG! This is the absolute WORST EVER!

I'm convinced that males design purses. And they do it with malevolent GLEE, knowing they're torturing women to death. An entire STORE FULL of purses, and not ONE is right. You know the worst thing? A purse that's bigger at the bottom than it is at the top? WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS? Purses are bottomless pits anyway, let's make it physically impossible to actually find anything in there!

AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

just so you know, My three favorite purses from times gone by? The ones that have broken straps, or torn stitching--torn so badly they won't hold stuff? I still have them. I have this holdout hope that one day I will find a shoe repair shop which will agree to fix them. I'm in denial. I know this.

Susan Sey said...

Cassondra wrote: Wallets and hair dryers. You use them every day, you really don't want to hate them, ya know?
I feel this way about jeans & eyeglasses. You wear them every stinkin' day, right? And the glasses are right there on your FACE. What's the point in cheaping out? In the long run it's money WELL spent.

Susan Sey said...

Cassondra wrote: A purse that's bigger at the bottom than it is at the top? WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS? Purses are bottomless pits anyway, let's make it physically impossible to actually find anything in there!
I know, right? What the heck? Rooting around for a ringing cellphone in a bag that's barely big enough to fit a cell phone anyway & you can't come up with it before it goes to voicemail? That's not right. There must be an evil genius at work. I hadn't put it all together before, but I'm pretty sure that's what's going on here. A malevolent, woman-hating super genius who also coincidentally happens to be in charge of assigning sizes to women's clothing. Because god knows that makes NO sense.

Susan Sey said...

Joanie wrote: Maybe you could train the little robots to do hair?

How awesome would that be, huh?

I'm picturing it kind of like programming your coffee pot to brew just before you wake up. Only I could roll out of bed already washed, dried & curled.

Somebody must invent this. It would make up for the guy/evil mastermind out there in charge of purse design. Balance the scales a little.

Pissenlit said...

Susan - I am such an enabler. Ignore me. Pitch it! :-) NOOOOO! NEVAH!!! Not my precious hairdryer! If I get up the nerve to try it again and it doesn't work(which is NOT going to happen 'cause it's totally going to work), I could take it apart and potentially fix it...if something snapped, I don't think gluing or taping hairdryer innards is a good idea...bwa ha!...but if it's only something that's loose, I could totally fix it! *nod nod*

Pissenlit said...

Joan - *whimper* Owie!

I knew it! Pantyhose is eeeeeeeeeeeeevil!!! It runs AND gives third degree burns!!

Pissenlit said...

Susan - I think those vaccuum robots are a little creepy myself. You know what's creepy? Our new toaster. The previous one died a sad death(first, the toast wouldn't pop all the way up anymore and then the lever and bread refused to stay down at all). The new one? It's digital. With a big circular display that shows a number(level of toastiness set). It kept reminding me of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I refused to use the toaster for a whole week before I couldn't stand untoasted bread anymore and caved.

Pissenlit said...

Cassondra - A purse that's bigger at the bottom than it is at the top? WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS? Someone very VERY spiteful! I had one once where there was totally enough room inside to fit a book...'cept it turns out that I couldn't fit the book in through the opening!! I had to leave my book behind that day!

Susan Sey said...

Pissenlit wrote: I could take it apart and potentially fix it...if something snapped, I don't think gluing or taping hairdryer innards is a good idea...bwa ha!...but if it's only something that's loose, I could totally fix it! *nod nod*Okay. But you'd better unplug it first, or else there'll be no need for a curling iron any longer. :-)

Keep us posted on that little project, though, won't you? I'd love to know about adventures inside small appliances.