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SPRING CLEANING

The weather is warming. Spring is in the air. It's time to clean house.

Not really.

I don't clean by the clock...or the calendar, for that matter. But The Southern Woman That I Married has decided that the rug in my Man Cave needs to be replaced. I think that the reason for that decision - aside from the fact that it's spring and that the rug is as old as Moses, tattered at the edges, and worn through in spots - is that there was a cute little rug on sale.

I shall refrain from reminding you of the difference between Martians and Venusians: A man will spend two dollars the first place that he shops on something that he could have bought for one dollar if he'd read the ads. A woman happily spends two dollars on something that she doesn't need but the ads say is on sale.

Anyway, the changeover has to happen on a weekday while I'm at work because TSWTIM's help is not available on weekends. I come home and my stuff is in boxes. All of my stuff is in boxes. Stuff I haven't seen for 30 years is in boxes. I can't leave my stuff in boxes. I have to go through my stuff.

Have you ever gone through 30 year-old stuff? Not just any stuff. Your stuff.

OK. I'll quit doing my George Carlin imitation.

43 birthday, anniversary, get well, and congratulatory cards. Pictures of my parents, an uncle, old friends, old girl friends (that TSWTIM has met and doesn't like very much), me with hair on my head, TSWTIM with different colored hair on her head, Captain Jim's old Camaro with a hand-painted gardenia on the hood, and Rusty Sharp's Yamaha TZ250 with the custom aluminum fairing.

18 old floppy disks containing useless information - I think, but I didn't check them to find out. A dozen compact discs on which are various pictures and songs that are already on my computer and backed up. Five unopened decks of cards. Various hand-held games meant to be played in cars and on planes that have never been opened. Two pairs of cheap suspenders (gifts) that have never been used.

A box full of non-returnable paperback murder mysteries and spy novels bought at the used book store - I hate throwing away books. Nine classic sci-fi books that I WILL save. A history of the Filmore East that TSWTIM gave me on my birthday long ago. I can pick out a half-dozen shows that I attended with those girlfriends the TSWTIM doesn't like. 26 catalogs long out of date. Two boxes of papers left over from my stints in local government.

Notepaper in the shape of the state of Texas (another gift). My mother's jewelry (that my sister doesn't want). Various Kiwanis bits of memorabilia. Various other bits of memorabilia.

So, lots of garbage on the curb on Sunday night. 30 years of stuff that I haven't looked at in 30 years. Never needed any of it.

Why do I miss it?

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