Let Me Get This Off My Chest

Clump #63: Clear papers and books from family room chest.

Below is the chest I had in mind (or what’s underneath): the repository of previous paper purging projects.  (Alliteration!)  Aack!!  So many homeless items in need of decisions.

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Getting rid of our excess paper, for me, is like the children’s story, The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, by Dr. Seuss.  What can go wrong with such a friendly-looking fellow?  (The Cat representing paper in this analogy.)  Come on into the house!

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For those who don’t remember, the good, hard-working brother and sister of the story are left alone, shoveling snow.  Trouble starts when The Cat takes a bath while eating cake.  Ah, that pretty, benign-looking pink frosting leaves a pink ring around the tub.  No problem, The Cat assures the worried children, he can easily get it off.

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“Do you know how he did it? / WITH MOTHER’S WHITE DRESS! /Now the tub was all clean, /But her dress was a mess!”
Out, out, damn spot!  Oops, that’s a different story.  Since I was a kid, I’ve never lost the “Mother-will-come-home-and-we’ll-be-in trouble” anxiety this tale so effectively creates.

The persistent pink stain went from the tub to the dress, to the wall, to Dad’s shoes, to the carpet, the bed, ….

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Well, I won’t spoil the ending.  My point is that the eradication of long-neglected papers feels as dispiriting and futile as The Cat’s stubborn pink spot removal.  From the study, to the floor, to the chest … each time getting smaller and smaller, but still there.

My very own, personal, paper trail of white.  Will it ever be permanently put out of sight??

And — ah, I can breath again — the after photo.  Mothers and others may now enter our home.

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When (not if) I get down to the end of the papers, I will have to have cake in the tub, with pink icing, to celebrate!

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