Tim Arndt is a thrifter. For as long as we’ve been together, when Tim is missing, I’ll get random texts asking if I want this cool vase or this rug or that. He used to spend almost every Saturday morning in his happy place, wandering around Hyde Park at garage sales, drinking coffee and arriving at home with piping hot migas from Tamale House on Airport (RIP). Some days he’d come home empty-handed, but usually he would have a few cool items in the back of the SUV.
Throughout our relationship, I’ve received countless text messages from Tim with pictures or notes asking if I’d like something in particular. Sometimes he’s way off base in what he thinks I might like, but most of the time, he’s spot on. His biggest find to date is a Mont Blanc pen he bought for $1.19 a pound, so given how much pens weigh, he basically got it for free. The big joke in our house is if someone needs something, they know to ask Tim, because he undoubtedly has it. He’ll laugh his huge machine gun laugh and shout, “What color?”
For Lent, I took up a project called 40 Bags in 40 Days, a project that invites you to rid yourself of unnecessary possessions, papers — anything weighing you down so you can focus on experiences and not stuff. I have a burning need to live a life where stuff doesn’t weigh me down, so living with Hector the Collector is a bit of a challenge. But it is absolutely not all Tim’s doing. I have a bit of a problem saying goodbye to old papers. I have no less than 17 copies of an article I wrote about a wayward emu for the Dripping Springs News Dispatch in 1998, because you just never know when someone might want a copy. I have business cards from 1992 (including one from Clifford Antone, with his scrawly handwritten phone number on it because once I asked if I could interview him, but I never called, and now he’s in heaven with Stevie Ray Vaughn and I am really mad I missed my chance). I keep ALL of the greeting cards because you never know if one day you may be sick in bed with the shingles for two weeks (we’re all going to get the shingles, FYI) and you just might get a burning sensation to read every greeting card you were ever given.
It should come as no surprise that with my insane work schedule, work travel, and desire to collapse on the couch and sob hysterically while catching up on “This is Us” that I have had a terrible time sticking with the 40 Bags in 40 Days. Let me show you how terrible of a time I’ve had and you are welcome to enjoy a big belly laugh at my expense.
Let’s just say I have a little catching up to do this weekend. But I remain an eternal optimist. I’m just gonna grab 37 bags and empty out an entire closet. No big deal!
Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk working my tush off when my 13 year-old daughter sent this:
Oh my good Lord, this kid is turning into her father! And I am totally okay with that for so many reasons. And despite my desire to rid myself of possessions, WHO IS GOING TO SAY NO TO A SHAUN CASSIDY ALBUM? While nobody knows exactly what “Da Doo Ron Ron” means — personally, I always thought it was about diarrhea — how can you not love that sweet face? That wispy sun-kissed hair? His totally weirdo songs?
This morning, after a stressful week, there was nothing better than waking up, enjoying a cup of coffee, contemplating the things I’ll get rid of, and cracking open this 1977 beauty.
In the comments, tell me how you manage your clutter, and what your favorite album was when you were a kid!
Da doo ron ron.