Living Retired — ‘GARAGE GUY’
Living Retired – ‘GARAGE GUY’
In my heart of hearts – make that my garage of crap! – I knew the day was coming…
“Gary when will you finally clean out the garage? You swore when Covid-19 began you would get it cleaned up. Don’t you remember?”
Hmmm. “Jan, to be honest all I remember is the swearing part.”
Before I could holler from the garage, “Jan, what do you want me to do with our collection of chipped coffee mugs and the combination butt blaster thigh master?” – I was at our bathroom vanity looking for Voltaren Extra Strength. Just saying…
Getting started is not easy. There are old cans of weed spray, old cans of insect spray, old cans of paint – it is like a Dow Chemical distribution centre! Plus, there are old bicycles, old lawn chairs, an old Coleman camp stove, and a collection of old wooden clothespins – never used! My back is already sore, and I haven’t begun.
It is like Jed Clampett – with Granny kicking and screaming on top the pickup truck – dumped their stuff at our place on their way to Beverly Hills. “Jan, you may want to put some makeup on – we may be appearing on ‘The Hoarders.’”
First things first. “Jan I will need my work gloves. Have you seen them?”
“Gary, your work gloves are in your Jeep – parked in the driveway because there is no room for it in the garage.”
The difficult thing about cleaning out the garage is figuring where to begin? I know now that it is a solo journey – so people don’t get hurt from airborne plastic clothes hangers, plastic flowerpots, and plastic step stools.
I have concluded that cleaning the garage is one-third throwing out old crap; one-third rearranging old crap; and one-third bitching about all the old crap. The one-third throwing out old crap is Jan’s junk. The one-third rearranging old crap is my crap. And the one-third bitching is exclusively me!
Finally, I finished. I had two staging areas in the middle of the garage floor: ‘HERS’ where I tossed Jan’s junk; and ‘MINE’ where I carefully arranged my heirlooms.
Jan’s pile includes a broken jar of lavender potpourri, a non-stick bundt cake pan, a frilly-looking thingamajig that she said is a ‘loofah’, and a lint roller with one-sided adhesive tape! We deemed these are ‘Inheritance Gifts’ so we carefully wrapped and labeled them in industrial-size Rubbermaid storage containers with lids. Then, we stacked them so they would be out of sight and out of mind.
Then, there is the ‘MINE’ pile of personal treasures I have stockpiled over the years. It is a haphazard heap of crap that includes 3 pairs of old running shoes with cracked soles, winter boots that leak, broken bike helmets, broken lawn chairs, broken shovels, and a portable food cooler with a broken handle and plastic wheels that don’t roll – you know, broken stuff that guys can’t give up!
Cleaning the garage has created a, well lets just call it ‘a bone of contention’ between Jan and I…
“Gary you need to quickly return all these cartons of empty wine and beer bottles. Its embarrassing how many we have.”
“Jan, it appears during Covid-19 we have done nothing but drink!”
“And your point is?”
Of course, cleaning the garage never ends because couples have to agree what junk needs to be tossed away, and what junk STILL needs to be saved. Here is what I mean…
For years Jan and I have gone back and forth trying to agree what to do with our old 3-piece wicker furniture set. One year as I was loading it for the thrift store Jan had a change of heart and we kept it. Whereas this year she wants to toss it and I said, “Are you sure you can’t find room for it?” The next item up to decide whether it stays or goes: a travel-size sweater shaver with removable lint trap and recharging stand; in its original box. Never used.
Jan shook her head, saying, “Who on earth will ever take this junk?”
“Jan why don’t we pack everything in Amazon boxes and leave them on the front porch. They will be gone in a flash!”