So an obsessive neat freak in Japan makes millions telling us to throw everything away and suddenly we’re all aspiring to lives of austerity.
She also tells us to spend hours twisting underpants into origami. She tells us to thank our socks for their service as we roll them lovingly into tight little parcels.
Did we vote for this role model? Is she a fluke of the electoral college? Might Russia be involved?
My mother taught me to pick up after myself; it’s not rocket science. You needn’t establish a spiritual bond with your socks. They don’t have to spark joy. They’re socks.
If socks are what give you joy, you need to get out more.
I struggle with getting rid of things that are past their prime but have served me faithfully and well – my old house, my old car, my old husband, my old furniture, the old family pictures of unknown persons long dead.
I look at those photographs and see my great-grandmother’s chin, which is also my own. I see my great-grandfather standing the way my sons, brothers, and father still do. How can I trash something that’s still alive?
Then there’s the poinsettia. It’s stringy and faded and losing its leaves. The vibrant red that was cheerful in bustling busy December is garish and overdone in January. It’s tired, and I’m tired of looking at it.
Yet it’s still alive. I stand with it poised over the trash can and cannot bring myself to dump it.
So back it goes to center stage. I can prop it up. I can hide its warts. I can turn it towards the sun and allow it to strut and fret and do its poinsettia thing. It’s me, you see, even without my great-grandmother’s chin. I’m not done yet, either.