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I Have Gloves Now (Confessions of a Minimalist)

January 17, 2013

So Christmas happened recently.  For us, that’s mostly about a spiritual celebration based on our personal beliefs.  But one aspect of the season which we are happy to participate in is the giving of gifts.  Well, this year we got to thinking about spending 3 weeks in the dark, wet, cold of the Pacific Northwest without the daily distraction we had now become accustomed to when the girls go togloves school for 6 hours a day and decided instead to spend a chunk of that time visiting our parents in the midwest.  This was a really excellent trip during which we had tons of great experiences (maybe we’ll cover all that in another post) but come gift-giving time it was a pleasure/pain experience during which we repeatedly opened packages, became elated at the contents therein, felt immense gratitude toward the giver of said gift, and then immediately thought “Where in our house is there room for THAT?!?”  And no gift has come to represent this daily ongoing and still-present conundrum better than my new gloves.

“Gloves?”  you say.  “Gloves?!?  How much space do you need to keep a pair of gloves, for the love?!”  Well, not much.  But when you are on an extremely tight budget, that movie ticket for the matinee’ at the discount theatre is suddenly a bigger deal than $3.  That $3 along with 20 other three dollars-es suddenly becomes $60 and, well, NO, you can’t afford it as a matter of fact.  And when your space is less than a hundred square feet a pair of gloves is kind of a big deal.  But for now, I’ve kept the gloves because there is little else I hate more on this worldly experience than to be cold.  And… (buckle up, here comes the litany of justifications) I *do* walk to work at 5 a.m. from as far away as  a mile.  And it *is* January.  And they *are* so fashionable.  And my parents *did* get them for me.  And….   OK, you probably recognize that line of thinking.  But the thing about gloves is they represent – perfectly – a far bigger issue.  Because once you have gloves, you have to administrate them.  See, gloves don’t just jump on your hands themselves when your hands get cold.  They have to be somewhere where you can get them.  And in order to be in that place, you have to PUT them in that place.  And in order to do that, you have to THINK about what that place should be.  And then you have to invent that place on every end of the transaction.  Going to the grocery store?  Your gloves have to be have a home before you leave, then you have to have a home for them once you’re in the store (unless you wanna look all race-car-drivery and leave them on).  Going to that movie?  Gloves gotta have a home during the movie.  And you better not drop one of them on the floor or you’re gonna end up going back for it.  Going to work?  Better have a place to keep those gloves while at work or they’re not gonna be there for you on the way home.  And once home, you gotta make sure – every time – to put those gloves back in their home or tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. when you’re headed out the door into the cold your gloves won’t be there for you and what’s the point of having them if they’re not there for you when you need them?  This is to say nothing of the problems that may arise from keeping them clean and undamaged.

Now, is all this really too much trouble?  No, not just for gloves.  But for gloves AND shoes AND hats AND car keys AND cell phones AND wallets AND purses AND snacks AND diaper bags AND flashlights AND pocket knives AND photos AND iPads AND shopping lists AND….

Well, one of the whole goals of minimalism – and why I value the approach so deeply – is to free ourselves from the burden of having to manage and administrate and care for and protect and replace and store “stuff”.  I love living in my RV – among other reasons – because I have less “stuff” to suck up my limited brain power and worry about whether it’s broke or if I should take it to Goodwill or if it wouldn’t work better if I also had a super-widget to use with it.  Before we moved into the RV we lived as simply as anyone I knew and we STILL had closets and sheds full of junk that we had forgotten we had, didn’t need, couldn’t use, that didn’t work, and was otherwise a bunch of worthless, mind-sucking problem!

BUT (and you knew there would be one)…. you can’t get rid of *everything* and you do need to have *some* things. So for now – and stop judging me! – I’m keeping my gloves.

Now let’s talk about that new sweater….


One Comment
  1. I would probably store them in the glove compartment. But I know what you mean.

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