I am not quite a hoarder, but I like to hang on to things. Inexplicable things, like the assembly instructions for furniture long since assembled (a meta moment discovered when I found the extra hardware and assembly instructions for a filing cabinet in a file IN said filing cabinet), those little notepads that you get from various charities that have about 24 sheets to them, every single address label ever sent, coupons for things I don't even buy, business cards that have long since (if they ever had it) lost their usefulness, spent candles I can't bear to throw out because there's still a tiny bit of wax in it and/or the container is pretty.
Some things I keep for sentimental value or because they have memories that make me laugh, like every card Bryce has ever given me, some notes on pieces of envelopes from early in our relationship (or frankly, last week), every notebook I've ever written in (an old notebook tells a hell of a story! Amazing what you remember from old to-do lists), a business card from, no joke, an Australian Elvis impersonator who hit on me while in the JetBlue terminal, flight delayed after visiting friends in NYC during my first month or so of dating Bryce, every card a student has ever given me, dried (dusty) spray roses from a rare Bryce bouquet sitting in a bowl.
In the midst of the healing purge post-childfree-resolution-decision, I've gotten better at throwing out or recycling or donating things like the spent candles, clothing that no longer fits me (some things I held onto forever, but I think if the time comes when that stuff fits me again I'll go on a clothing spree, or hell will freeze over, one of the two), assembly booklets for old furniture that will clearly fit through our doors, old catalogs and PEOPLE magazines, and books I don't need to hang onto anymore.
That's the hard one, the books. Except for one I found in a pile of books in my bedside table, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. That one I am donating, because it's been five years since I set it aside and I honestly don't think I'll pick it up again.
It's funny, because I loved A Discovery of Witches. I thought it was compelling, and romantic, and historical, and supernatural...all good things. And then, the second book came out.
It was all going great until the main character got pregnant, and she time traveled while six weeks pregnant, despite all the (apparent) risks of time traveling in such a condition, and, I don't think this is a spoiler because it's in the first 10th of the book, EVERYTHING IS FINE. At least to the part where I quit reading.
You see, I was reading it while on futile bed rest for my own pregnancy, which I LOST at six weeks and change, despite having the good sense not to time travel.
It seemed so hideously unfair that here I was, diligently lying on the (old) couch with a pillow beneath my butt to try to stop something unstoppable, having done all the things I was supposed to do, having drank all the wheatgrass juice and eaten all the pineapple core and avoided raising my heart rate too much and giving up hot baths and Friday margaritas for months before...and still MY little nugget was gone and this fictional lady's fictional pregnancy sustained TIME TRAVEL to the 1600s where "MEDICAL CARE" consisted of LEECHES and RAZORBLADES.
It filled me with fury.
So it's a little weird that I hung onto it for so long, thinking maybe I'd finish it when everything panned out for us. I bet it's good, I bet I'm missing out.
But it's going in the library donation pile, in all its pristine hardcover glory. Feckless time traveling wench. So unfair. I don't feel bad at all for letting this one go in the purge.