2 June 2014

No More Pruning For You

Here’s my question. When do ‘cute little quirks’ stop being cute, and turn into full-blown middle-aged madness.

Yesterday I saw it in my Wingman’s eyes as he watched me prune a bush. There was neither judgement nor amusement, just the look of someone who had realised I probably shouldn’t be allowed to use a pair of pruning sheers.

My cute little quirk (problem) is that I hate stuff. I don’t think that there’s a name for people like me, but I consider myself to be an anti-hoarder, or the opposite of a packrat. I’m not nearly interesting enough to have my own reality sho, but it’s becoming a bit of an issue.

I can’t bear to have any non-essentials getting in my way. That goes for furniture, clothes, house wares, files, guests, make-up, words, and body hair. The only thing I like in excess is food and wine, and that’s because it’s temporary. Vacuuming? I can’t get enough of it. Same goes for weeding, getting unused contacts off my phone, and clipping my nails. If I can make it dissappear - I will!

It was sort of quirky and adorable when I had my first apartment. My friends would laugh about my minimalist approach to furnishing and the boxes of books I used as side table for almost a decade. Fast forward twenty years, and  my closet only has 36’ of hanging clothes. I can’t stand having clothing that hangs there for absolutely no reason. When I stop loving something, it has to go.  I also have a permanent donation bag on the go for the moment when something suddenly becomes loathsome. Every day is potential purge-o-rama.

I am particularly intolerant of anything that looks medical-y or bandage-y, and recently tore the house apart like a lunatic determined to get rid of reminders of illness. (This is slightly illogical since I have nipples coming up – but I’m anticipating a low maintenance recovery).

Buddha, and formerly round bush
At any point poor Jim might come home with a new something-or-other and place it timidly in front of me.  We both look at it. ‘Can you stand having it here?’ he asks. We look at each other and I counter with, ‘Do we need it?’ There is an uncomfortable silence as we each explore our levels of agitation.  And 8/10 times it goes back out the door. To me, the most beautiful sight in the world is a bare table, though flowers are okay.

This weekend I was enjoying cleaning up the small front garden. We have a jolly round yellow bush the size of a five year old, which had taken a beating over the winter. It was bulgy and misshapen and was leaning on my little Buddha. So I began my first foray into topiary. I cut of a few branches. And I cut of a few more. Delighted by the debulging,  I turned into Edward Scissorhands and began attacking the little bush in frenzy of blurred blades.  Every snip was wildly satisfying! I was so happy I could barely breath.

I was diving in for a final cut when a shadow fell over the bush and I looked up to see Jim standing over me. He stood for a moment with his hands on his hips. He looked at the once chubby bush, and I knew that what I had done no longer adorable. I’d crossed into madness territory, feeling thrilled and guilty all at the same time.  Jim looked at me as one might look at a child who’d just rubbed a bottle of ketchup into their hair.

‘Uh oh,’ he said, gently wrestling the sheers from my hands, ‘No more pruning for you.’

1 comment:

  1. the yellow bush is a variegated euonymus (or is that too much information to hold on to?). The good thing about information is there is ALWAYS room for more in the old brain. I walked my mother's garden with her the other day (one of her favourite things to do with me) and surprisingly, over the years I have learned the names of about 95% of what is there (and she just had an article about her garden written in the May newsletter of the garden club she belongs to!). The plant to the left, if you don't know already, is a hosta. Enjoy your garden, don't prune too much - it will grow back anyway!
    PS - nice to see a new posting - I've missed you!