Letting Go

One of the benefits of buying a home built during the height of 1980s excess is that it comes with features that are a bit… excessive. For example, we have three sinks in our master bath. I’m not making that up. Three sinks. In one bathroom. And, I’m not even a little bit grateful for the third sink. Because it’s just one more thing in my house to feel guilty about not cleaning. We only need two sinks in there.

(Actually, I’m not even sure we need two sinks. Despite all of those couples on House Hunters, my husband and I are very rarely both using a sink in the master bathroom at the same time. Maybe those people just wash their hands a lot?) 

Anyway, the other main ’80s feature that we acquired was a wet bar in our family room. It’s tucked away behind cabinet doors in a lovely set of built-in bookcases near the fireplace. When I discovered it when we first looked at the house the only thing I could think of was that my kids were going to find it, start playing with the faucet and totally flood the entire room.

I’m sure there was a time when having easy access to your hard liquor, spirits and barware was important. When gaggles of your guests mingled in your family room cocktail party-style instead of hovering in your kitchen (which, is like, two steps away). Since this is the ’80s, I’m imagining them all sporting mustaches and wearing cardigans.

Since we aren’t very cool and have neither gaggles of guests or liquor, we have no need for the shelves or sink in the wet bar. Not one to waste perfectly good storage, I struggled to find the right way to use the space. Then, it dawned on me. My movies!

Here is where I admit to having a stash of ’80s and ’90s excess all my own. A shameful pile of outdated media that I cannot seem to part with: my collection of movies on VHS. I have hauled these videos from apartment to apartment and house to house for something like 15 years now. During that time, I’ve managed to whittle the collection down but I’m still gripping hard to copies of Sliding Doors, Parenthood, Shag and Stealing Home. I seriously believe that someday, Millie and I will sit down and watch Anne of Green Gables together and my life will instantly be complete.

I’m sure my husband, completely disappointed in his dowry of chick flicks, was delighted when I exclaimed, “The videos fit perfectly on the shelf!” They do indeed fit perfectly.

Not sure what to do with this.

The me of 15 years ago, who owned an actual flask, would weep at the sight of all this unused potential alcohol storage.

In my defense, we do still own a VHS player. It’s in the kids’ playroom, where a hand-me-down tape of Barney is still in heavy rotation to this day. So, I still COULD watch these movies if I wanted to. Since the possibility exists, I feel justified in holding on to the entire collection. It’s not like they’re in Betamax or anything.

And, because I’ve gone this far, I’ll show you what I found during our last move:

There is also Erasure in this collection. ERASURE!

Millie was all over this like an archaeologist at a new dig.

That right there is the last of my remaining cassette tape collection. I am lovingly holding on to such classics as the Beaches soundtrack and Chicago’s greatest hits. There’s also some Erasure and Toad the Wet Sprocket in there as well so I think that makes it all okay. And, lest I forget, some amazing mixed tapes bearing song titles scripted in the handwriting of some of my dearest friends.

I guess that’s not as much hoarding as just pure nostalgia.

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