Clutter Dread

If you're not a bona fide pack rat or hoarder you likely partake in the ritual of sifting through your clothes closet and bureau drawers every few years, deciding what stays and what goes. It's inevitable 'cause, like, you only have so much space (unless your name is Clooney or Marcos... or NASA) and through time you can't help but accumulate new duds. Initially all goes swimmingly with your "into the trash" and "going to Goodwill" piles jockeying for position until, of course, the inevitable happens: you decide to rethink. What were such cut and dry decisions moments ago have suddenly morphed into, "Hey, I could lose some weight and fit back into these" (as if!) or "Ya' never know, this could come back in style" (yeah, that and the Nehru jacket; those two things) or better still, "But this has so much sentimental value" (newsflash: there's nothing sentimental about bowling shoes).

So yeah, you tend to get nostalgic when it comes to disposing of what were once your favorite clothing ensembles and accessories, likewise timeworn furniture, your old beloved family car or truck... the chipped dinnerware always so prevalent at the family meals. You have second thoughts about letting go of the StairMaster, the stationary bike, treadmill or free weights that were gonna make you the physical envy of all your friends (again... as if!). You're suddenly dewy-eyed over the prospect of tossing that long obsolete VCR and Walkman with their cassettes, the electric typewriter, that old sticky deck of cards along with the jigsaw puzzles you never did, the board games you never played and, dare we say, the Chia Pet you never grew (yeah, hang your head).

Indeed, getting rid of stuff, while oftentimes disconcerting, is necessary in order to reorganize and keep life functioning properly. And while that's a great strategy for the physical clutter what about all that mental clutter, huh? What about all these damn new words they keep inventing? What are we to do with them? Webster's Dictionary has some 470 thousand words with roughly 750 new ones coined every year. That's two new words a day, every freakin' day! And the old words?... yeah, they're not thrown out or given to the Goodwill. No, they just sit there! And let's face it, folks, just like closet space our heads have only so much room (unless your name is Einstein or Da Vinci or Headroom,... ya' know, as in Max?).

Alright then, so now that the problem has been identified, what's the solution? Well, just like clothes, we're never gonna abstain from acquiring new words. After all, they're more timely, fun to try on and, damn it all, they're new! Just consider some of the words and phrases created in the past twenty years that are now commonplace: "binge-watch"; "unfriend"; "manscaping"; "bromance"; "podcast"; "waterboarding"; "crowdfunding"; "mansplain"; "unfollow"; "selfie"; "escape room"; "emoji"; "bestie"; "ghosting"; "photobomb"; "throwing shade"; "glamping"; "dumpster fire"; "anti-vaxer" and "hashtag". And yeah, that's just a small sampling. So here's what I propose: if we're gonna keep the new stuff it's time to get rid of the old stuff. It's time we get into our word closet and start tossing out the culprits that have been cluttering up our noggins for all these years.

Off the top of my head?... "cockamamie", "whippersnapper", "fiddlesticks", "muckraking", doohickey" and "booyah". And while we're at it let's eighty-six "the cat's meow", "bee's knees", and "ankle-biter". Oh yeah, and "eighty-six"... Okay, now we're talkin'. And what about "fin" and "sawbuck" and "spiffy" and "ballyhoo", time to bounce, boys. "Skeedaddle", make like your name, bud. Get goin', "willy-nilly" and "hokum". And enough with "stewardess", "pocketbooks", "mixtapes" and "dungarees"; you're all outdated... Oh wow, this is such a catharsis. It's like I can actually feel my brain issuing a heavy sigh... Okay, some more: "bummer", "lollygag", "moxie" and "grody", ya' gotta go. And , "cahoots", "shindig" and "hullabaloo", there's the door... Oh man, what a load off... Oh wait, there's "dangnabit", "jalopy" and "behoove"... be on your way!... Whew, what a relief. Just the beginning but gotta say, one hell of a start.

Okay, good job. A plan's in place and being implemented. From here on out it's just making sure to remain steadfast. Stick-to-itevess is the key. Can't believe I didn't do this years ago. Could've made my life so much easier. But that's me, right, always lollygagging... Oops, forgot. Just retired that word, didn't I?... Huh, too bad, seemed to fit nicely in that sentence... Jeez, maybe I was a bit hasty there. Didn't really think it out. Yeah, it's fun to use; it can stay. And while we're at it, I don't know, I've been hearing the word "moxie" lately; think it's making a big comeback. Probably should give it a second chance... Hey, what if I, ah... ya' know, do something to expand my brain to fit more words? Be like adding another room to the house to accomodate all my stuff. I could do more crosswords and Sudokus, double up on some ginkgo biloba. There we go. Now we're talkin'... Huh, just noticed a tear in my dungarees... Bummer.