Rainy Days and Some Days

11/04/2010

Three other raincoats might be enough...

Urgency Day 288

500 Things Item 213: My 4th Favorite Raincoat

  • History: Purchased on sale despite being too large
  • Value: Hardly used (see above)
  • Parting Pain: None
  • Un-possessing: Donation

I have been discontent for awhile.

Dis: A prefix meaning not.

I am discontent with our employed situation, vis a vis, it being in the category of “un.”

Un: Also a prefix meaning not, apart, asunder; a reversal.

A reversal: I love being dis-contented:  becoming “un” with my contents.

English majors—again, yours truly– enjoy hyphenating words to see if new meanings are revealed. Dis-cover was especially popular in Shakespearean-feminist criticism, with its slightly naughty innuendo and meta-suggestiveness. As we oh-so-clever grad students liked to say, “I never meta-hyphen I didn’t like.”

I knew I was going to love an article I spotted in The New York Times this morning, “Accumulation And Its Discontents” by Penelope Green. If you are interested in the subjects of collecting, hoarding and/or the fear of un-possessing possessions, I highly recommend this article to you. Here’s a section that discusses the very mindset I am considering in my 500 Things project:

I got this from Aunt Maria: I can’t get rid of it. I spent a lot of money on this; I can’t get rid of it. I wore this a year ago, I might want to wear it again; I can’t get rid of it. If I get rid of it, I’ve lost all these opportunities.

It’s the old Rainy Day trap:

  • Just in case.
  • What if…?
  • I might need it.

Some unforeseen event might finally compel us to use something that’s been utterly and completely neglected for months or even years. It might. There’s no getting around it:  It just might.

Or. What I believe happens more often at moments of need or desire? Shopping.

If “mights” speak to you, I truly think you should be content with your stuff. If hyphens are more your thing, you might enjoy dis-covering your inner dis-contenter with me.

Once and for all, I want to be un-possessed of my discontent.


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One Response to “Rainy Days and Some Days”

  1. melanie Says:

    Yes – the what ifs. My mother had 972 paper plates. She lives alone and does not throw parties. I implored her to get rid of them but she asked me, “What if I need them?” I told her she was right; that IF the seventh fleet sailed into town (she lives in Denver – landlocked) she would be able to confidently step forward and say, “I have plates for all of you.” But no food. She got rid of the plates.


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