Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Happy Geek guest posts on Motherscribe

Whenever I read The Happy Geek, I am tempted to pull up stakes and move to Canada. Aaahh...Canada. What IS it about those Canadians? They have that ...something. Less angst? More able to poke fun at themselves? I'm not sure, but I do know one thing. Happy Geek is a delight! Enjoy her guest post today...

Hey. This is Happy Geek. I blog at The Happy Geek. I know, I am a fountain of originality.

I was utterly delighted when JCK asked me to write this post as it gave me another reason to put off cleaning out my husband's filing cabinet. Mind you, it's been put off for 4 years, what's one more weekend?

I know, some of you are asking "why are YOU cleaning out his filing cabinet?" Well, let's see, last week I needed a copy of our 2007 tax return. Couldn't find it. Even after 30 minutes of searching. The 1997 one, I found that one right away. That's when I snapped. I decided that after 4 years of nagging and crabbing I was gonna have to do it myself. Right that moment. However, once I got started I realized that this cabinet is the thing that nightmares are made of.

I am not usually a terribly anal person. I don't aim for perfection because trust me honey, I will never get there, but I cannot stand clutter. I am a HUGE fan of streamlining. My motto, "when in doubt, throw it out." If you are a pack rat, chances are good that we cannot be friends. I already have one rather large pack rat to deal with and I made a vow to stay with him forever. He's really all I can handle. I love my hubby dearly, but I tell you, looking back I would have re-wrote those wedding vows just a little bit.

In hindsight I would have made it clearer that I was having and holding just him, not his classroom notes from every class he took from fourth grade on. (I only wish I was kidding.) The man has a PhD and we have pretty much every paper, note and project he has ever done in his academic career.

Some of you may be asking, "Hey, I want to be your friend, how do I know if I am a pack rat?"

I have a simple test.

1. Count all the thermoses in your house. (This includes the ones in your garage, shed and camper.)

2. Subtract the number of people in your household.

3. Subtract the number of times you have used said thermoses in the last three months.

If you wind up with a positive number, you are a packrat.

If you are still saying "well, there are four in the shed, three in the cupboard downstairs, the two in the kitchen...," Congratulations, you are a packrat with issues.

Anyway, the filing cabinet. It would be one thing if he was an organized packrat, I might let him keep all his swimming certificates from elementary school, but when they are shoved into a folder with the manual for my stove and a picture of his dog when he was five, well, it's all got to go. Yes, the manual can go too, we no longer have that stove. We sold it with our condo. In 1998.

And that is just one folder. We have two drawers full of these. Guess what I shall be doing for the next week or so. My life is truly glamorous.

So, thank-you JCK for a chance to visit Motherscribe, chit chat with your friends and pretend to be in California. I even wore my sunscreen. Hey, when you live in Alberta you pretend a lot.

You pretend that the first snowfall will not be in less than 2 months, pretend that there are beaches, pretend that the prairies really are beautiful.

Now I should really get back to this filing cabinet. Anyone got a flame thrower?

submit to reddit


  1. My husband and his mother are packrats. I I have to race him to the mailbox daily just so he will not get the junk and have to keep it all.

  2. I'm planning a bonfire to clean up my filing. I am not a packrat but I do have paper issues...

  3. I follow very strict rules regarding accumulation of "junk." It is simply not allowed.

    I frequently take photos of kids artwork, etc. so I can have a digital record, but toss the actual paper.

  4. I come from a long line of pack rats. This makes me a crazy non-pack rat. Then I married a pack rat. This makes me a crazy wife.
    Love the post.

  5. Here's a little hurrah for the No Pack Rat rules. We can still be friends:-)

  6. Jenn at Juggling Life continues to amaze me - taking photos of kids artwork? Awesome.

    Happy Geek this is a great post and you make me miss Alberta. Spent two glorious years there.


  7. *Laugh* I love the alteration to the vow, and boy or boy you really do love your hubby or else, you would have EMPTIED his whole filing cabinet, wouldn't you? *wink*

  8. I'm on your side, and it hasn't been easy. Well I remember (and rue) the day that I threw out all of my undergrad and graduate school class notes. I felt giddy and free. Then, three years later, I was in the distinctly wretched position of having to construct a course in Philosophy of Law from scratch...having thrown away class notes for three different versions.

  9. I also live with a pack rat. I feel your pain. My mom is the supreme pack rat. Once they went away on vacation when I was a teenager, and I went nuts throwing stuff out. What was the one thing she noticed and got upset about? The forty bazillion hotel soaps she had been collecting her whole life that she never once used. So, yea, I married my mother. That can't be right.

  10. oooh... I thought I was a pack rat, but I'm not that bad. I do weed out every so often. although I was shocked and dismayed to find a coupon that expired in 2001 in my drawer a week or so ago!

  11. You can look everywhere in my house except my office. Or, actually, I should let you loose in there.

    Moving is good for throwing things out. I've purged stuff every time we've moved.

    Great post!

  12. I'm kind of an in-betweener. I love the feeling of letting go, purging things...yet, some special things I hold on to forever. Old love notes from elementary school. Old "spy notebooks" ...thought I WAS Harriet the Spy for a while...

  13. Hello, My name is coffeeyogurt and I am a packrat. Guilty as charged. Can we be friends? (ducking)

  14. Oh, Happygeek! I can almost be your friend. My number equaled zero. No kidding. Is zero a positive number?

    And, would you hold it against me if you knew that I just last year finally threw out each and every paper, project and page of notes I had from my college masters classes that I took thirteen years ago?

    Can we still be friends? :-)

  15. Yeah!!! I passed the thermos test! The Mountain Man will be shocked to find out I'm not a packrat after all. We have 2 thermoses and he uses both of them at least twice a month when he has to make a long trip somewhere.

    However, we both have Master's degrees. So you might need to bring that flamethrower to our house.


This blog is no longer taking comments.

Copyright © 2007-2014 JCK.

The content on these pages is the sole property of the author and may not be used or reproduced in any manner without consent.

All Rights Reserved.