February 22, 2011

The "Neither" Pile: sorting through our wedding sh**

Upon returning from New York in October, we promptly unpacked our suitcases, sorted through our laundry, buried our C&B gift cards in the backyard and literally dumped everything from our wedding onto an old wooden desk in the hallway. Actually, it wasn't unlike the state of the desk before we left for the wedding -- everything in disarray with a surplus of STDs and invites packed into the top drawer. We even threw our marriage certificate (which had traveled to Baltimore and then France with Best Man Justin) onto the "wedding heap," not knowing what one does with a marriage certificate.

(Still gotta figure that out, in fact.)

And the desk stayed that way until ... well, until this past weekend. It wasn't an urge to clean, or newfound initiative, or even a burning desire to "relive the wedding," but rather a C&B purchase that required us to throw out that damn desk.

We could hear [clutter expert] Peter Walsh's voice echoing through our apartment: if you're going to keep something, make sure it's either useful or beautiful. Useful or beautiful. It's a mantra that men love, actually; it gives you the freedom to take all the ugly and useless crap and toss it.

So 2Es and I went through it all and separated it into three piles: useful, beautiful and neither. The useful items are going to newly engaged friends of ours; the beautiful items will be going into a scrapbook album (separate from our wedding photo album); and the neither is in the dumpster.

In the "beautiful" pile -- a postcard from Bob's Big Boy in Baker, the last stop on our bachelor party journey

It's funny what you cling to, what scraps from the wedding you really find worthwhile, what each of us consider beautiful. Cleaning out my own memory boxes (cause once you go through one, god knows you have to go through them all), I came across all of the travel arrangements and paperwork from my trip to Chapel Hill in June of 2009 -- the all-too-memorable "asking permission" excursion. I handed 2Es a piece of computer paper with some notes scribbled in pencil, thinking she'd probably want to hold onto it.

"Um, why would I wanna keep this?" she asked.

"Cause that's the cheat sheet I used when I went to Chapel Hill," I explained. On it were her parents' addresses, a back-up address (her Dad's office in Durham), plus my rental car and flight information.

"OK... but there's gum on it."

Right she was. I'd dog-eared a corner of the page with a stick of spearmint gum. To me, that 20-month old bond only fortified its sentimental value. She rolled her eyes and added it to the beautiful pile.

I guess she let me have that one.


  1. Great read! I get carried away with the "neither" pile. My wife has declared that I create what is now known as the "Nominated for Removal" pile and then she goes through that and removes 99% placing it in the "correct" pile! Ahhh married life...I wouldn't have it any other way!

  2. Here's to hoping your Yankees hat ends up in the "neither" pile.