Friday, March 9, 2012

How do you decide which old shoes to toss?

Conversation Starter
Shopper: How many shoes are too many? How do you decide which old shoes to toss?
Dater: How many dating mementos are too many? How do you decide which keepsakes to toss?

I am planning to move to a new home in the next month. As I think about the number of boxes that I will need, I take stock of my stuff. This is when it dawns on me that perhaps I have too many shoes. I have 12 vertical shelves of shoes and a large pile on the floor of the closet, at any given time. I keep saying that I am going to throw some away, give some to friends or charity. But every shoe has a story, like memories of a night out on the town. The fancy ones tell stories of family vacations or celebrations. The two rows of athletic shoes reflect my intent to start exercising, any day now, but rarely leave the shelf. My summer flip-flops and high-heel sandals remind me that sunny days lie just ahead of winter. My boots beg me for a snow day or an old-fashion rodeo. I am from Texas after all, so I have quite a few boots! The truth is… I have a lot of shoes. So, how many shoes are too many? How do you decide which shoes to toss?

Each year I listen to the organizers on the radio or TV which encourage us to throw away anything that hasn’t been wore in the previous year. That’s seems drastic to me. I know that as soon as I part with my barely worn heals, loafers or tennis shoes, I will need them gain. So, I hold on to everything, too long. Instead, I buy another one of those fancy shoe organizers or add custom shelves to another closet in the house. My husband just laughs at me with his ten or so pairs of shoes. He wears them all routinely until they are completely worn out and then he buys three to four new pairs. It amazes me how easily he can toss those ill-fitting shoes or well-worn shoes in the trash. Why can’t I do that?

The same can be said about out past relationships. How long should we hold on to trinkets, pictures or gifts from our past relationships? How long should we hold on to the good memories and the bad memories? Just like my shoes, each of those things or events tells a story or conjures up past emotions. Is it prudent to have so many reminders to prompt past memories? Is it healthy to have so many things to distract you from your current/new relationship? Where do you put your new memories, if your mind or heart is still in the past? How long is long enough to hold on to past relics? My younger sister once said, “Partners are like bras, you wear them for support. When they stop supporting you, you buy a new one.” I don’t know if she is right or wrong. What do you think? How do you decide which mementos or memories to toss?

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