Tonawanda News

Columns

January 22, 2014

DUVALL: An ode to stuff

Tonawanda News — I’ve been thinking a lot about a deceptively complicated subject lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff.

Stuff, as in, “where did all my stuff go?”

Stuff, as in, “why do I have so much stuff?”

Stuff, as in, “where did I put that stuff?”

If you’re scratching your head, you’re not alone. Some context is necessary.

Regular readers of our Sunday Lifestyle section learned this week its editor Danielle Haynes is now the former editor, having moved back to her native Texas for another job.

In addition to the hole it leaves in our newsroom it leaves an empty room in my apartment. Haynes and I, friends since college, had lived together for the last five-plus years. Until Sunday, that is, when we loaded up her truck and she was sent packing.

The last week was spent packing, actually. Boxes stacked in the living room grew from a couple the first night to a pile that took up a quarter of the room.

Funny thing about the roommate situation is you don’t realize how much of the stuff in your apartment isn’t really yours.

And with the prospect of another person who hasn’t lived with me for years moving in, you start looking at all your stuff with a fresh set of eyes. What would some stranger think about my stuff, I wondered? Do I have nice stuff? Do I have too much stuff? What about their stuff? Will it be as attractive and plentiful as mine?

Then there’s the missing stuff.

I no longer own a potato peeler. Or a whisk. And probably a whole bunch of other things I haven’t figured out yet. Those are in boxes somewhere in Texas that once held bottles of wine or bananas, now labeled “kitchen.” 

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