Your Greatest Legacy could be…
On that great gettin’ up morning when St Peter checks his ledger to decide yours truly’s greatest contributions to humankind, two nominees will surely make his Short List…
(1) “A Sleeping Giant Football Program is only as strong as its 3rd string offensive line.”
(2) “Parents’ Greatest Legacy to their children should be….. AN EMPTY ATTIC”
…. Not necessarily in that order
Yes, I know many of you will vote for “PDEW” and/or “Chancellor Chihuahua” or “TGU – The Great Unpleasantness”. Who knows what will indeed grace my tombstone… but yesterday “Greatest Legacy” became a reality.
For all of you wondering What does an Internet Legend give his wife of 32 years for Christmas? I can now answer that one:
Anyone thinking “a heated toilet seat” or “a wall-mounted ironing board” YOU LOSE. Those came during the Years 10-15 Era… and quickly became a permanent part of Family Lore. The toilet seat and ironing board gifts were akin to The Butcher hiring John “Who” Blake. They all seemed like good ideas at the time but turned out to be otherwise. I digress….
I gave Blondie, and eventually Kid, A (Almost) EMPTY ATTIC.
Blondie and I have both reached the Age of Non-Accumulation. If Life can be compared to eating pistachios or Pringles, you will reach that point you just don’t want another one be it nut, chip or …. wristwatch, sweater, crockpot, espresso machine, et al. There is NOTHING at Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma that “sends tingles down your leg”. The phrase “what do you want for Christmas?” draws a quizzical blank. Hey, we had already dodged the Hillary bullet. What could top THAT? It should be noted that newly-wedded Kid has NOT reached that stage of her life. Nor can she fathom ever doing so.
Of the 28 packages under our tree this past Christmas… three had my name in the TO line. One was a very cool Wisconsin Badger sweatshirt. Who knew that “Bucky Badger” is the spitting image of “Tuffy The Strutting Wuff”. Not sure who copied who but it IS the same artwork which makes life easier for Russell Wilson. In addition, I received two St Louis Cardinals’ wearables and a box of Toffee. …. and the traditional 4-pak of Fruit-of-the-Looms and my annual McGyver keyring multi-tool.
Two expertly-wrapped envelopes were To: Blondie. A repeat of those two afore-mentioned “great gift ideas at the time” was immediately discounted. Which did not prevent Kid from shooting new son-in-law “Prince Danny” a nervous glance. Danny was preoccupied lacing up his new Official Millennial Hipster Red Wing Brogans to notice.
Expertly-wrapped envelope #1 was …. Taaa Daaa – a picture of an (almost) Empty Attic.
I had contracted with Raleigh’s Premier Organizer / Declutterer Service – Raleigh Green Gables – to assure our Greatest Legacy to Kid…. An (almost) Empty Attic.
As a bustling metro area The Triangle has oodles of Organizers …. and Ashley Christensen restaurants. If you can’t book “Princess Leah” Friedman’s Raleigh Green Gables and have to settle for a lesser service, I’m sure you’ll be fine but, alas, never know that you missed The Princess Leah Experience.
WHOA BobLee…. Star Wars’ “Princess Leia” is “Leia” not “Leah”. …. Yeah, So?
Carrie Fisher is dead. Mamma Debbie is dead. Who’s going to sue me for designating a new “Princess Leah”. Besides, this is the Internet where “facts” and correct spelling are the first casualties in any discussion.
WHOA BobLee #2…. Why does she call her Organizer/Declutter Service – Raleigh Green Gables? “Anne of Green Gables” is her all-time favorite book. If I started an organizer/declutter service it would be Raleigh Watership Down. Personally, I think it’s because she has soooo much business that such an ambiguous corporate name gives her enough free time to train for Ironman Triathalons.
Yesterday (Wed) AM, Leah and very able assistant Shannon, arrived three minutes early at 8:57. Yes Leah, I did notice. We used those three minutes for “get-to-know” chit chat before diminutive Leah scurried up the fold-down steps to begin her declutterization of our attic.
For the next 5.5 hours, Leah and Shannon were whirling dervishes transferring 29 years of accumulated family detritus from our attic to our driveway.
Being naturally curious and sensing boffo column fodder in-progress… I learned everything there is to know why two UVa graduates, married to successful Jewish lawyers, become organizer/ declutterers…. while living the ITB life and training for IronMans and Tough Mudders. Who knew you can “raise chickens” within Raleigh’s fabled prestige enclave ??
I have offered a lot of “suggestions” to y’all over the past 2,000 incredibly insightful commentaries. This is NOT a suggestion. This is a Gotta Do.
If you are a Baby Boomer, especially an empty-nest BB; or if you ever anticipate being a Gen-X empty-nester…. You have GOT TO hire Team Green Gables…. or whoever is a distant #2 in the local Organizer/Declutterer Biz.
Among my recently accumulated fount of knowledge about “decrapitizing an attic” is the following:
You and/or your spouse ARE a latent “hoarder”. Your attic / basement / garage / expensive storage unit is where you hide your addiction from prying eyes. In our case it is / was Blondie.
In “declutterizing” the term Ok, what about this? is the make/break moment. Unlike buying/selling real estate, in decluttering the homeowner is present during the process. Similar to prostate exams and root canals… you must be alert despite the uncomfortableness of the process.
Who Knew: When being “decluttered” you – the designated declutteree – are given three “You Idiot” cards that say I don’t know why. I just thought we might need it someday. When you use up your three cards and say that a 4th time, Princess Leah zaps you with a tazer. OUCH! I only said it once so Blondie got to use my two left-over “You Idiot” cards plus her own three. So we still have nine wreaths and a plastic trash can full of old gift wrapping paper. FWIW: I used mine to save a pistol and holster I wore when I played “Bret Maverick” at a Dallas-area Dude Ranch back in ’81…. “we might need it someday”.
For the first 30 minutes, Blondie was reluctant to say “Go” as each box came down the fold-down steps on its journey to the pile o’ crap growing in the driveway. She had to examine every piece of detritus. The pain was comparable to Kid’s first day of kindergarten and leaving Kid The Freshman at her dorm at Mizzou in 2006. But as with all rites of passage, given time the pain does go away.
By the 45 minute mark… Blondie was fully on board – Go Go Go – and portions of our attic floor could be seen for the first time in over a decade. As you can see from the photos… Our Greatest Legacy has been achieved.
Blondie sent pics to Kid in far-away Madison WI. Kid is a veteran of having to clean-out my mother attic a dozen years ago so she was not naïve to the significance of what had taken place. The thought of her and Danny (and our future grandkids) someday coming “home” having just eulogized which ever Blondie or I is around the longest…. and facing The Attic Fulla Crap has not fully set-in, nor should it… but Kid is pretty sharp…. for a millennial hipster who listens to waaaaay too much NPR.
That said… for parents to be considerate enough to provide This Greatest Legacy is akin to investing in your child orthodonture. No child “likes” the braces stage…. but when they are middle-age adults and encounter peers whose parents did NOT invest in orthodonture (i.e. clean out their attic) the more astute among them are grateful. Kid is nothing if not astute.
The Junk Doctors arrived and carried off two truckloads o’ crap. As Princess Leah and Shannon drove off into the Wednesday sunset… Blondie and I sat reflectively at the top of the fold-down stairs surveying the 95% empty floor.
Blondie finally asked…. “Did this cost as much as her braces?”.
“Not even close” I laughed. “Nor nearly as much as the six years of college plus seminary…. or the wedding”.
Wednesday night we had dinner at The Angus Barn with Prince Albert and The Henderson Hottie. I pointed to The Porterhouse and a case of wine and whispered “about that much”. Blondie gave me a funny look. After 32 years, I’m used to that.
What EVERY WOMAN really want ….. A $200 gift certificate to the Triangle Shooting Academy.
Blondie gets to try out everything from a Glock to an AK-47. VERY COOL!
What can I say? Us Internet Legends are hopeless romantics.
Now Call & Book Princess Leah at Raleigh Green Gables …. (919) 623-1160 – RIGHT NOW!