This is a story about clutter wars. After 17 years in our house raising our two kids, my husband Dalton and I have accumulated a lot of excess crap. We’re (I’m) trying to slowly divest of things we don’t need. Dalton is not really committed to the process. He’s a pop culture and sports fan and works at Entertainment Weekly. And he likes to save buffs from the show Survivor, which he covers, lots of Star Wars toys, Simpsons Pez dispensers, etc. He thinks these artifacts are incredible! Sadly, the collections he has amassed are making me unhappy. Stress levels apparently go up with the number of objects in a room. I have read that it’s been scientifically proven. Our TV room and office, especially, have a lot of objects! And I have a lot of stress!
Whenever I ask my husband to put together some things he’d like to donate to charity, he always comes up with the same two items I am saving for our grandchildren. Dalton, for the last time, the princess castle and the puppet theater are staying.
Here, however, are some suggestions of things that could possibly go? Thanks, honey, I love you.
Click through below to see Dalton’s treasures and his responses to my entreaties.
P.S. I have to admit that all of Dalton’s stuff does pass the test of clutter guru Marie Kondo, who says in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, that each item in your home should give you joy. These items, I have to admit, do give Dalton joy!
Me, not so much!
Planet of the Apes Head
While Christina may view this as “clutter” or “junk” or “seriously disturbing,” I consider it among my most prized possessions. Why? Just look at the name of the item! It’s a Planet of the Apes head! And one, I might point out, that looks more realistic than the actual ape heads used in Conquest of Planet of the Apes. Is it mildly disturbing trying to sit and read with an ape head staring right at you? Sure! What’s your point?
8-Track Tape Collection
At some point I decided it would be fun to collect 8-track tapes because I was kind of obsessed with what has to be considered one of the worst technologies of all-time. Also, you could buy the tapes for a quarter a pop at thrift stores and who doesn’t want to own stuff like the Ramones, Engelbert Humperdinck, or “John Denver and the Muppets” on 8-track? I mean, besides my wife.
RFK Stadium End Zone Dirt
Okay, I realize it sounds a bit weird that I have kept a jar of dirt for more than 20 years, but this is semi-meaningful dirt! It’s from my dumb football team’s last game ever at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. when I stormed the field and grabbed a bunch of turf from the end zone as some sort of…I don’t know, idiotic sports fan souvenir, I guess? I hesitate to reveal that I actually have not one, but two jars of dirt: this one from the end zone as well as another one from the 50-yard-line. (I put the two different handfuls in different pockets after I grabbed them so I could keep them straight. HEAVEN FORBID WE CROSS-CONTAMINATE THE TWO DIRTS!!!) Anyway, yeah, keeping it.
Walking Dead Head
If Christina can’t see the medicinal benefits of being able to blow off steam by repeatedly stabbing a screwdriver through a zombie’s eye-socket, then that’s on her, not me.
I got this for a dollar at the annual Entertainment Weekly toy sale (for charity) because nobody else wanted it. Best dollar I ever spent. (And that includes the money used to purchase a complete set of Vanilla Ice bubblegum, which, shockingly, is not on this list.)
Kenny Powers Mullet Hat
What? It’s hilarious!
Life-size Stand-Up Boba Fett
Funny story. Shortly after moving in with Christina, I thought it would be hilarious to leave this 6-foot-tall cardboard Boba Fett up in the entrance way to our apartment as if I expected it to remain there for the rest of our days. Well, at least I thought it was hilarious. Christina saw it and broke into tears. Actually, truth be told, I kind of thought that was hilarious, too.
In my defense, I sort of feel like my Arena Football League helmet could actually be worth something someday. Like, maybe this a good investment! At least that’s the line I keep feeding my wife.
Hey, no fair! This is our son’s! Now, granted, I gave it to our son as a stealth maneuver so that Christina could not veto me bringing it into our house but still… NO FAIR!
Oh, come on! This was given to me by Survivor host Jeff Probst when I was out on location in Fiji. It even has a nice personalized note on the back. You seriously want me to throw this away? And risk angering the Survivor gods? Hell, I want to be buried with this! (Which I am starting to believe Christina has no problem arranging. She can even use my end zone dirt.)