Monday, December 21, 2009

Stuff Anorexic

Well, the whole "spend nothing in December" thing is over. I made short-notice plans to go to Houston for Christmas, for two very good reasons. The plane ticket was surprisingly cheap, but it sure wasn't free.

Skipping the work Christmas gift exchange was unexpectedly awkward. I went to the party and all the exchange gifts were put on a table. When one of the organizers got up to start distributing gifts, I slipped away to the bathroom, figuring by the time I got back they would be pretty much done. I forgot from years previous just how long my coworkers can spent chatting about presents. They kept at it for a good ten minutes after my return, and several people asked me what I got, reacting with sympathy or puzzlement (is that a word?) when I said I hadn't participated. I also thought that my boss typically didn't participate, but it turns out I was the sole holdout. Last year, the (temporary) receptionist didn't exchange, but she was a Jehovah's Witness.

I also got gifts from each of the people I supervise, so I purchased some nice candy at the grocery store and will give it to them after Christmas. (Personal problems really made it impossible to purchase gifts in the last few days before I left for Christmas.)

I'm getting even more obsessed with minimalism and reducing my stuff to the lowest possible level. I've had "minimalist phases" before, but I want this one to be the "real one," where I really get my stuff to the level of just the essentials and things I really love. I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes, and on my way out I'm discarding a few more pieces of jewelry that I wear occasionally but don't love. I've also decided in the last couple of weeks to sell or discard my saxophone, YA book collection, and giant Chagall print. Mostly this is because I don't use these things, but they also happen to be three of my largest and heaviest remaining possessions.

After getting rid of a little more makeup, I think I now have one of the sparest collections of toiletries/bathroom items of any woman in North America. My personal (i.e. not shared with the boyfriend) bathroom items are:
- toothbrush
- comb
- sunscreen
(Discarded--why do I have it if I never use it?)- one bottle of hair goop
- contact solution and contacts (rarely used, but came in handy last month when I broke my glasses)
- two prescriptions
- tongue scraper
- mascara
- silver eyeshadow
- lipstick
- lipliner
- tweezers
- deodorant (rarely used, I don't seem to need it often. This container was a freebie.)
- reusable sponges for that time of month
- baking soda, for washing my face (I keep one container in the bathroom, one container in the kitchen. I didn't purposely get a second container; I think one of them was in the fridge of our old apartment when we moved in)
-hairdryer (rarely used)

I do sometimes wonder if I'm taking it too far. I don't know what "taking it too far" means. As long as I have stuff I don't use, I might as well keep discarding. But I guess I'm concerned that i place too much importance on minimalism--I do sometimes get really tense when things are cluttered or when I'm given things I don't want that interfere with my minimalism.


Sam said...

I have the same amount of makeup as you :)

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Scarlett said...

@beany: Not surprised--you would have been my guess for other female most likely to have as little bathroom stuff as me!

String Theory said...

I have about the same amount of make up and toiletries. I guess I also have some shower wash stuff and a plain moisturiser. I like using stuff up and finishing things off and, like you can be stressed by having too much stuff or receiving things I dont want or need. I recently immigrated to canada and most of my possessions are still in storage waiting to come here and tbh, I am wondering which of them I really need. They have been in storage for 4 months now.