Best Before: the Intangible Weight of Things

randomlychad  —  August 29, 2011 — 8 Comments
'Best By' photo (c) 2008, Rene Schwietzke - license:

You’ve been to the store, seen the imprints on the labels: “Best by xx/xx/xxxx.” “Best before…”

Me, I ignore them. Oh, not the ones on products, or medicine–I’m quite assiduous in shunning those.

No, I’m talking about things. Things–like my Apple iBook–that have quite outlived their usefulness, but that I nevertheless hold onto. Perhaps for sentimental reasons, perhaps not.

For whatever reason, I keep things well beyond their “best before” date. Always thinking “There’ll be a use for this someday. I can re-purpose this for xxx…”

Someday never quite seems to arrive, yet the things pile up–cluttering my soul.

This is the intangible weight that things have–pressing down upon me, making it hard to get free, get clear. Thinking of clearing “things” out induces a cold sweat.

I end with: where do I begin?

How about you? Do you keep things beyond their “best before” dates?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • I don't even pay attention to it on medicine or vitamins. Milk on the other hand gets thrown out when it expires.

    • Good point--I don't like milk anyway.Guessing i need to be more ruthless with me.

  • I keep the book that I like a loooonnnnggggg time. I have kept some of my childhood toys. I'm not really sentimental about much else.

    • I keep lots of books. Lots and lots--and other things, too.;-)

  • jmonsewicz

    I had a shirt I received as a gift my tenth grade year in high school. It wasn't anything insanely fancy, but it was one of my favorite shirts. Just your normal, everyday, button-up, plaid shirt (I wear a lot of plaid. Seriously.). I wore it for years, even after it got a huge rip one year here at college. I eventually threw it out and miss the shirt. I think part of why I held onto it was because it was in my life for a few years where things were difficult for me. Kind of crazy I guess that I put hope into a shirt, but it makes sense to me somehow…

    • I hear you, man--things take on an emotional weight, a resonance, that far exceeds the merely sentimental.Maybe it's about--in a sense--control: as in, this is an area I can control.

  • Sounds like you're ripe for your own A&E reality show, "Blogger Hoarders"…..

    • 'S'pose so, my friend. 😉