Monday, March 15, 2004

Marital Strength Test

Yes, DOB and QOC have survived the ultimate test to the strength of their marriage. It's not balancing the checkbook or even remodelling.

The ultimate test is whether you can jointly sort through boxes of old stuff and decide what to throw away and what to keep.

This is because the balance of nature is so arranged that a person who treasures the ball maze game Mrs. Feeblemeister gave them for reciting Psalm 1 in Sunday School in 1985 invariably marries someone who would throw away the crown jewels if they took too long to dust. And few issues so resonate with the deepest core values of a person as what they think is worth keeping around.

Not that I can't appreciate the value of having a saver around. For instance, DOB still has five boxes of toys left from childhood, many of which our own children will be allowed to enjoy. (One box has been designated Daddy's Toys and cannot be touched without careful supervision.) I have half-a-dozen stuffed animals, everything else having passed into the communal stock at my family's house, where it was destroyed by succeeding generations of siblings, guests, and grandchildren.

Still, it is a challenge to learn the proper reverence with which one should approach the heirlooms of childhood. I knew my approach was still wrong when I found myself asking if the mud on the truck tires was heirloom mud or I could wash it off . . .

Regardless, we got twelve boxes sorted and moved up to the attic. Now comes the really hard part: sorting old files and schoolwork. But I have a crib offer, so something's got to go in there.

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