That’s me, secretly shuffling through stacks of paper while my son is at school or in bed, quietly extracting the boners and hiding them under the coffee grounds in the trash.
I’m a whittler, a tosser. I’m the person who reads a birthday card over the open recycling bin, smiling fondly as I release it into the abyss. My men are hoarders. My husband still has boxes of business cards from three jobs and one cross-country move ago. Not for sentimental reasons, but out of sheer laziness. Any attempts to gently explain that we would be paying to move that shit are met with silence as he shoves the items deeper into the box. We have bins full of random cables. WHY? If he needs one he isn’t going down to the basement to ferret one out. He heads directly to Best Buy to get a new one. Because, you know. Stale.
I know old business cards and my son’s precious doodles aren’t the same thing, but I just can’t keep every scrap and scribble. He loves to draw, and I absolutely encourage him, but the volume! Dear, god! The volume! We don’t buy pads of paper; we buy reams. That is not meant as a snarky quip, that is a simple truth. Yes, he does some beautiful work; he’s really quite talented. He also does a lot of Pokemon evolution drawings and Minecraft maps. I don’t see the need to keep those; he often feels differently. But I win because I’m bigger and sneakier.
Okay, I’m not (always) a total ass about it. I don’t toss things that he has put away in his room (usually). Or that I know he’s worked especially hard on. But if they are scattered around the kitchen or living room for more than 24 hours (or 2o minutes if company is on the way) they are fair game.
He’s caught me a few times. Oh, there was outrage. But I explained that I don’t toss everything. I keep a file of what I consider his best or most interesting work, drawings that I feel represent a major departure or developmental leap. But I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars at the Container Store buying bins to catalog and store his masterpieces. No one’s house needs that sort of additional fire load.
I’m not sure if that softened the blow. He may not be not thrilled with having an unpaid, 24/7, in-house editor. I’ll surely find out later in his memoirs.