So let me get this straight: According to a book that has become the latest in a series of "sensations," I am to de-clutter my house by following one simple rule: I hold every object in my house next to my body, and if it doesn't give me joy, I get rid of it.
Now, I haven't read the book (I barely read anything I didn't write anymore because I just don't have the time, but I am listening to The Three Musketeers in my car), so I'm willing to bet the method has been somewhat simplified in the press. Those devious bastards. First they create a presidential candidate out of an orange rind and a bird's nest and now they're telling me to hold my dining room table against my body to determine if I should keep it.
The idea here is that one needs to divest oneself from the amount of clutter that fills the modern home, and I couldn't agree more. We have more junk in this house than in most third-world countries, and they wouldn't want most of it either. But this particular method of neatening seems a little... let's say inefficient for my taste.
Since I am in essence a simple man (stop laughing!), I would like to question the logic of this particular philosophy. I think there are flaws that would benefit from my input, perhaps for the inevitable sequel, Maybe Joy Was Too Strong a Word.
1. If I'm only keeping objects that bring me joy, what am I going to use the next time the toilet is backed up?
2. There are objects that bring me great amounts of joy that I can't physically hold against my body. My refrigerator is just too damn large, and if you think I'm going to cozy up to it myself, well you don't understand exactly how I get joy out of that thing.
3. I don't get any particular feeling when I hold the dining room chairs next to my body, but I'm definitely going to need to sit on something the next time we invite people over to eat.
4. Do I have to hold every single vinyl record I've ever owned close to me, or can I just hug the cabinet they're in and move on?
5. There's a bottle of Joy under our kitchen sink. It doesn't exactly elate me. What to do?
6. I read an article last week saying dogs don't like to be hugged. We've become so attached to Gizmo. Do we have to discard him, or can we just call that one a draw?
7. Do I have to hug everyone who walks into the house really tightly and then decide whether they can stay? I mean, I don't know where the plumber's been.
8. Hugging each kitchen knife seems not only odd but dangerous. I'm not sure they give me joy, but eating an entire turkey without utensils would be messy and selfish.
9. Just because something doesn't give me joy now doesn't mean it won't at some time in the future. Right now my Yankees cap is giving me anything but joy. Is that always going to be true? (At the moment, frankly, it seems that way.) Note to all who might want to gloat right now: You are just being mean and should be ashamed of yourself. I don't trash talk, ever.
10. If I'm joyful all the time, how the hell can I write anything?
P.S. Listen to Circe Link.