Saturday, January 4, 2014

Clutter, clothes and the love of a big, black, stretched out scrunchie

 ~ by Maureen L. Bonatch 
My beloved scrunchie.
See how it stands out from the rest?
We have a lot of stuff.  As the official ‘clutter control queen’ (I.e.: the mom), I move stuff to make it look like there’s less stuff, but later realize I’ve only transplanted stuff until that place gets too much stuff and it needs moved…or gotten rid of. 
The holidays have passed so there’s more stuff and the need to clean out old stuff to make room for new stuff festers.  Gazing into my bulging closet, knowing there’s nothing to wear...but nothing that can be parted with.  I force myself to begin, some items I’m not even aware where they came from, while others are near and dear to my heart, but only taking up space. I painstakingly fill bags to donate while trying not to pull them back out in angst regarding their imminent departure. 
But a week or two after the loss of the beloved items, the closet looks better and I don’t even realize what’s missing. 
As a writer, I’m often forced to get rid of ‘stuff’.  In other words---or I should say less words...editing. 
As a reader, I appreciate the concise flow of the sentence, the elimination of the fluff that I skip or lose interest in if I’m bogged down with unnecessary verbiage. 
As a writer, it’s painful.
      Books have changed over the years that the flowery prose isn’t acceptable as it had been years before and unfortunately, no one has time for that.
As the words work to meet the pace of the modern day and emphasis on getting rid of deadwood, wordiness, and being simple and direct. 
I realize words I use too much in my speech have overflowed to my writing…
                …actually, sometimes, only, so, or something, really…
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“That’s my stuff,” I’m thinking as I chip away at each sentence.  But after going back to read through it, after it’s been squeezed until not a word is left that isn’t essential, I realize I don’t miss what’s been eliminated. 
Because they were unnecessary from the start, I just didn’t see that because like most people, I like to hear myself talk...or my characters do (they like to talk…not hear me talk J). 
I hold onto some things from my closet because they’re essential.  Like my black  Scrunchie. A relic from the 80’s, it’s stretched out and unattractive, but I can’t bear to part with it. I have a few other scrunchies, but I’d sacrifice them all to hold onto the black one.  Its role is crucial---in holding my hair up as I schlep around the house.  It could be called a unique character trait of mine. 
The scrunchie… and overused words…are essential in some places.  But a little, goes a long way.
 Trying to keep my rambling prose would be like going out wearing my 1980’s pink stone-washed jeans with the high-waist and the zippers on the ankles and my black scrunchie in my hair today.  My scrunchie has a place where it’s essential, at home, not anywhere else (or so I’ve been told).  Its time has passed, and as much as I’d like to think it’s still good…It’s not good for anybody. 
Back in the day,
when pink, side-zippered jeans were cool.
~Happy New Year! Visit my blog right -here - for a humorous look at what a five year old might think 'waiting for the ball to drop' on New Years Eve is all about :) 



5 comments:

RE Mullins said...

You keep your black scrunchie. I'm packing for a move and my sons have become quite critical of what they consider my pack rat attitude. I believe it is because they lack sentiment.

R.E.

Maureen said...

Thanks RE! Until every last bit of elastic is out of it, the scrunchie stays :)
Maureen

Maureen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashantay said...

If you're still using something, keep it! No matter how battered. And when your sons pester you, just tell them you are practicing good ecological practices...reducing and reusing...

I hope your move goes smoothly -

Maureen said...

lol, Thanks Ashantay.