The Year of The Purge

By Buddy Early, June 2018 Issue.

The tiny home phenomenon is something that has caught my attention lately. While most people accumulate “things” as badges of their triumphs in the field of adulting, I have found myself wanting to have less ownership—in fact, I am often resentful of my possessions. Moving into one of these tiny homes would force me to purge my (for lack of a better term) stuff. I have too much g-d stuff!

Once you take inventory of all your g-d stuff, it’s startling how much of it can be purged.

• I’m going to start with all those t-shirts and jeans I’m never going to fit into again. No, seriously. I’m NOT going to fit into them again. Even with the aid of a cross fit regimen and a tapeworm, my waist and stomach have evolved beyond these clothing items.

• Next I’ll go through that box that sits on my bedroom floor. The one that I have hauled from one apartment to another but never unpacked. I think there’s a commemorative shot glass from Sandals Resorts and some old checks among random other items so meaningful I can’t remember what they are.

• I’ll purge those DVDs of “Gimme a Break,” “Mr. Belvedere” and “The Big Valley.” I’m not sure I could say how I came to own these, but they make funny gifts when you don’t care enough to spend $10 on a gift card.

• Cassette tapes. Honestly. Clint Black and Boyz II Men, along with a dozen or so other artists who now tour at casinos as part of an “Acts of Yesteryear” show.

• A smart idea might be to get rid of those expired condoms that fall out of my medicine cabinet every time I open it. It just seems best to not chance it.

• The educational and/or historical programs saved on the DVR can go, too. I don’t know who I thought I would be impressing when I recorded the three-part series on rubber production in turn-of-the-century Indochina. Furthermore, I need to make more room for old television series once I have purged myself of “Gimme a Break” and “The Big Valley”—but not “Mr. Belvedere” because he was pretty much a pompous ass, amirite?

• Finally, it’s perhaps time to ditch those comedy sketches that were never produced. I’m probably not going to get back together with those various troupes, like Futons & Milk Crates (ugh), Twins With Benefits (what the hell?) or Fat Guy on a Bike (I still like that one). And that Joan of Arcadia parody is probably not relevant anymore.

I expect to be able to complete this purge with ease, since it was more than decade ago I decided I would start purging people from my life. If I was able to purge that friend who wouldn’t stop saying “supposably” then how hard will it be to say adios forever to a pair of hiking boots? And ghosting that distant cousin who thinks Hillary runs a sex-trafficking ring out of a pizza joint was good practice for tossing the multiple pairs of outdated prescription eyeglasses.

If, like me, you are tired of the g-d stuff you have accumulated, start purging. It’s OK for you to start with people, too. I know I’m supposed to say something like “Open dialog is important. Keep those Trump-loving friends around for their perspective.” Well, in the words of a wise internet sage I once encountered—ain’t nobody got time for that! If someone’s only role in your life is playing that acquaintance from high school who rants about which bathroom people use, by all means feel free to purge that person.

Part of aging and maturing is deciding how you want live and who you want around while you’re living. Tolerating individuals just because they’ve always been around is no way to go through life, especially since each passing year goes by quicker than the last. The next time you are faced with one of these individuals—whether in real life or on social media—and you start to consider whether or not you want to continue putting up with them, ask yourself the following questions:

• “Do I enjoy this person’s company?”

• “Do I really care what this person has to say?”

• “Does this person share any of my beliefs and values?”

• “Is this person a member of my family whom I am unable to extricate from my life no matter how much I would like to and/or a close friend who has more good qualities than annoying ones?”

• “Who is this person?”

Purge ‘em! And when others give you grief for doing so, instruct them to send their letter to Buddy Early, care of Echo Magazine.

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