A Small Rant

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A few weeks ago I became mildly obsessed with the Marie Kondo thing. I hadn’t read the book, just heard about it, and I start reading things on the internet and watching YouTube videos to try to learn more.

Everyone just loves loves loves this book. And I have not come to my final opinion on it yet. (I did read the book but at the moment I’m having trouble getting past the part where she tells people to throw out all their papers … that will make tax season fun for everyone…) But while I was reading about it on the internet, I started making notes, because some things were getting under my skin.

One comment I had was about the before and after photos/videos that people were posting. My god people, you have so much stuff! Look at all that crap.

In one video, a woman who was posting about cleaning out her linen closet said that in the past when she ran the washer and forgot about the towels and they mildewed, she would THROW THEM AWAY. Because they smelled. She would just buy new ones.

No wonder no one has any money.

But the thing that really got me rolling was a post (which of course I now cannot find, so you will just have to take my word for it) where a guy talked about cleaning out his books.

He said he went through his books and discovered that 20% of them weren’t even his, and no one had ever asked for them back. He said that just goes to show that people have so much stuff they don’t even notice or care when it’s gone.

And I’m like DUDE!!!!

It’s now up to the person who loaned the book to ask for it BACK?

That’s not how it works!!!!

The person who BORROWED the book gives it back when they’re DONE with it. Or if they realize they’re never going to GET to it. Then they give it back and say thanks man, I appreciate you letting me borrow that.

You just kept people’s books and didn’t even know and now it’s THEIR fault for not asking for them back?!?!

?!??!??!

Talk about BLAME THE VICTIM!!!

I once loaned a book to a friend, and later saw it on her bookshelf when I was at her house for dinner. Eventually I asked her if I could get it back and she said, “Oh, I gave that back to you.” And I said I didn’t think she had, but she insisted. And short of going to her house and going through her bookshelf and pulling it out and saying, “No, see, here it is right here,” which seemed like not a very friendly thing to do, I didn’t know what to do. I just let it go.

So that one struck a nerve.

Okay rant over.

But here is a short message for any of my friends who may be reading this…

If in your great KonMari purge of 2015, you find anything of mine that no longer sparks joy in you — books you borrowed, letters I wrote you, mix tapes I made you in the 80s — feel free to send them back to me.

I love that shit.

7 Responses to “A Small Rant”

  1. orinoco Says:

    People who would never dream of shoplifting will borrow a book and never return it. And just laugh and shrug when you ask for it back, and say “I didn’t borrow it/I gave it to you/I have no idea where it is.” When my father died in the 1980s we discovered a good 25% of the theology books on his shelves belonged to other people. He was in his 70s but their descendents were glad to get the books back.

    I remember lending a book I loved to someone and having him swear blind he returned it to me. I knew he hadn’t, so he started saying he’d never borrowed it. When some mutual friends moved away, they gave me a box of books they didn’t want to carry with them–and among them was the book I had lent to our “friend.” It had my name and adress stamped in it! Neither one of them apparently thought I “wanted” it. I’ve also been told when I asked someone where my book was, “Oh come on–it’s just a book!”
    There’s an old saying: he who lends his books to his friends loses both. I would add: CDs, DVDs etc.

  2. Dawn Says:

    Agree 100%. Have read the book and love it – for the most part. And I’m working on implementing it – for the most part. But people need to think for themselves, for goodness sake. This book is directed to urban Japanese people. Maybe the Japanese don’t have to worry about tax season so much….

  3. lessisenough Says:

    @orinoco

    I have a habit of giving out books after I’ve had people over for dinner and we are all in my living room looking at my books, and then I don’t remember what I gave away. Later I go to look for something and I’m like hmm… I wonder what I did with that.

    But I’ve gotten better and now I only give out books that I don’t care about getting back. Things I actually want to keep, I say, “You should read this,” and then put my copy back on the shelf.

  4. lessisenough Says:

    @Dawn

    Yes I am slightly amused by the blog posts where people say they are getting rid of their papers because that’s what Marie Kondo says you should do. Like a 30-year-old Japanese organizing consultant knows for sure how important everything you own is, and is now the world’s ultimate authority on everything you’ve ever stored in your home and what you should do with it.

    It reminds me a little bit of a story a friend who is veterinarian told me once. Her mom, when she was trying to figure out what to do about her dog’s skin problem, talked to her other daughter who is a lawyer. When she talked to my friend, she was like, “Oh, Eden told me what to do about Murphy.” And my friend is like, “Mom, I’m a veterinarian. I treat animals for a living. Why are you talking to Eden, who is a LAWYER, about what to do about Murphy?”

    I think people just want someone to tell them what to do. And sometimes it seems like the more arbitrary the qualifications the better.

  5. orinoco Says:

    A friend of mine keeps a notebook. If she lends out a book, she writes down the person’s name, the title and the date she lent it to them. It’s the only way of getting books back for sure. And even then!
    I have certain books that I never lend out. Eat it here, I tell them.

  6. Mary in Maryland Says:

    I read Kondo’s book. My only take away is now folding my underwear and shirts and storing them on end in my bureau. Now my underpants are all getting worn, instead of just the top three pairs.
    Although I did get a book returned that I had loaned in 1983 last summer, I no longer loan out books I want to keep. I have a box of books I’ve read and don’t want near the front door that guests can choose from.

  7. lessisenough Says:

    I have loaned out out a couple of books that I want to keep, but I’m doing a better job of remembering that they are out and checking with the person who has them about whether they’ve read them or not. Also I think the ones that are out at the moment are ones that the person was ambivalent about but that I thought they would like so I kind of forced it on them. So it’s my own fault if I end up losing them.

    The Kondo folding method is truly fabulous, though I don’t feel like it gives me that much more space because my drawers are deep. I feel like there’s a lot of empty space at the top. There might be some way to do it to work with that better, but it is very fun to fold shirts into little packages that stand up by themselves. And it is definitely easier to see everything.


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