So I had this dream recently. I think it’s what they call a ‘wish fulfillment’ dream. The sort where you express your deepest, darkest, most hidden and wicked desires. When I woke up, I felt a guilty exhileration, far stronger than any shame at breaking – for me – the ultimate taboo. I felt invigorated and contented – a new woman, in fact. Then reality came crashing back and I realised everything was as before.
This was the object of my night-time desire …
Yes, I dreamed I had a skip and I could chuck – well – whatever I wanted into it. It was intoxicating! In went the books I’m never going to read and papers and magazines, posters and bags. In went the bottles, jars, cans, plastic bags and spent batteries. Scratty potatoes, half empty bags of organic barley, sticky jars with unreadable labels, aged cans of worthy borlotti beans – gone. Ill advised sales-rack bargains, expensive shoes that don’t quite fit, jumpers that itch, sentimental bags of the children’s old baby clothes, anything a moth might fancy. Cosmetics bought in a fit of optimism and that I don’t get around to using – basically all of them, save about five must-haves.
I was free.
But, as I say, it was just a dream. In reality, my eco-worrier tendencies would never allow me such extravagent gestures. In my kitchen, worthy stacking boxes are endlessly and painstakingly filled with recyclables, the Oxfam shop gets the books and clothes in dribs and drabs (particularly drabs), the unpalateably healthy foods will probably stay put until weevils take a fancy to them, and the cosmetics will only leave the shelves when they start to smell funny.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I could bring myself to undertake such radical surgery, even without the eco-concerns. I love my stuff. I know I’m drowning in it, but I still love it. Chucking it all would be like having my arm chopped off without anaesthetic.
I think I’ll stick to biting my fingernails.