The Personal Museum

September 18th, 2010

This is why everyone needs a Personal Museum (see picture at end). I want it to be noted that I, the Genteel Doc, created the concept of the Personal MuseumTM in 2010 to justify my clutterific, rat-pack tendencies. Any use of the term Personal MuseumTM will heretofore be subject to copyright liabilities.

Seriously, though. My husband HATES the clutter I have. Don’t get me wrong- I am no extreme hoarder. I dumped carloads of stuff before moving to CH. I do have to admit, though, that I cherish the past as a reflection of how I got to the present. Hence I have a lot of sh**.

I come by this naturally. My parents have two HUGE houses (one practically empty and for sale), and they STILL have to rent storage units. Call it mix of Depression-era mentality and southern conservatism, but we Southerners cherish our history and show it by saving all our prior generations’ sh**.

I am loathe to depart with such items as my Great Grandmother’s glassware, my Grandmother’s Bell jars and bowling ball, and my great aunt’s bedroom furniture. To the discerning eye this sh** has no intrinsic value. To me, though, it shows the German-heritage woman who married a Sicilian and bore a family worthy of a Soprano’s series. Or it reveals the daily life of the woman after whom I am named. She was a fireball of Amazing- I can only hope to be half the woman she was. As for my Great Aunt, as I sleep, I can recall the first church musical I ever saw, where I got so excited I stood on the pew and danced along with the chorus. She took me there. I remember her house, Harvest gold and macrame. She gave us our most beautiful and cherished Christmas ornaments.

I have my college notes. The hOURS I sweated on the ‘Saps campus memorizing those notes. And all my PHi Mu memories: how can I be expected to trash the physical reminders of my development as a woman?

My husband is Buddhist and has many traits I admire. His disinterest in accumulating worldly trinkets such as my sh** is one I know I should embrace, but my strong sense of self, home, history, and place keeps me from being at peace with this concept.

We argue over this often, as he points out (rightly so) that my attachment to my sh** weighs me down and forces me to have a bigger, more expensive lifestyle than anyone needs.

I had a little victory today, though. I told him I was finally going to cut the cord and dump my beautiful wedding cake- the cake I slaved 6 months over. It will remain one of my best creative achievements. Right now, though, it is just another piece of sh** cluttering up my condo. I know I should let it go. I have nowhere to put it and no other human has the option of keeping her wedding cake.

He stopped me, though. Items related to our wedding really hit home for him (what an adorable thing). He knows that he preaches minimalism, yet he, too, cannot let go of this tangible symbol of one of the most important days in our life.

So I propose the Personal MuseumTM. This is simply an area in the home where you display all your random sh** that reflects who you are as a person, your heritage, your history. Yes, it may he a glorified junk room, but I guarantee that simply entering this room will flood you with all sorts of positive feelings.

At least that’s the line I’m preaching. I hope out next place has an attic, or I think great grandma’s glassware might be item #1 in the Personal Yard Sale.


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    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters

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