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.

Happy Birthday to Me, the Happy Birthday Tree

January 30th, 2010


Copy of DSC00074

It’s my birthday on Sunday, and we’re in the middle of the Great Storm of 2010.

Esala, my fiance, made a point of finding a local florist who would deliver in the Great Storm.  At 7:30 this evening, I received a surprise gift basket of hydrangeas, and the best part of it is that it’s a real plant!  Now I can replace my quite dead palm tree!!

I also got a package from my parents, and since I have not taken down my Christmas decorations, I made a “Happy birthday tree”.  My little Christmas tree didn’t get any Christmas gift love on the real Christmas, but I put all my wrapped gifts under the tree, so I can open them bright and early on my birthday morning.

Silly, I know.  But considering there’s NO ONE around for my birthday this year, the small things mean a lot.


Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

December 20th, 2009

Christmas Tree Part 1

Christmas Tree Part 1

Lights Only

Lights Only


Despite the fact I will be spending Christmas with my parents in their new home in Mississippi, I decided to put up some Christmas Cheer.

This required going to two storage places (Friends #1 and Friends #2) to get my ornaments.  Made for a great day–brunch with some of my bestest buddies here in CH, then off to

*** pause for dramatic effect***


Though I was truly terrified, it wasn’t so bad.  I car-stalked some shoppers and got a great spot.  1 hour later I had the only purchase I needed-a gift for my sister.

Off the the country to get my tree.  It always surprises me how close to the country I really am, here.  I drive 30 seconds in one direction and suddenly I’m surrounded by one-hundred year old farmhouses tucked into rolling hills.  For a few moments I long for the Walden-like solitude the people who live here must have.

Yet they, too, can drive 10 minutes away and reach Walmart.  God Bless America.

Dusty ornaments in hand, I came back home to put up my tree.

    About Me

    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

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