One: on the phone.
I am packing.
Me: I am watching the Clean House marathon to inspire me.
Beret: I don’t know what that is.
Me: You are missing out. It’s totally helping me purge.
Beret: I have a pretty hard time getting rid of stuff I think I might use again someday.
Me: I used to – but I am getting so good! I am amazing! I am totally getting rid of everything I won’t need this year! I am your impressive friend that keeps nothing that is not immediately useful!
Beret: What about the ten boxes of stuff you’re storing indefinitely in my basement?
Me: That’s different.
Two: at the bar
Beret’s five year old has lice.
Me: Well, it has to happen. All little kids get lice at some point.
Beret: I’m tired of vacuuming. And bagging. And combing. It’s awful.
Me: It’s like a rite of passage. It just happens. You hang out with other little kids, everyone passes it around.
Beret: I never had them.
Me: Actually, I never did either.
Beret: So –
Me: Of course, I didn’t really have any friends when I was a little kid.
Beret: … oh. Yeah. Me either.
(Long tragic pause. Another round of cocktails is ordered.)
Three: on the phone
I am packing.
Me: Ok, I need help. You watched Clean House yesterday, right?
Beret: Yeah, but I had to turn it off. It was too disgusting.
Me: Ok, well. You get the point at least.
Beret: Get rid of stuff.
Me: Yeah! Especially if it’s not useful.
Me: Ok, so here’s my problem. I have these boxes of souvenir type stuff. And I’m tempted to just get rid of it all. I mean, I don’t want kids, I haven’t opened them in, like, a decade. What’s the point?
Beret: I hear you.
Me: Really – why do I need some of this stuff? Is anyone in my life ever going to care that I have a prop from each play I was in in college?
Beret: Ooooooh, you have that? That’s so wonderful!
Me: … you are not going to be helpful in this process, are you?
Beret: Probably not.