To tip or not to tip?

My parents are moving house. This is proving to be a troubling experience for me. It’s not the thought that, in a few months, I’ll never again step inside the home of my teenage years. The home where I meticulously studied for my exams, rejoicing in my colour coded revision timetable and adhering to it without distraction (something Sam is spectacularly failing to do these holidays). The home where I saw my dear aunty happy and carefree for the last time before the ravages of a cruel disease took hold and ultimately claimed her. The home where I left as Lindsay Kelly, my dad haphazardly scooping up the train of my wedding dress, nervously helping me into the car and, for once, seemingly awkward to be around me. Or the home where I fetched all my babies, warning them not to projectile vomit or have explosive diarrhoea because Grandma has an issue with cleanliness and staining her immaculate carpet with a cream or brown substance may postpone the bonding process. No. What is troubling me is the amount of nostalgic tat my mother is sending my way, of which I am unable to dispose, even though it’s been in my parents’ loft for donkeys years and I’ve never given it a second thought! So currently lying on my bedside table is a pull along telephone, my Sindy, whose face has the same whitening disease as Michael Jackson but whose legs look like she’s just taken Frankie for a walk barefoot through a swamp, and a set of pearls I received for my 21st birthday. So what will become of them? Sindy’s not doing too well on eBay, with or without a dermatological condition, and since the days of watching Toy Story with the kids, I am incapable of throwing out any toys. (I cling to the idea that all of Sam’s Thomas the Tank Engine trains have finally twigged that the Fat Controller is a stupid t#@t and have taken over the railway in a socialist uprising!) The phone is now of great historical value; my kids looked on at me incredulously as I showed them how I used to “dial a number” Really this expression should be obsolete alongside “Will you tape my programme?” As for the pearl necklace, I might possibly wear it again when I’m in my eighties, but the likelihood of reaching that age when you live with a Joel is very faint! So I dare say I’ll put them in our loft, not wanting to have anything to do with them but unable to rid myself of them completely. And in years to come, when it’s our turn to move house, I hope my soul to have dwindled in size or my heart to have hardened sufficiently to say, “just take them to the bloody tip!” Like I should be saying to myself right at this moment!

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