The garage should be for manly stuff
November 03, 2010
Nothing reveals the strengths and weaknesses of marriage like cleaning the garage.
My wife believes a garage is the place to store items she's not sure she wants in the house, but have strong sentimental value attached to them.
For example, our son's first stool - no not that kind silly, the kind with wooden legs. Really, his stool has been in my garage, where I grind and sharpen stuff. And since he is now 27 years old, I know for a fact he'll never use it again. But still we have to save it.
I, on the other hand, believe a garage exists for the purpose of housing vehicles. Well, that and for arrow making, golf club and fishing rod repair and grinding things, you know, a place to make sparks. I like making sparks.
My wife thinks I'm weird.
A man's garage needs a workbench, with a pegboard so you can line up your tools. Seldom do I use tools, but I got 'em and I know where they are if I should ever do anything to need one. I also have a great collection of fishing rods, hung on the wall and each has a story connected to it, should anyone ask. No one does though.
You see, I believe a garage is a man's space and it should remain manly. I have more camouflage clothing than anyone you know, enough to outfit a small army. I have deer antlers hanging, gas cans, leaf blowers, grass trimmers and snow blowers, and spotlights. I have sleeping bags, tents and other assorted camping gear. And I know how to use them all.
My wife is a Martha Stewart wannabe who thinks everything should be in plastic containers, clear so you can see inside and color coded, green for spring items, white for winter, blue for summer and brown for fall. Me....I like black garbage bags myself.
For years I've tried to reclaim my garage. I've written about it before but it never gets done.
"I'm going to clean the garage this weekend," I have told my wife over and over again for the past 10 years.
"Good idea, but don't throw anything out, I need to sort it first," she instructs. "Just re-arrange it so we can walk in it."
"That's not cleaning, that's just stacking! We need to get rid of some of this junk!" I reason.
"Oh we will, but it will take planning, you can't just get a dumpster in here and start heaving boxes," she tells me year after year.
Well, last weekend I summoned enough courage to defy Martha's clone and had a dumpster brought in, a six-yarder. By Sunday afternoon it was chuck full.
I threw away stuff I didn't even know I had and questioned why I ever bought it in the first place. In a way it was fun to uncover old memories and treasures. Although my wife and I did check and double check what each other was heaving into the dumpster. We sorted it out together.
Alas, we no longer live a life of clutter. At least for now, I don't have to step over black garbage bags to make sparks.
Randy Jorgensen has been with the Tri-City Times since 1980, he lives in Imlay City and is active in many community organizations. Randy enjoys the outdoor sports and travel. His columns are generally of life experiences with a touch of humor.