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  • Kristan Higgins

The Purge

Updated: May 3, 2022


I am not a collector of much. Shoes, maybe, but those are a professional necessity (cough). I’ve saved every card my kids have ever made me, but outside of that, I’m not terribly sentimental about things. There’s that book about organizing—you know, if something makes you feel sparkly, keep it, and if not, throw it away. If I were to do this, I’d be sitting in an empty house with two boxes of handmade cards, Huggy Pillow and our photo albums. As did Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne, I like things neat and square.

Today, largely in part because we’re hosting Thanksgiving in our little house, we decided to do a glass count. The glass count led to getting rid of some of those “we never use these” oddball wine glasses, which then led to purging the kids’ water bottles and thermoses. These were on the shelf next to the dusty Christmas candles. Why keep those? Into the trash they went.


Next came the “maybe we’ll use this someday” items. The salt and pepper shakers that were from my mean grandmother’s house? See you later, suckers. The pretty little plate that I bought at a tag sale in 1987 and have yet to use? Ciao. The mystery spice that’s older than the kids? Hmm. Maybe it’s still—no. Buh-bye.

We dragged the trash bag into the mudroom. And speaking of the mudroom, why do we hoard hangers? Do we need to keep that backpack? What about the purse I haven’t used in ten years? The child-size ice skates? Goodwill, here we come.


As long as we were in the mood, what about our DVDs and videos, huh? Do we really need the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond my grandmother taped for me in 2003? The entire baseball game from my birthday eleven years ago? My mom kicking ass on Jeopardy? (That was a keep.) The Magic Schoolbus? Dearest? Do you want to do that funny little dance you used to do to the theme song? Dearest?


Next came the top shelf of the pantry—alcohol. The thing about hard liquor is (contrary to popular belief), McIrish and I don’t drink that much. Because my spouse is Irish (surprise!), people like to give us Irish whiskey. A lot of it. More than a human with only one liver could ever consume. Bye, whiskey! Anything that smells like cough medicine…down the sink.

At present, McIrish is wiping out cabinets and getting a little high from Windex fumes. I have never loved him more.


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