...and I don't mean with less money, though there's that too.
So this weird effort to downsize and streamline my home & life has resulted in a room full of items to sell via Ebay/Amazon, Craigslist and eventually a yard sale, and then Goodwill. Much of the culled items are niche interests and will find an appreciative group via Ebay or a few choice hobby forums. Most everything else can go via Craigslist--and then those final items that no one goes for, I'll donate & do a tax form.
The house has been easy--the large, sweeping gestures are simple. Later on, I'll need the help of loving friends to help me make the more sentimental choices. But the basics are simple and don't need to be replaced or tweaked--they just have to go to new, appreciative homes. I've got a lot of sentimental accumulation that I keep keeping--and I need to whittle this down. I mean, I don't have to, but I want to--and that's an important distinction. I recognize I've got too much stuff--I feel bogged down by it. I'll feel better, mentally and emotionally when I finally clear it.
Some things, I've realized I need to replace with items that are are simply smarter & more suited to how I live. A perfect example is my wallet. I originally started off with a very nice, large Coach checkbook/wallet clutch. I've had it forever and it's built like a tank. But over the last decade, I hardly write checks anymore. I keep them at home for the odd, unexpected household expense. Everything else is cash or card. It's still in such great shape, I think I'll give it to my mom. She still writes checks and is using, I believe, I rubber-band to hold all her shit together in a zip-lock bag. So there's a lady who could use an upgrade. I think she'll be delighted. Plus, again, it's built like a tank: it'll last her forever. I probably even have a nice little wallet pen I could stick in there for her. Got to get on that soon.
So then I downsized to a neat little wallet/clutch from Target; their Merona label. I got it years ago, but they still make them. It's half as long as the Coach checkbook because it eradicates a dedicated check area--but has lots of compartments inside for organization/storage. You know me and organization. It also has an inner leaf for photos or photo id holders--and an external zippered pouch for change, receipts, cards--you name it. It's an amazingly handy little thing: many ways to use all the various sleeves, pockets, storage flaps, etc. But it's bulky. Maybe not so much for a girl with a purse--but it's waaaay too bulky for a man to use. The materials and construction themselves are bulky--so regardless of personal wallet cleansing--it simply won't compress more than it mechanically can. Time to try something slimmer.
There are lots of skinny wallets out there: but here's the thing. I'm a girl & I don't want to look like a Shude: that's a girl-dude. I'm happy being a girl, I don't want to be a man. But I envy how everything made for a man, is made to fit in to his lifestyle seamlessly--whereas everything made for a woman, she's supposed to fit into. Look at men's shoes, wallets, bags, pockets, clothes--active items to be used in support of how the man lives. Now look at women's items: we're supposed to alter how we move in order to fit into most things: unless you go granola or icky baggy: and I'm not really into either. I've always been a tomboy, but I'm very clear that I'm a woman, not a man: I don't want to dress like a dude or act like one, but I do want some better engineered/designed items for women--that don't scream MALE when you use them. It's a distinction I care about. I don't want pink and butterflies on all my stuff, neither do I want rivets and whip-stitched leather laces. There's got to be a balance between function and aesthetics and uni-sexual design. Right? Riiight?
So I'm eyeballing an Australian company named Bellroy. As a plus, they use an owl for their logo: I'm fond of owls. It's illegal to own owls in the US. In Australia, a fellow was recently arrested for carrying a small Leatherman tool. Pros and cons. I'm suddenly realizing I may never be able to live in another country again, because I carry a small pocket knife. And damn, who doesn't find things to do--that aren't illegal--with a pocket knife all day long? Open boxes, whittle, sharpen pencils, pry off a staple, cut up an apple, slice off a loose thread...I could go on. When did we all have to become regulated pussies? I used to go to school, elementary school, with a small Elvis pocket knife--and all the Boy Scouts and many of the Girl Scouts had them too. Crap. I'm not going to knife someone to death with my 2" blade: but I will use it at lunch. We're frontiersmen--and so are Australians! Let the fucker have his pocket knife. But I digress. Again. It happens more and more. Now I'm mad.
Anyway. I like two of the Bellroy wallets in particular: the Note Sleeve and the Hide and Seek. The Note Sleeve is nearly ideal: except it lacks the smashing blue thread found on it's smaller and larger cousin. So that's got me focused on the Hide and Seek, which is the Millennium Falcon of wallets, with all it's hidden compartments, which means I've just sold myself on the Hide and Seek. Plus, it has blue thread. Sadly, it doesn't come with a Wookiee. We can't have everything. Also, just by-the-by, in my world Chewbacca isn't dead. I don't know why all the books & Expanded Universe shiiiite has to be so dreary and such a colossal soap opera, but Chewbacca, in my universe, is alive and well & living happily ever after with his friends (also happy) and still making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
han shot first...
Sadly, my Hide & Seek arrived with the little guy snapped off. I think I got a funky or flawed one---and I can't tell, but it looks like it wasn't riveted on correctly--seems to have sat up off the leather too high--as the extra spot of glue they put there for added security looked badly bonded too. I contacted CS and they're sending a replacement, no questions asked (though I offered to send pictures of the damaged item) and a pre-paid return envelope--so Customer Service seems great so far. Of course it was disappointing to get a broken item, but no quality control is perfect, and I'm happy to give the wallet/craftsmanship another try. Am anxiously waiting for the replacement--hope it gets here soon & I hope that little owl logo is sturdier than the first!
"Don't worry, she'll hold together..."
Okay: new wallet arrived within about a week--so great turn-around time on a replacement + they sent the return packet & that was lovely. THIS wallet is overall much better made--the hidden compartment flap is finished better--no lumps or bulges as on the first--and this time, my little owl is impressed firmly into the leather. Holla. Will see how it wears, but I'm still pretty stoked about the wallet. It's not too large, not lumpy, simple and refined and I hope not overly masculine. I feel the blue stitching and cute little owl help keep it a little more "feminine-utilitarian."
Update (1/4/13): Ive been using my new Hidden Compartment Wallet for almost 5 months now, and I'm very pleased. While it's perhaps slightly larger/bulkier than I'd ideally like--the fact is, it's my fault because I really do have several things I need to carry daily in a wallet. I have a few ID cards for work-related endeavors that can't be got rid of as well as one ridiculous item that I love to carry because all the boys lose their minds when they see it: metal wallet card Bill of Rights.
I've given a lot of these away as presents to the men-folk I know. They love the impish nature of the thing. It brings out the naughty in them. And several like the subversiveness of irritating our oft inept & more oftener palliative TSA.