It’s time to do the unthinkable.  

I’d put it off long enough, but it had to be done or I’d never be able to move on to the next step as a person.

I had to clean the garage.

It’s my fault, as I’ve run out of excuses. 

The excuses all start out the same. 

“I’d love to clean the garage, but I have to …” and then you provide one from a list of things that could include —

• Wash the neighbor’s dog.

• Save orphans from a burning building.

• Tell someone on the Internet that they are wrong about Donald Trump.

• Come up with more excuses for not cleaning the garage.

However, I had lost my excuses, as well as my patience, with not being able to navigate the garage. 

You see, I clean the garage a couple of times a year. The garage is like my car’s bedroom, and should be tidy and orderly.

My car is the only one who lives in the garage. I know that the car doesn’t leave tools lying about, or empty boxes or enough empty spray paint cans to coat the Golden Gate Bridge. The car also doesn’t accumulate piles of dirty rags. 

I suspect my children might have something to do with the state of disarray, but they vehemently deny it. 

“Come on dad, you know that anything in the garage means work, and you know I wouldn’t do that!”

Garage cleaning is more than a chore; it’s a journey of self-discovery.

You see, garages are where people put all the junk they don’t want in their house, but they also don’t want in the landfill. 

For some reason, I have enough folding chairs to fill a soccer stadium. Why do I have all these chairs? What could I possibly ever use them for that wouldn’t be in a place that already has places to sit, like church, a movie theater or district court?

Among these chairs are some old-fashioned lawn chairs — the kind with the aluminum frames and nylon netting that was all the rage in the 1970s.

Two of these were chairs my wife and I bought when we were first married and they hadn’t invented the much more comfortable and practical camp chair yet. Every time I go to throw them away, I think to myself — aw, we bought those chairs together. I can’t get rid of those; they’re special.

Another pair of these lawn chairs belonged to my in-laws and are now mine, apparently. I’ve been tempted to toss them as well, but then I think — aw, what if those chairs carry some special meaning for my in-laws?  I just can’t do it. 

Plus, even though they’re as ugly as Caitlyn Jenner without makeup, they’re still functional chairs that might come in handy if I ever have 800 people at my house and all the other chairs are taken. 

This is how hoarding starts; keeping stuff you don’t want because you might use it for something that will never happen.

Also, I find stuff I’ve never used, like an electric knife.

I don’t recall buying an electric knife, so I’m assuming someone gave it to us.

Why? It’s perhaps the most useless thing ever invented. I mean, if you need a motorized knife to cut through your Thanksgiving turkey, something has gone terribly wrong. 

Even though I’ve never used the electric knife, and cannot foresee a future where I ever would, I can’t toss it. It’s a brand new electric knife. Maybe it was a gift lovingly given by someone naïve enough not to understand the ridiculousness of an electric knife. 

I guess I could use it for a gift, but since I don’t know where it came from, what if I accidentally gave it back to the person that gave it to me? 

That would be unthinkable.

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