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When we last left our heroine, she was digging, in crazed spurts of activity, through impacted Mystery Piles in remote corners of the CrazyStable. Spring cleaning had turned into spring insanity, as I realized with horror...we have more than 21 years' worth of crap stored up here.

I was brave, reader. Fighting against the packrattism that runs in my blood like the curse of the vampire, I disgorged the following items into big blue Ikea tote bags:

--the Alcott & Andrews "power suit" from the 80s that made me look like Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl." Daughter tried on the jacket, was truly baffled by the veal-chop-sized shoulder pads.

--The set of mini speakers that my Dad planned to rig up in our newlywed apartment so I could listen to a record playing in the living room while I cooked in the kitchen. Let's just say they never got rigged, and never would.

--More Paternal Relics: clever Daddy's finely cobbled-together full-spectrum plant lights, which he customized for the plant shelves he made in, oh, 1981 or so. Clever Daughter (me) has felt guilty for 21 years that I disassembled that planter, moved the stuff here, and never rebuilt it in my plant room. Permission to ditch the rig was granted when I realized that the cords were so old, the plugs weren't even polarized. The fluourescent "Gro-Lites" went with them; let someone else worry about how to recycle them!

--The handsome and unreadable National Geographic books on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that I salvaged from my Aunt Rosemary's apartment in Florida. Let someone else feel guilty about never having read them!

--Every sweater, every goddam one, that makes me look fat and is old enough to be pilled. Fat + Pilled + GONE.

Where did they go? To a fabulous event held today, the Flatbush FreeMeet! Sponsored by activist blogger Sustainable Flatbush (great work, Anne!) and the Freecycle New York City folks, it's so simple: You bring stuff, or take stuff, and everything's free. No persnickety thrift-store donation rules here: The only things they don't want are items "heavily covered in pet hair" (allergies), or "drugs, weapons, or adult items." (None were in evidence.)

It was incredible fun to watch folks pounce on the items we'd brought. That white satin dress (above), which never was quite right for any occasion, intrigued several shoppers. A sweet little girl prized Daughter's toy cat carrier, and scooped up several children's books. Ladies in saris powered through sweaters. (The event took place at Newkirk and Coney Island Avenues, the halal-meat capital of Brooklyn, and was a model of Flatbush's delirious diversity.)


And the guys flocked to a table that was vaguely electronic-related. (Wow, typewriters!) Daddy's speakers aroused a lot of interest.

And I found something cool: a tiny measuring gauge, no bigger than a refrigerator magnet, for use in sewing. The lady next to me was delighted to see me snap it up. "It belonged to my mother," she said, "who was a seamstress...but I don't sew." The system works!

Posted on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 03:31PM by Registered CommenterBrenda from Brooklyn | CommentsPost a Comment

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