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June 21, 2014

DODD: My life’s for sale

“If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you” — Dr. Gregory House

My life is going on sale this weekend. Not really my life, just some bits and pieces and assorted memories that accompany them.

Kim has gathered some things from around our life to put in a garage sale to be held at my in-law’s house in Oak Park.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of the items I loaded into my father-in-law’s pickup truck are things that I have not used or even seen in years. Some of them are items that I forgot I even had. Had she not put them in the large stash of yard sale items in the garage, I would have never known about them or suffered any separation anxiety.

I know I am not alone in this strange human phenomenon of hanging onto things that have no utilitarian use any longer. It’s just the nature of human beings to associated feelings and memories to things — items that have no real reason to stay stored away in a closet or garage.

I have to admit that like a typical man I had no feelings whatsoever about any of “her” things in the selection of potential sale items. Included among the pile were some home decorations, gardening items, framed things to hang on walls and some pieces which I assure you I cannot adequately describe nor do I have any idea what purpose they served.

I am sure some other woman will certainly find them desirable and necessary for their own purpose.

But then, we came to my personal things. I mean, how Kim could possibly have expected me to sell my karaoke machine was a mystery. This was not a Mattel sing-along with toy microphone thing, but a real quality setup for which we had once-upon-a-time forked out several hundred dollars.

A karaoke machine is a great thing to have at a home party, especially when we combined our swimming pool and some liquor at some of my old office parties we held when we lived in Oak Park. We also held some mighty fun Charlestown High School Band of Pirates end of the season parties at our current home with a really great stage setup featuring Karaoke hooked up to a professional sound system courtesy of my buddy Chris Peveler.

I am the first to admit I don’t have the voice of a nightingale. Perhaps mine is more like a deep-throated, off-key pelican. I’m much more of a warbler than a song bird.

However, I did have one special karaoke song for which I was known. I loved to sing a song by the pop group Looking Glass called “Brandi.” You probably know the chorus, “Brandi, you’re a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. But my love, my love is the lady of the seaaaaaaa!”

Sorry, but I get carried away when I start singing that song. I used to even do it with the English accent and everything. People would request that song back in the day. OK, request might be too strong a word. Perhaps tolerate might be a better word.

And who could ever forget when my old supervisor Judy and I did our annual office party version of the Sonny and Cher duet, “I Got You Babe.” That would bring the house down. Even physically, we fit the part as she was about 6 inches taller than I am.

I used to drink a lot more than I do now. Usually by the time I was singing karaoke at our office pool party almost everyone had drank a bit more.

I finally had to draw the line on my old neon tube bar lights. Actually, Cameron drew the line. He told his mother someday he wanted to have them in his house.

Kim is pretty easy when her baby boy wants to have some legacy piece in his house someday. That’s why we have an old empty shell of an antique radio cabinet in our garage. We have several things that he wants in his house someday. His own house!

I am waiting for the day when he is out of college and can afford to buy his own gasoline.

She did plan to sell some old metal store signs, a couple of which were pretty politically incorrect. I mean nobody says, “Dat’s sumpin!” anymore while sipping on a pop bottle.

Most of us have a fondness for the past. Things can often remind us of a time and place when we were younger. Getting rid of things in your life can often make those memories come to life, which explains why I have items of clothing in my closet that I have not been able to fit into for decades or why I still keep an old baseball glove stored away.

I had a hanger full of “skinny” jeans long before they became a fashion statement.

So somebody this weekend will be purchasing some of my past. And it will go for a bargain basement price. There is always the chance that my karaoke machine or any of the other items that I had to part with will return unsold.

There’s not much of a sadder sight that you will ever see than an over the hill Sonny Bono wannabe singing “I Got You Babe” alone in the garage beneath the glow of an old neon bar beer light.

You see, Kim doesn’t allow me to karaoke in the house.

— Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com

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