For a mom like my mom, who loves to work all year long, getting a vacation isn't just the right thing.
Vacations start with a long list of things to do and end with each thing crossed out, the sheet of paper totally crumpled, because of the numerous times it was shoved into each person's face. This vacation is like any other, our family firm on the motive of bringing the whole house down, sorting things, cleaning, scrubbing, making trips to the raddi walla and the like. For kids who fantasize vacationing somewhere in the hills, listening natural sounds instead of the neighbor's silly rock music, this can be a bit wearing.
Specially if you hold different views as to what is 'necessary', 'useless', 'waste of space' and your stuff, which your mom refers to as 'JUNK'! :/
I honestly had to keep all my sense organs open to prevent mom from throwing out any of my stuff. Though, sad as it may be, finally she did succeed up to a point.
Here's a bit of our conversation during one of the many cleaning (or 'working', as mom calls it) days.
Background: Mom's target - My Room. (OMG!)
SO clever. She chose the day when I had planned a day out with friends.
I, being even cleverer, stayed back (much to her dismay, but I had to save my belongings, didn't I? What if some day my friends came over and asked me to show the gifts and cards I received? Or the toffee wrappers we kept as a souvenir from the time we first had them together? What am I going to show them? Clean drawers? SO NOT.)
I shift between a pile of clothes taken out from the storage area in the bed (wait, is the gown I just saw the same one I wore in the eighth standard, during our annual function, when I dressed as a Mexican??? Wowiee!) and another pile, which I saw, contained the entire contents of the study table. (Who's going to put it all back eh? Me, of course :( ). Approach mom cautiously, who's busy sorting the things into two separate piles. The larger one contains junk, she informs me. Shocked, I find out it has those sketchpens I used every time! (Okay, I admit, they don't work anymore, but still, my best friend had given them to me 5 years ago!).
Me : Mom, let me do the sorting. You can see to dad's room, it's completely littered.
Mom (with a look that could actually kill) : I'm done with the room. The stuff you found littered will be the property of the raddi wala tomorrow. And no, you go and study, I'll do it.
Me (trying to control the urge to scream): Mom, I'm not in school any more, remember? I don't have anything to study yet!
Okay, let me just help you out.
Mom: Alright, sit here and help me clear out the useless stuff.
And why haven't you got rid of this yet? I thought I gave them away last year?
Me (yeah, you did, I just saved it in the nick of time): Mom, these belong to my barbie dolls! It's their furniture and see this, the dolls' car! (pink, of course. I love it!). What are the dolls going to use if you give them away? Our furniture?
Mom (looking at me as if I was off my rocker for saying what I said) : What are you? 5? Wanting your dolls' furniture? Grow up kid! I've put aside your dolls for your niece. (smiling satisfactorily, as if I want my precious barbies in that brat's hands).
Me: (horrified): Hello? I'm still alive! You can't just give my barbies-that-dad-got-me-from-different-countries-and-that-I-totally-love to anyone!!! I wanted to give them a shelf on the table! Complete with their stuff. Don't you throw away my stuff or I'll not talk to you anymore!
Mom: Okay! Save these till you grow old and have them do your household chores, du-uh! (Praying to God, asking Him to make me 'grow up' I bet).
I saved my birthday gifts (some I din't even knew existed) and pairs of shoes (wow, I didn't even know I own so many. I fought over a bright pink Reebok shoe I hadn't seen since the past two years, that I remembered I had purchased during my first ever shopping-for-college-since-I'm-no-longer-in-school. I remember having worn them once then taking them off on reaching home, finally realizing that bright pink shoes aren't really acceptable in college).
Mom (sifting through the jewelery pile): What do you need all these bracelets for? You haven't ever worn a single one from these.
Me (rolling my eyes. Seriously, was mom never a kid herself? ): These are friendship bracelets, mom. You aren't supposed to throw them. No (seeing she was about to start again), not even the thread ones, neither the ones that ring, nor the ones with broken hooks. (Throw-away-broken-things rule doesn't apply to friendship bracelets).
Mom: Fine, suit yourself. Also don't ever give away these hundred copies of Children's Digest to any needy kid. (Graduated to Readers' Digest, I had saved all these old copies, for I might want to re-read them. It's been 5 years at least, I haven't even touched them.)
Me: (finally, and sadly, realizing she's right): Okay, I understand. You can have them for your charity organization.
Mom (with a smug look): Thank you. Let's move on to your clothes.
Me: (gulp) Okay. See, I need these t-shirts! Agreed they're now a size smaller, but you know I may just reduce my size soon! Then you wouldn't have to buy me new ones!
Mom : You know what you're saying is just an attempt to save your branded stuff, but you know where these are needed. Picks them up and in they go into the charity bag.
Similar 'junk' was either dumped in the raddi pile or the charity one.
In short, despite my efforts, my room did actually get clean and free from useless (according to mom anyway) stuff.
The good part is, some of it will help those who really need the stuff. Those who will use our junk as a necessity. God, I've started thinking like mom! But it isn't so bad, when you come to think about it. It feels good actually. Plus your karma will be counted! (No, I'm not being selfish, really!).
I thought about the day while setting the top shelf with my barbies-that-dad-got-me-from-different-countries-and-that-I-totally-love along with their furniture, and of course, the pink car, till the time next year when I'll be in action, saving them once again!