Oprah has raised millions of dollars for charity and had thousands of articles created in her honor as she de-clutters her life and possessions. All very laudable. I can understand wanting to breathe free of all those things. She’s gotten rid of vases, furniture, clothing, jewelry and memorabilia like a photo with MC Hammer. Maybe my signed 1990 paperback of A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a sorry comparison.
I was sure she was to be only admired on this topic. After all, de-cluttering is a new byword and I’ve seen newspaper articles telling exactly how to do it tucked right between department store ads for dinner rings and newly released $70,000 automobiles.
Then I saw this one page article in her March 2014 magazine and I stopped. There is a
photo of Oprah’s prize possession. The divinely inspired bathtub, made for her and only her by Italian stonecutters who carved it from one piece of onyx. It sits, as you can see, in her bathroom, too beautiful to even pierce for water faucets as they sit to the side, waiting for a goddess.
She describes a last effort to save her prize possession as “facing down a design crew,” of thirteen people standing in her bathroom reminding her of the all white new bathroom she had approved. Picture this: There is Oprah with thirteen people in her bathroom that could fit how many? Forty? As I was writing … and she quivers in favor of her goddess one-of-a-kind tub in the whole world.
I knew then and there as I read that I would have a green tub in a white bathroom. What does she do?
Oprah answers, “Okay, take it out. That’s it. I’m done. I’m letting go.” We’re all supposed to clap here before commercial but not me.
Two months later she has an epiphany after talking with the evil de-clutterer Peter Walsh. She realizes she commissioned the tub when she felt like she had truly made “it” and the tub made her feel special. Now she knows she’s special and doesn’t need the tub.
To explain why I am not Oprah and have a limited appreciation for de-cluttering, let me show you a treasure of mine. This cabinet was found in an antique store going out of business and I paid $725 for it. It is five feet long, twenty-three inches deep, and three and a half feet tall. I don’t know what kind of wood it is, but I was told it was made in the early 1900s. Oprah felt special owning her tub. I feel lucky and sure I live with a beautiful thing (as is my husband, but that’s a different story).
If I sold this there would be nothing to replace it with because I would have sold it to save
my granddaughters’ lives or to serve my husband a last meal that did not contain dog food because that’s all we had been able to afford since I had sold my signed book by Ulrich who coined the phrase “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History,” a phrase I’m sure Oprah appreciates.
Dear Evil De-Clutterer Peter Walsh and Very Rich Person Oprah, do you ever consider average people caretake? They hold the beauty others created to make a peaceful home with the few valuable things they can afford and when their life is over they want a daughter-in-law or a granddaughter to care about it, and if they don’t they want them to find another caretaker. Please don’t cavalierly say you are now past the attachment when you are merely replacing one beautiful thing for another. Is someone else caretaking that green onyx tub? Can I?