Getting Out of Town
From insistent screaming and stuffed monkeys to a much calmer place.
Illustration by Isaac Kestenbaum
Two days in a row I took my daughter roller-skating. The rink has a small store full of things we don’t need and maybe nobody needs — neon knee-highs, fancy skates, key chains. Our house is already overflowing with stuff. I may spend the upcoming summer winnowing piles of outgrown clothes, worn-out shoes, books we’ve decided not to keep. Our coffee table is cluttered with magazines, and at least half of the magazines have cover stories on how to tackle clutter. The answer? According to those magazines, the solution always involves buying more stuff, plastic bins and hangers. Our daughter’s room is crowded with toys, but there was a tiny stuffed monkey in the skate shop and she couldn’t get her mind off it. That monkey! Would I please buy her that monkey, she asked. Please. Please, just for a special treat, she said. It was only six dollars. Please, she’d really play with it, she would, she would she would.
She was absolutely driving me crazy, begging for…