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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2007

On Letting Go

TUESDAY

7 AM

Girls and boys, today I would like to introduce to you my new personal hero, Lisa Perry, whose eBay listing says:

You are bidding on virtually everything I own. Pictures show representative items. All items are used and sold as is, where is.

If you re under the age of, say, 35 or 40, you might not understand this. But to people like me people who ve been consumers for somewhere in the neighborhood of 25, 30, 35+ years the idea of unloading all the stuff is alluring.

Lisa Perry is a 45-year-old woman from St. Paul, Minnesota who has put essentially everything she owns up for sale on eBay. All 300+ items are going as a single lot, which means the winning bidder of her online auction will come away with a buncha stuff that includes (but is certainly not limited to):

 snowshoes

 a milk crate full of seashells

 an album by the Village people

 clothes by Talbots, Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean

 refrigerator magnets from around the world!

 wool rugs

 a futon

 skiis

 a circular saw

 her collection of Santa Bears

And finally, wrote Lisa, wrapping up her initial list of unwanteds, many, many more things including boxes I don't even know the inventory of!

Been there, done that.

We moved into our house in 1987, and I m reasonably certain there are still boxes out in the garage that were never unpacked. I have at least 20 good reasons to believe they contain things I do not need

Lisa s eBay disclaimer:

"auction does not include live animals, such as my pets, me, my degrees, any credit card or other personal information about me or others. Other items are excluded such as underwear, socks, make-up, select items of clothing, kitchen knives, and items which may inadvertently be in the picture but already sold on ebay.

Well, you get the idea: The entire, jumbled, mish-mash of her life is soon to be going, going, GONE.

As she explained to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (reg req'd):

"This might be midlife, but it's not a crisis. It's midlife excitement."

Exactly!

At the prospect of tossing 30 or so years of accumulated possessions, I get pretty excited, too. My guess is you might as well.

Honey, aren t we all looking to unload our personal version of an unwanted, unneeded collection of Santa Bears ?

From the Mpls Strib:

"It's good stuff, but I have so much," she said in her cramped apartment on St. Paul's West Side. "I don't need it all. I don't use it all. I just have it all. Actually, it has me."

Perry has been studying Buddhism the last six years and started fancying the notion of "releasing attachment to things."

As word-of-mouth about her auction picked up steam, Lisa posted subsequent updates on her eBay listing.

Let my great past be your terrific future!! she urged. Then, after a few days more thought, she added:

I love my things. They have been gathered and collected from travels to Australia, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Some have come from family (who are upset). They all reflect a life I had and enjoyed. The memories and the people connected with those things are more important to me now than the physical, material representations. So....BUY MY STUFF!!!

And then this:

All proceeds from this auction over $2000 (the reserve) will be donated to Heifer International in honor of Army Corp. Stephen Kowalczyk, Boulder CO, who died in Iraq last month.

So now, I m even more wowed by Lisa s effort (I am choosing, with no evidence one way or the other in favor of so doing, to believe in her sincerity). Heifer International has long been one of my favorite charities.

Not everyone is as enamored as I am of Lisa s Letting Go auction. In an eBay questions section, one frowny-faced party pooper wrote ( shouted, actually):

NOTHING BUT A PUBLICITY GIMMICK - ANYONE WITH HALF A WORKING BRAIN WOULD HAVE AT LEAST DIVIDED THIS STUFF UP INTO LIKE LOTS INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Mmmm, I'm thinkin' whoever wrote that deserves to find him/herself with an anonymously shipped box of Santa Bears next holiday season



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