Thursday, May 17, 2007

In which I scornfully mock someone who's been dead almost a hundred years.

Got this quote in an e-mail today:

"Lots of people think they're charitable if they give away their old clothes and things they don't want. It isn't charity to give away things you want to get rid of and it isn't a sacrifice to do things you don't mind doing."

-Myrtle Reed, author (1874-1911)


You know? I don't know if I like Myrtle all that much.

Really, what a bitch, to tell me I shouldn't feel good about giving away stuff I don't want anymore. Why, if I hadn't given away things I don't want anymore, I'd be surrounded by the following:

  • too-small clothing - approximately 1000 pounds
  • too big clothing - approximately 50 pounds
  • high chair
  • booster seat
  • crib
  • baby clothes - approximately 600 pounds
  • shoes - approximately 100 pairs
  • several beat-up chairs
  • squeaky bedframes
  • old mattresses
  • magazines from the dark ages

and who needs THAT? Why can't I feel good about giving away this stuff and feeling all noble and gifty and charitable? You know, Myrtle, I could have SOLD that stuff at a yard sale and made TENS of dollars, and instead I GAVE IT AWAY and lost the profits.

(it should be noted that I also lost the headache that would have come with getting ready for a yard sale, and the aggravation of dickering, and the whining from picky customers who want batteries with the "Speak and Spell" and "hideously cackling Elmo," but that's another matter entirely. My opinion about yard sales isn't the point here)


Who IS this Myrtle Reed, anyhow? Why should she have the last word here? Why should I believe her high-and-mightyness anyhow?

Let's do a little research - Wiki first.

Preacher's kid. That figures strongly into the charity and sacrifice bit.

Graduated high school - go Myrtle!

Got married at 32. Huh. That leaves a LOT of years between graduation and marriage to figure out. What was she doing during that time?

Ah - she was writing. Writing books like "Love letters of a musician" and "Later love letters of a musician," along with "Lavender and old lace" and "The spinster book" (the last one I'd love to read because it sounds hilarious). She also wrote cookbooks!

Say, she's a regular renaissance woman!

But, oh dear, what's this? Something's not right in paradise for our prolific author and mistress of the kitchen, because it seems that five years after she married, she died.

Of a drug overdose.


Huh, Myrtle, maybe you should have been CHARITABLE and passed the laudanum without taking that last fatal dose. But what would have been the use of that? You WANTED the last hit, didn't you? See where it got you? If you'd given it away (read: been charitable), even if you DID want it, you'd have lived for longer, quite possibly long enough to take back that silly quote.

So there, you long-dead authoress and kitchen whiz. So.There. You cannot tell me anything.

I'm still going to find that spinster book though. Might learn a thing or six.


The, uh, blog break is over. Apparently I need one day to jump out da funk. Who knew? See y'all tomorrow, I'm sure.

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