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How to throw out the "old"?


When I was young, my mother often told me stories about her difficult childhood. Ten kids growing up in a poor, rural region of Virginia, with an alcoholic dad and an exhausted/abused mother who was forced to raise all the children almost entirely on her own. Her father provided only a paycheck to the family, and little more. He spent long days working in the coal mines, and almost always came home drunk. I remember this man as my grandpa, and even in his older years he suffered from severe alcoholism. He was completely tied to the bottle and a horrible human, for whom I have absolutely no positive emotions, memories or feelings. The stories I remember most vividly from my mom are the ones where she had no shoes to wear, or ones that were so old and in disrepair that it was difficult to walk in the snow or on hard gravel. Her mother sewed almost all the kids' clothes and coats, and they wore them until they tore or fell apart. You can see the results of my grandma's hard work in this photo dated 1956, where my mom and some of her siblings are wearing her handmade clothes...

1. It is because of these stories that I can never throw any type of clothing or shoes away. When I recently moved from my apartment, I had so many clothes in my closet that I never wear. I didn't want to drag them along to another place to take up closet space, but in the U.S., it's very easy to donate such items to the less fortunate. You basically just need a car, some trash bags, and the desire to help. These "drop off" boxes sit in almost all neighborhoods, placed in convenient places like gas stations, Walmart parking lots, or other heavily trafficked areas and intersections. Simply throw the bags in the boxes while your gas is pumping, and leave with the pleasant feeling that someone else will now have a nice piece of clothing to wear.

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2. Such boxes exist not only for donation of clothing, but also books and DVDs. Recently, I've seen these cute wooden boxes appearing in local neighborhoods. They're called "Little Free Libraries," where neighbors can take a book from a decorative box or leave one for someone else to read. A continual flow of knowledge and literature for the community...

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3. Books and clothing - these are superficial and tangible items, which are much easier to discard. However, there are no such boxes to quickly dispose of negative human emotions or animosity. These feelings are especially complex when the subject of the negative energy is a family member, such as my grandfather. I struggled with these feelings of hate for many years, but as I got older, I began to understand that all humans are flawed in some ways, and the acceptable tolerance threshold for such flaws vary in scope and by person.

I look at photos of my mom's parents, like those below, where my grandma looked so happy and in love. How could it be, when she lived with an alcoholic who physically and verbally abused her? I still don't have the answers, but to live with anger and hate is poisonous for the mind, body and soul, so I stopped trying to understand.

grandpa gparents2

Do you have these boxes in Russia? How do you get rid of old clothing, books, or negative human emotions?


( 133 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 7th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
I love this idea with boxes in the US! As far as I know they start to appear in Russia, I've seen a couple in St Pete. But it's only for clothes now, not books yet.
What about negative human emotions, due to the old Russian tradition, we simply share them with everyone around ))) And so we do with positive emotions!
Oct. 7th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
They are very useful and convenient! I've never noticed them anywhere in Russia, but it makes contributions much easier. I love Peter. I miss this city. :(
(no subject) - korneev14 - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zirazira - Oct. 8th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 03:20 pm (UTC)
Americans and Russians are very aggressive by nature. And the both very good on generating new ideas for the whole world. Insight is backside of anger.
Oct. 7th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
I don't think Americans are aggressive by nature. What ideas has Russia recently generated for the whole world? Just curious. I rarely see Russian brands or electronics here in the USA, except vodka. :)
(no subject) - perycalypsis - Oct. 7th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ext_2832598 - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - korneev14 - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - selfmade - Oct. 8th, 2015 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
We have such tanks - we are eating.

Oct. 7th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
Is this photoshopped, or real?? If it's real, in what city do these trash bins appear?
(no subject) - kovaliv - Oct. 7th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kovaliv - Oct. 7th, 2015 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ext_2832598 - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iamschik - Oct. 8th, 2015 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 8th, 2015 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - iamschik - Oct. 8th, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iamschik - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
When I need to get rid of old clothes, I usually take them to a church, or to people who gather things for orphanages. As for childrens' clothes, I mostly give them either to relatives or neighbours who have younger children.
I like the book boxes:) So cute and so useless:) There is such an abundance of books nowadays, and people tend to read less and less, and even if they do, they move towards electronic versions.
Luckily I haven't had very bad memories to get rid of so far. Probably the only way is to replace them with new happy ones as soon as possible?
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)
I have almost no bad memories either, esp. from relatives. I have a huge and wonderful family. :) This grandfather was the only exception. Of course, I have negative emotions towards some past boyfriends, etc., but now I'm even friends with most of them. I will never convert to electronic reading. I still buy and read books the old-fashioned way. :)
Oct. 7th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)

Coal mining is hard and dangerous and company try to shortchange you at every step. It is not an environment for good emotions to rise and share. At least your grand give his paycheck to the family.
Did you read Epton Sinclair "King Coal" novel?

Edited at 2015-10-07 04:00 pm (UTC)
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
I haven't read this book. There are lots of dangerous and demanding jobs, but this provides no justification for beating your wife. This is like saying women deserve to be raped because they dress provocatively. Of course, if he wished to destroy his life and health with alcohol as a coping measure, this is his own choice. But it's not an excuse to treat others poorly.
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Oct. 8th, 2015 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Danila Kunichnik
Oct. 7th, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
May be your grandma didn't have a choice, but I have never understood the whole humility complex so pervasive among Russian women. From when I was a kid I would say every one in three families among my peers had horrible "family heads" as they referred to themselves, who spent their free time tyrannizing their families, drinking their brains out, wasting all the money their wives couldn't manage to hide and the whole shebang. In big cities it is not so common (or noticeable), but in small towns it is like "the grass is green, the sky is blue, my husband is a stinky inebriate"
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)
I was once in an abusive relationship. Not physically, but verbally. He was bi-polar and didn't properly control his condition. In my early 20's I accepted it, after all I was madly in love. But at some point you must learn to respect yourself more than you love the abuser. It's very difficult, but a necessity.
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cfagnum - Oct. 8th, 2015 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 8th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cfagnum - Oct. 8th, 2015 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 8th, 2015 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cfagnum - Oct. 8th, 2015 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 04:07 pm (UTC)
10 kids? Planet killers !))) According to Jared M. Diamond book " Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed " more than 2 kids is over balance for population grew up
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
10 kids!! Yes, I can't even imagine it. Being pregnant for almost a decade, one baby after the other! It is too much.
(no subject) - aavenger - Oct. 7th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 04:09 pm (UTC)
Shannon, you're similar with your grandmother as for me)))
Concerning boxes - we have some, but they are not popular. People prefer electronics books more and more. As for me I did not buy paper books at least two years.
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC)
My 7 year old nephew is addicted to his iPad, but still reads paper books each night. So, there is still hope for the old school style of reading. :) I prefer it over e-books.
(no subject) - dorli87 - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
I never saw such boxes in Russia, but we live in the Internet era! You can type (in Russian) in any internet search engine something like "отдам даром" (give for free) and you will find a lot of sites, where you can offer for free something you don't need. Someone who need that can write to you, then you give your phone number and address.
Once I wanted to buy a new sofa. I wrote such poster on a Friday evening, and on a Sunday morning two mans came to me, took my old sofa and moved it away. I even didn't need to go out of my home. Very comfortably.
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
As a single woman, this is not safe. I would never place an advertisement online, or in a paper, and invite strangers into my home. However, we have the same thing here in the USA. It's called "CraigsList", where people buy, sell, donate and trade things in almost all U.S. cities. This sometimes includes sex. :)
(no subject) - alpinizd - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alpinizd - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alpinizd - Oct. 8th, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 8th, 2015 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
beating means loving
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
This expression is only for your wife, or also a justification for beating your kids?
(no subject) - procurator0 - Oct. 7th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Oct. 7th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 7th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Oct. 8th, 2015 06:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
I see few book boxes on streets and in bookshops.
Box like on photo (on sttreets) is bad idea by very corrosive external conditions. Plastic die, what about paper?
Oct. 7th, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC)
Why is it bad? The boxes are metal, and the books are properly covered. It's like a huge trash bin, with a covering, so they aren't overly exposed to negative weather conditions.
Oct. 7th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
I remember there were second-hand shops 10 or so yrs ago.
Such boxes are unpopular I have not seen much, I would guess the clothes are not in good shape.
Also Russians are bad at building communities, organized groups. No support for each other.
Oct. 7th, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC)
Some readers have told me the same about Americans - that we have no sense of community or true friendship. Everything about human relations and kindness in the U.S. is "artificial" or impure. Of course, I disagree with them.
(no subject) - dkfl - Oct. 7th, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 7th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
In UK we have exactly the same system. Charity shops, charity bags, collected from our doorstep, clothes, food, books and magazines banks - everywhere
Oct. 7th, 2015 11:21 pm (UTC)
I think it's good, but of course some readers can't see the value in this convenience.
Oct. 7th, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your sincerity, Shannon
alcoholism - it's awful ...
I'm sorry your grandmother ...
Why do women suffer alcoholic husbands do not understand ..

unnecessary things I give to orphanages, shelters, nursing homes, sometimes in the church
Oct. 7th, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. :)
Oct. 7th, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC)
1. I don't throw or donate my old clothes, I wear them
And there aren't many places to donate clothes or good.
And I think that donation is one of the most stupid things in the world. You give something you need no more to someone who doesn't ask it.
Btw what's the purpose of purchasing the clothes you never wear?

2. About Russian Dream. It's: 1) Drink hard w/o a hangover 2) Lay on the sofa all day long 3) Have a lot of money
Oct. 7th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
Donations are stupid? You see only bad in things. Have some faith! People do ask for it. They go to the stores where the donated items are placed, and take them. Sometimes for free, sometimes for a very cheap price. It's good to help humanity. In my closet, I had a lot of clothes of different sizes. At one point, I was very overweight, at another time skinny and now I'm normal sized for an American woman. So, I kept the mid-size clothing and got rid of the rest.
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