I haven’t believed in living toys since my brother’s plastic dog-shaped toy box tried to attack me when I was three years old. I swear it really happened, but my parents insisted it was just a dream. Either way, I didn’t venture into his room alone for several years. I watched Toy Story 3 on DVD with the kids this weekend, which resurrected this memory and has forced me to wrestle with some confusing emotions.
First of all, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I got misty-eyed during two places in the movie the first time I saw it (when the toys joined hands waiting for the ‘end’ and when Andy drove off to college.) The mist was heavy and dangerously close to tears. I had to wipe them away and claim allergies or else my husband would tease me forever.
Sadly, when I watched the movie again this weekend, I still almost cried when Andy drove off. And, to make it worse, I have the urge to start bawling just thinking about it right now. This does not bode well for my emotional stability. Next thing I know, commercials will leave me in a puddle of tears. No, this is not good at all.
Something more disturbing has come out after watching this movie: I’m now grieving stuff I have given away; abandoned. You see, I’ve been battling clutter in my house. Over the last several weeks, boxes of stuff have been donated to Goodwill and, judging by the state of my house, several more truckloads boxes could stand to go.
I’m not a hypochondriac or anything, but I think I’m afflicted with disposaphobia (fear of throwing things away.) I half-joke that I’m obsessive compulsive and paranoid, but “Toy Story 3-induced-disposapobia” could ruin my life.
I hold the hot pink purse in my hands, ready to drop it into the donation box. I can’t do it. I imagine the purse telling the other discarded handbags about her miserable life, spending the last two years gathering dust on a cramped shelf, only to be tossed away. I can’t leave her feeling that I don’t love her anymore.
I pick up my old clock radio, which has sat in my closet for the last ten years – replaced by an alarm clock with a CD player. I contemplate letting go, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I’ve had him longer than my children and he never failed to wake me up for work on time. I couldn’t bear to imagine him sitting on a cold, unfamiliar shelf, so I put him right back in his cozy spot in my closet.
I was all set to be brutal with what stays so I don’t feel so cramped in my house, but now that Toy Story 3 has made the personification of inanimate objects seem so…real, I just can’t do it. The toys talk, they breathe, they get smashed by heavy objects and they don’t die. I mean, there’s even a scene where you see the trash bag stretching as the toys try to get out. My goodness, I can’t suffocate my stuff! I don’t want my stuff to feel unloved. I’m a good person. Really, I am.
Now that I have self-diagnosed myself with disposaphobia, I’m off to self-medicate with fudge brownies and a glass of milk.
Is it just me, or is the personification of inanimate objects creepy?