Brock About Town: A Very Messy Kondo

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Illustration by Lev Cantoral

Remember your summer project? You know, from the summer fun column last month? We said we were all going to do a project together. Am I the only one who followed through on this? You guys are so lame.

Anyway, back to me. Like all clinically depressed job-seekers who recently earned liberal arts degrees, I’m desperate to feel like I’m in control of my life, which is really what a summer project is all about. (Sorry to drag you guys into it.) This is a need that starting a book club or trying the keto diet simply won’t fill. No, my thirst can only be quenched in the loving embrace of Marie Kondo.

In case you’re not familiar with this paragon of human achievement, Marie Kondo is an organization specialist who advises her followers to evaluate each of their individual possessions, right down to the frog tchotchkes their grandmas got at yard sales, and discard everything that doesn’t “spark joy.” Oy vey. Supposedly, this will help you find a husband, lose 30 pounds and broker peace in the Middle East. That sort of thing is catnip to people like me — people so thoroughly embedded in consumerism that they believe the only thing more likely to make them happy than the stationery section at Target is getting rid of all their stuff and backpacking through the Himalayas. So, along with the rest of America, I had to try it.

Kondo suggests that you start the life-reevaluation process by dumping every article of clothing you own on the floor so you can feel properly ashamed by how much garbage you own and be compelled to get rid of some. On Sunday night, with a heart full of foolish optimism, I did. And then I did not get rid of any of it or put it away, and it’s all still there. So much for self-improvement. Last night, reclining on a bed of ill-fitting jeans, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is the millennial obsession with minimalism a futile attempt to cast off the pressures of the modern world and compensate for our lack of material comforts as compared to previous generations? Or am I just morphing into a Carrie Bradshaw knockoff? It’s not for me to say.

Leave comments below telling me about your own summer projects, or, since you know what I look like, accost me in the Starbucks line, write disparaging comments on a mango and throw it at me, whatever. I just want to connect. Am I a Carrie? I always thought I was a Miranda.

Xoxo, Gossip Girl

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 268.

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