Every week we receive at least two charity bags through the letter box. They are (mostly) worthy causes, children’s charities, Cancer charities, Shelter, Age UK. I always try to contribute something but there have been so many of them lately that my wardrobe, never overly full at the best of times, is verging on austerity.
I stood there this morning, bag in hand, wardrobe doors open, and couldn’t find a single item that I didn’t really, really need... ok I couldn’t find a single item that I won’t possibly need some time in the future.
I moved on to bric-a-brac. They want videos. That’s good. We no longer have a video recorder and besides I did my back in the last time I tried to keep fit with Rosemary Conley. I have a twinge of guilt in case the recipient does their back in too but I suppose I can’t be held responsible for everybody’s well being.
All the videos are in the bag but I need to make just one more contribution or the charity van driver will think it was a waste of time stopping by our gate. I hold a glass paper weight in my hand. Do I really need this? I’m reminded of Diogenes who threw away his only possession, a drinking bowl, when he saw a young man drinking with cupped hands and realised that he could live without his bowl.
It’s a lovely paper weight, heavy glass with a rabbit’s face etched on one side. Yes, I can live without this paper weight. It’s deposited in the bag and the bag is placed by the front gate as per instructions.
The van pulls up, the man grabs the bag. I feel righteous. He throws the bag in through open van doors. Our double glazing masks all sounds but in my head I can hear a crash. I really liked that paper weight.