If I had 15 minutes to break into a stranger’s house and ransack it, looking for valuables, I’m not sure I’d know where to start.
I’ve been thinking about a place to hide a large amount of money – not that I have any, but it’s part of a story I was reading, and it got my mind wandering.
It’s not the same thing to try to figure out the good hiding places in your own home. Because I think: sure, I could hide this treasured whatever in the box of old Babysitters Club books which is under my laundry basket. Or I could cut a hole in the bottom of the couch and stuff it up there. What about in the towel closet, on the bottom shelf, inside the Disney Monopoly box?
I guess I have to get a better handle on what exactly it is that I’m hiding.
If I had to find something hidden in my own apartment – Christmas presents, perhaps – I could probably find them, given a little time to search, and no moral compass to tell me “don’t do that.”
But I wonder how long it would take for me to find, say, a big stack of cash, if I had to ransack a strange apartment for it. Could I do it in 15 minutes? A half hour, even? I imagine I would start by pulling open drawers and cupboards and just sweeping things out. But how time consuming would it be to have to search through every piece of luggage? Or open every box and start pulling out old papers to check underneath them? And what about secret drawers, or false bottoms to things? Forget it; I’m never going to find that money.
I think I’ve stumbled on a great concept for a new reality game show! An extreme, vaguely corrupt game of Hide & Seek. We’ve hidden a duffel bag full of money somewhere in this 2-bedroom townhouse, and you’ve got 30 minutes to find it. Some people would be alarmingly skilled at this – slitting open box springs and tapping the walls for hidden compartments. But what about when the townhouse just has too much stuff? And the duffel bag is hidden somewhere between the box of childhood drawings, and the suitcase of heavy jackets that have never been unpacked because this is California and they’re not necessary here?
There’s a movement I’ve been hearing about: people jettison all the “things” they’ve collected in their lives, and get down to owning only 100 things. You count every single thing. One toothbrush. One laptop. One car. One pair of socks equals two things. It adds up quickly. I haven’t even tried to make a list of the 100 things I would own, because the idea of me doing this is so farfetched. I could probably limit the number of items on my desk to 100. (I said ON, not IN – let’s be clear about that.)
I’m not advocating breaking into and searching random homes for hidden caches of goodies. I’m also not advocating getting rid of nearly all of your worldly belongings. I’m just a 20-something girl, with a relatively small apartment that is rapidly filling up with superfluous stuff. I’m looking at two more boxes of childhood stuff from my parents house, wondering how there could possibly be any more boxes there that I’m not aware of. I mean, if I didn’t realize I didn’t have it until now, how important could it be?
But I’m an optimistic person so I take a deep breath. Tonight I will crack open those boxes and, surely, discover treasure.
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