New Brunswick — Worldwide tidying phenom Marie Kondo has retired early after a particularly discouraging visit to New Brunswick, Canada.
Speaking through her translator, she told The Manatee that she had received several requests for help from Picture Province locals, but that, when it came down to it, they all declined to give up their old junk.
“I have had tough cases before — people who believe their possessions to be essential — but here in New Brunswick, each person I tried to help would not get rid of anything at all. I know when to accept defeat.”
We met several of these individuals to inquire about their tidying experience.
“This Roll Up rim from Tims means the world to me. I didn’t redeem it because it symbolizes the only time I’ve ever won anything,” said Bertha MacNeil of Boiestown, holding the coffee-stained, ripped piece of paper reading “win donut.”
“And I simply couldn’t part with my old exercise bike,” she said, pointing at an upright bike from the 1970s covered in drying laundry. “I still might try to get in shape one of these days. And Marie, if you can imagine, suggested I might not need my Motorolla flip phone with the antenna that extends! That thing still has a lot of joy to give.”
MacNeil also refused to get rid of her vast collection of Kraft and Canadian Living magazines dating back to ’92, because she’s “pretty sure” there was a good Nanaimo bar recipe in one of the issues that she may one day want to make.
Holly Ivers of Fredericton was in even deeper denial than MacNeil.
“Marie made me hold up each of my daughters’ old Bonnie Kilburn dance outfits. I realized pretty quick that every single one of ’em still sparks a shitload of joy. The memories! I’m keeping them,” she said. “And my husband’s deer heads in the garage are all necessary. Not to mention my 10 spatulas. What if I need to make fried eggs 10 times consecutively?!
“And what about my ‘Celebrate! Ça se fête!’ cap and T-shirt from New Brunswick Day ’99? You can’t even buy those!”
Allan Everett of Miramichi said it took Marie Kondo trying to help him to make him realize he’s happy as is.
“I thought I needed to de-clutter, but I think in the end all I needed was to realize just how much my Bud Light lanyard from ’94 and my T-shirt from the Halifax Tall Ships festival in 2000 truly mean to me.
“I know she said you should only have 30 books, but I have 3,000 old copies of National Geographic that might come in handy sometime. She wanted me to get rid of my campfire notebooks, too — can you imagine? Those are probably collectibles by now. I’ve got a lot of those Magic Eye books; she doesn’t know…they could come back in style and then I’ll be laughin’!
“Oh and she wanted me to throw out my instruction manual for the snowblower I bought in 2004 that broke down in 2009. If she had her way, I’d have nothing left!”
Kondo told us that most New Brunswick homes were filled to the brim with garbage.
“Many people I met had a coffee table book about the Quebec ice storm of 1998 — I don’t know what that is, but it’s very important to New Brunswickers. From Beanie Babies, to brooms with snapped-off handles that are now ‘dusters,’ to chargers for electronics they no longer possess, this is a province that is unwilling to change.
“I may have to find a new profession, because this one no longer sparks joy.”