Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: Who was it that said: "Accumulating is easy, it's the getting-rid-of that's difficult?"
RN: Um, you? Or Miss Havisham?
CP: Even if you don't plan on dying soon, it's time to start tossing soon.
RN: A good three-quarters of my towering Goodwill pile consists of barely worn clothes purchased primarily because they bore that magic word, clearance. Or, in your better department stores, reduced. Turns out, it's not a bargain if you don't wear it.
CP: I'm pitching a new reality series, "The Anti-Hoarders." It will go deep on such people as my friend Mark, who gets by just fine on an iMac and a single pair of flip-flops.
RN: Well, handsome, über-fit Mark 1) can wear anything, 2) lives in jeans-and-T-shirt Seattle, and 3) can wear anything. I hate Mark.
CP: Having recently cleaned out my mom's house, I am deeply, newly appreciative of her efforts in later years to reduce, reuse, recycle. I can't imagine what this task would be like in the longtime home of a dedicated pack rat.
RN: I'm not surprised to learn that, even in housekeeping matters, Joanie was ahead of the curve.
CP: When I began applying myself to my own overcrowded basement, I discovered a box of my juvenile writings that she mailed here a few years ago. She cleaned house, and I got to re-read my quite perceptive "Catcher in the Rye" book report. Ms. Moreau praised it, though I could have used more concrete examples.
RN: I demand to read that early example of Peck literary criticism. Look for excerpts in upcoming editions of the Glance.
CP: Why have I never been invited to tour your basement?
RN: The knotty-pine nightmare? Actually, it's not bad, but its relatively orderly appearance is due entirely to the efforts of my Type A spouse. How have you been deciding what to toss, vs. what to preserve as a burden for your nieces and nephews upon your demise?
CP: A thick wad of old photographs, permanently fused by what might be dried pancake syrup, is of no use to anyone. Bye-bye. But when it comes to my very first Swatch, well, the tosser-outer must be bold, not reckless.
RN: Think of how badly you'd feel if you'd blithely discarded that unmarked envelope from your mother's bureau, just one of many you assumed was stuffed with expired coupons and old receipts but actually contained her engagement ring. And don't tell me you didn't try it on.
CP: First I had to do a little dance. Family lore said that ring was long lost, maybe even stolen by cat burglars.
RN: A shiver just ran down my spine. The Great Purge of 2014 doesn't spell the demise of the famous Claude Peck wig collection, does it?
CP: Never. Not while there's even one Halloween left on the calendar.
Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib