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Hoarding Whore

Posted in justachik1

I’m not even sure when it happened.  I always swore I wasn’t.  But, gradually, over the years, more and more things accumulated.  And, then suddenly, one day I took a step outside of myself and looked around.

“Holy fuck! I have a lot of shit.”

Over the past three years, I have moved twice and there’s a third move in the relatively near future.  I do not want to move this stuff again.  I can’t.  I think I need help.

I know I’m not alone in this.  Hell, there’s even a show dedicated to it.  I also know I’m not quite at that level – yet.  I listen to girlfriends talk and I know they have some of the same issues, but I wonder if anyone has all of the issues.  I feel like I have them all.  Take a look.

Make-Up

I recently saw a video on Facebook where a girl had a make-up closet.  It was spectacular.  I’m not gonna lie.  I really, really want one.  But, then I look at the amount of make-up this woman owns and think to myself – why?  She will never consume all of that.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that since my divorce three years ago, I have not purchased one item of make-up – except mascara.  Not one.  And, I truly believe I could go another three years without purchasing any more.  As I look over the contents of my make-up buckets (and yes I need buckets), I just shake my head.  I am a marketer’s dream.  Why yes I do need another shade of pink lipstick that is the exact same color as four other tubes I own but has such a fun name.  I mean really?

At a lunch not long ago, ChickNorris29 and I discussed this very topic.  She added her own anecdote that ended up with her purchasing an entire new outfit because she had been persuaded to buy the eye make-up that would look so good with a purple sweater.  Of course, she didn’t have a purple sweater, so she immediately had to go buy one. Along with the pants and the shoes and the jewelry and the… It’s a damn domino effect – which dominoes into my next addiction.

Clothes

Once upon a long time ago, Chika12 and I (along with a few other chix) used to have adult slumber parties.  For the record, life is not complete until you slumber party as adults – just sayin’.  At one such party, I decided (or alcohol decided for me) to put on a fashion show.  The first dress down the runway?  My 8th grade graduation dress.  I can’t make this shit up.  I was thirty something years old and still had a dress I wore over twenty years before…along with every other formal gown I’d ever worn.  The only positive was that 80s theme parties were easy.  It is currently 2016.  I last wore that dress in 1985.  Less than three months ago, I finally took said graduation dress to Goodwill.  Do the math.  That means I hauled that fuckin’ thing around for almost 30 years!  Why?  Because I thought hoop skirts would come back in fashion someday? SMH on this one.

And it’s not just formal wear.  I hold onto random items of clothing because someday it might be the perfect ____________ I’m looking for.  I am happy to report that 1Rooster is helping me through my detox.  Last weekend, I put on a two-hour fashion show that led to one gigantic box of donations.  I still have an overflowing closet, but it’s much, much better.

Music

When’s the last time you purchased a physical copy of an album?  It doesn’t have to be vinyl – any format.  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I bet some of you young’uns have never purchased anything that wasn’t downloadable.  I, on the other hand, could open my own music store.  As with many of my hoarding issues, I can trace the origins back to my mother.  As a very young child, I would flip through her two orange crates that were jam packed with 33s.  For you young folk, that’s the vinyl equivalent of a full length album.  There were several I loved but none more than Styx.  I would listen to Cornerstone and Paradise Theatre over and over and over again.  I would sit in the dark with my big Mickey Mouse-looking headphones and watch the silver boarder of the turntable spin under the red light of the needle.

This love of music has never left.  As girls, my sisters and I would fight over the 45s my mom would bring back from town.  We would then ink our names onto the labels so we couldn’t steal one another’s or lose them when we took them to school dances.  I probably wouldn’t remember such details, but I carried those 45s around many, many years.  Somehow, my sisters were able to part with their treasured singles.  I scooped them up in their stead.  About ten years ago, my son came across my stacks of 45s.  He held one up and looking through the large center hole asked, “Mom, what computer can I play this disk on?”  After I explained we couldn’t play them because we needed a record player, he innocently asked, “Well, then why do you have them?  Can’t you just download the songs on the computer?”  Silly boy, what did he know about classics?  Apparently, more than me because I still carted those records around with me in boxes way too heavy to justify.  I am happy to report, those have recently found their way to Goodwill – where I’m sure someone picked them up to use with a Pinterest project.  Rest in peace, Peaches & Herb.

Words

Whether they are my own or someone else’s, I love words.  I have saved every diary and journal from my past.  There are diaries whose pages contain entries like – Today it rained and we ate tacos for lunch.  Now, that’s good stuff right there.  I better save that forever.  Some writing I can understand keeping.  It’s a piece of me, a snapshot of my life at the time, but not that.  I mean come on.  The stash is endless.  There are stories I’ve never finished mixed in with poems I wrote as a teenager.  There’s a file of stuff I think is good and a file of stuff that might be good one day.  Anyone need a college essay that hasn’t been plagiarized yet?  I’ve got 487 of them.  All mine.  A few actually typewritten.  Oh, my.  I have managed to weed some of them out but not enough.  For some reason, it’s hard to toss out my writing.  It’s like telling myself to just shut up – which might not be a bad idea.

And, of course, there’s the books.  So many books.  Shelves of them.  These I should be able to get rid of.  After all, they aren’t my words.  Yet, I can’t.  Some are falling apart at the spine.  Some have been read so many times I can recite them by heart.  Some will never be read because there will always be something better to choose.  Some are doubles because I can’t keep track of which books I own.  But do I part with any of them?  Nope.  It’s ridiculous.  I need to own a library.  Yes, that would make me happy.

Memories

This is my final addiction and slightly related to my words addiction – however, it’s more destructive.  It’s the harder drug.  Why? Because it serves no purpose.  I have (or had) six gigantic scrapbooks.  Not the modern-day ones incorporating cute photos and creative fun.  No, these were cardboard-bound monoliths of scratchy paper that occupied their own special shelves…note the plural.  After the last move, I started paging through them and could not believe the shit I’d saved.  Some of my favorites included the All About Braces pamphlet I got in junior high, birthday cards from people I no longer remember, and decorations from my 8th grade graduation dance.  Apparently, this 8th grade graduation was a big deal.  And, in actuality, at the time, it was.  But holding on to those bits doesn’t help me remember it any more fondly or clearly. Just like holding onto my grandmother’s glassware doesn’t give me a greater connection to her memory.  It’s just stuff.  And stuff isn’t memories.  And, while it’s easy to say that, it isn’t always so easy to remember.  After all, I’m sure that one day there will be a valid reason to have all my son’s baby teeth.  I just know there will.

And pictures?  We don’t have time for that. Let’s just say if you sent me a photo in a Christmas card any time over the last two decades, there’s a good chance I have it. It’s in one of the dozens of boxes I have that include every photo ever taken of anybody.  On Earth.

So those are my addictions.  I don’t know why I hoard.  I’m trying to get better, but it’s hard.  I catch myself squirreling things away more often than I’d like.  But, I also find myself clearing things out more often too.  I need to.  I need to purge.  I need to cleanse.  I need to find more peace in the here and now and less joy in the accumulation of things.  It’s a good thing.

I do believe there’s an end in sight.  I can see the light.  I cleared a spot for it.

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