Everything's better with hot sauce - eggplant parmesan, tofu, pizza, popcorn. Fudge cake for some reason. So I considered just throwing a bunch of hot sauce on my guest room and closing the door. It was bad in there - clothes up to the ceiling, clearance items I stocked up on (because when the debt ceiling collapses and nothing can survive on the planet but roaches and the well-prepared, I'll have presents ready for any birthdays that should arise). Hi, I'm a hoarder!
It's hard to say when it started. Nearly three years ago I lugged a pile of stuff that has moved with me through nine places of residence and shoved it in the guest room closet. Then I started collecting wrapping paper, which lead to collecting boxes. And of course when you have kids of varying ages, you amass toys and gear that your family is between uses for at the moment. That stuff has to be parked somewhere. Eventually I ran out of dresser space, then bed space. Then floor space. Then any space.
Finally, I had enough. Rather, my pal Stacey had enough and she convinced me to let her organize. "Space in the city is at a premium" and she was right. But I didn't want her going in. I mean, hello, it's my big embarrassing hoarding territory! The rest of my house is pretty sparkling and if I didn't just tell you I had a hoarder room you would have never known. Somehow she spied it. Ten bucks says she's been in my medicine cabinet too.
At first going through things was easy. Stacey did all the dirty work while I stuffed my face with bread and Giada chile oil (seriously, everything is better with hot sauce). After awhile she had like six bags of trash and a pile of treasures. Great! Time to go home, right? Maybe break out the booze for a job well done! Ah, we're so amazing.
Then we opened the closet.
I couldn't really look at that stuff at first. Did I tell you I used to be poor? Like so poor the clothes I bought at thrift stores were donated by other poor people in the first place? Add fourteen years of dust on stuff that was never in style and we're lucky if any of it qualified for the Costume Box. What, like you don't have a costume box? Blush.
I still refused to throw any of it away until she said, "picture some young girl getting back on her feet because of this stuff if you donate it. Someone in need could get her life back together!" Instant confusion. You see, I'm keeping all that stuff because when I bought it, I was trying to get on my feet. What if I need to get on my feet again? What if I have to start all over like I did when I was a teenager and have no where to go? Nothing to wear??
Sure, I'm a fancy lady at the moment - one of those people who volunteers for a living and sends family portrait Christmas cards. I even have helmet hair and a husband who golfs. HAHAHA! But I'm the same girl who used to drive a $300 car and danced half-naked at Burning Man. I see the irony - and possible transience - of my current situation. Here today, gone the next. You never know. I could need those pants! Take nothing for granted!
I know why hoarders hoard. It's because the objects represent something - in my case, stability. I'll bet people who have starved hoard food. Errr, maybe I took To Build A Fire too seriously.
In the end, Stacey won. The $2.00 pants I bought in high school are history. And now I have a big empty space which I can use for my next project: creating a craft room?
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