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Friday, February 26, 2016

Just Hand me the Flamethrower and Look Away

So here's something that probably too many people already know about me - my mother is a hoarder.

That's not an exaggeration, people.  I didn't know there was a term for it other than "what the hell could you possibly need 10,000 back issues of Knitting Weekly stacked fort-style precisely along the front of the couch when you don't even knit?" until about 3 years ago (thanks A & E!).


There may or may not be a couch under there.  Or a body.  
Or Darth Vader riding a unicorn.  The entry to Atlantis?  Who knows?


Full disclaimer:  I'm not a perfect housekeeper.  Not even close.  Also, I get that hoarding is a mental illness that is usually rooted in something deeply emotionally debilitating. 

The point of all this is that, because of my mother's hoarding, I bounce between OCD and a touch of hoarding impulses myself.  I'll hold onto shit that I know I probably won't ever need, just because I feel like as soon as I throw it away or get rid of it, I or someone else will need it.  But in my defense, I have no problems actually getting rid of things that have zero sentimental value if they've been sitting in my house collecting dust and taking up space forever. 

A miraculous thing happened way back when I was still with my girls' dad - our house burnt down. Now, before anyone gets all offended, the house fire itself was devastating, in that my daughter and I were in the house when it started and my daughter suffered a few burns.  All of her stuff was lost, all of our pictures, a lot of things that held sentimental value that couldn't be recovered or replaced.  But ultimately, my daughter was okay and that was all that mattered.   Stuff is just stuff, and I have yet to look back and really mourn anything that was actually lost in that house fire.

People around us were really amazing - donations poured in, in the form of vouchers, money, and basic things you kind of take for granted until you don't have them; toothbrushes and other toiletries, small appliances, socks and underwear.  Things that you're so used to just having that you don't really expect to need them but not have them.

When my husband and I split up several years ago, I was again in a very similar situation, starting basically from scratch.  And again, family and friends graciously stepped in and tried to make sure I had all those basic things, and then some.

But - and I'm not complaining here, just making a point - when people become generous, they become really generous.  As they're going through their things trying to find things they think someone might need, they come across odds and ends that have been shoved to the back of a closet or drawer, and they think, "I've never had a need for this, maybe they can use it.  After all, they don't have anything right now."  


Well, I know they don't have one of these, and this one's just been sitting in our basement causing shenanigans...


To be clear, I am truly grateful for every single thing that anyone ever gave me in my time of need.  I'm not looking the gift horse in the mouth or crap-talking peoples' generosity in the least.  The point I'm trying to make is, this is how it starts.

Clutter.  Well-meaning, generous as f*ck clutter.  

At the time of this writing, I have 37 coffee mugs.  37.  Just let that sink in.  I don't own a coffee shop.  I'm not a member of the most ridiculously populated book club ever.  What the f*ck will I ever need 37 coffee mugs for?  Some of them are tiny, like freaking Saki cups.  Who the hell only drinks two ounces of coffee at a time?  Are they dollhouse coffee mugs?  I don't own a dollhouse!  WHERE ARE ALL THESE RIDICULOUSLY TINY COFFEE MUGS COMING FROM???



This is an abomination and I demand an explanation.


Anywho, the point of this rant was actually more along the lines of the behavior of the people I cohabit with, not the amount of useless clutter in my house.  

Can someone please explain to me how trash and dirty laundry can find its way 2 feet from the trashcan or laundry basket, but not INTO the trashcan or laundry basket?  How is it easier to stack trash all Tetris-like on TOP of the can, when all one has to do is flip a lid and toss said trash INTO said can?  Or why it seems acceptable to leave one sheet of toilet paper on the roll when there are quite clearly 5 more full rolls two feet two the left in the cabinet?  Why are the crevices in my couch populated by chip bags and empty water bottles, and my shelves filled with sad, empty boxes?

Anyone?

I have this weird ritual where I wash laundry, fold it, and place it neatly into designated baskets to be put away.  No one seems to understand that, once the clean laundry is in the basket, the next step IS NOT to rifle through it until it's half in the living room floor and jumbled into a mass of now-wrinkled fabrics that my cats then deem their personal territory for sleepy-time.

....and this whole post is really just me procrastinating the inevitable chore of cleaning my house.

*sigh*



...Oh, NOW I get it!





Hate cleaning your house?  Well, I'm not going to do it for you, but we can procrastinate together on my Facebook page.

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