Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cleaning the shed

Well, the shed excavation has begun. A geologic expedition uncovering of the layers of our lives.

I am a recovering hoarder. It has been 67 days since I last hoarded. One day at a time, I resist the urge to collect. It's not as easy as it sounds, you know. There are temptations everywhere. There I'll be, enjoying quality time with friends, when I'll see one out of the corner of my eye. A pusher. You know the kind - all smiles, pretending to be your best friend, buttering you up, when all they want to do is unload their clutter onto you:

"Hey, howya' doin'? You look great - is your hair different? That is a fabulous color on you. You know, you're going to think I'm crazy, but I was just thinking how great this electronic salad spinner/egg timer would look in your kitchen. Come on, it's just a little piece of plastic. What's it gonna hurt? Everyone's got one. You know you want it."

And I do - I want that salad spinner so bad I can taste it. I envision a life of ideally moist yet crisp lettuce topped with perfectly cooked eggs and I can't help myself. I cannot resist the lure of free items. And my shed shows it, because we all know the rest of the story. The crisper never gets used, my lettuce remains soggy, and eventually the appliance takes its proper place in the strata of my collecting world. I won't, nay, CAN'T get rid of it, of course, because it was FREE.

I'd like to take a moment to shift blame, if I may. I was genetically doomed from the beginning. My parents are collectors, as were their parents, and their parents before. I imagine my parents at the hospital after my birth, packing up to take me home for the first time:

"Honey, do you have the little hat she came with? How about the blankets? Just one? There's three more over there on that other baby - just grab a couple of those, I'm sure no one will mind. How about those diaper pins? Bottles? Towels? Maybe that incubator light? Television? You know what, better grab that placenta too, you just never know."

What chance did I have?

More to come later on this.


Miko said...

Oh, painfully familiar. I too come from a family of scavengers. I love the the thin veil of environmentalism can cover this up now: "What? I'm keeping things out of the solid waste stream! I'm not really hoarding piles of used junk, I'm reducing, reusing, and recycling!"

beta mom said...

I love this perspective. Because if we don't do it for the children, who will?