There was a "Hoarders" Marathon on Memorial Day. There is just nothing like back-to-back episodes showcasing a bunch of crazy people who live in disgusting and most-often, unsanitary conditions to celebrate the holiday where we remember those who fought and died for our country. It makes perfect sense.....let me break it down for those who don't see a connection. See when you're in the military you rarely have more possessions than what can fit into a seabag,...yeah and so these people are taking it upon themselves to have more than enough items for a whole battalion...it is like they are taking one for the team.....okay you got me. I have no idea what it has to do with Memorial Day, but doesn't it just say something about America? F yeah America, you are one crazy place to live. So I can't really rag on the fact that they had a "Hoarders" marathon because I don't even need to tell you that I had that shit on while I neurotically cleaned my house before our friends came over for dinner. I have said this before...somewhere...that I love Hoarders for no other reason than it makes me even more minimalistic than I was before tuning in. During commercial breaks, my skin starts crawling when I see the cup of water I was drinking creating a ring on the glass coffee table. I get the dry heaves when the plastic wrap from the pack of toilet paper sneaks out from the bottom of the bathroom vanity door and you can see it. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to housekeeping I would get a B....minus...on a good day. I don't walk around with a white glove and no matter how meticulously I try to dust, I constantly find spider webs. Those fuckers are crafty. But Hoarders makes me bump that up to a solid B at least, maybe a B plus. Having a clean house is important to me, but I have been a little preoccupied with various other endeavors so it takes a little bit of a back seat. That is until an episode of Hoarders comes on. After Memorial Day, and because Spring has the same effect on me that it does to many woman programmed with some of those left-over 1950s values, I have started tear-assing through my house making a donation pile. I contemplated on having a garage sale, but the pile isn't big enough to interest even the random shit seekers. If we had furniture or some other large objects I might consider that avenue, but mostly I just want to get this unnecessary crap outta my house. And pronto.
Then last weekend I had a tid bit of a setback. My pops has moved in with E.T. (aka Evil Temptress) and he called to see if we would meet him for lunch and then come to the house to help go through some of the shiznit in the basement. I know he wants to rent the house so I figured I should jump at the opportunity considering my dad is harder to pin down than a kite in a hurricane. After lunch we get to the house, he has a stack of boxes already labeled for me. Crystal bowls and tea cups that were my moms and her set of wedding china. Then he set me loose telling me to take what I wanted. I picked out the glass jars (a la Martha Stewart) that mom used for flour and sugar, then headed to the basement to go through that stuff. Mostly the things I kept from down there were a few boxes of cloth, pictures, and stuff from my childhood: toys, books, etc. Meanwhile Andy stood by patiently yet skeptical thinking of putting all this stuff in our house after we vowed to reduce what we have. Okay so I went back on that one a little bit. But here's the thing. In theory, maybe someday we will have some reduced-sized humans in our house and I am going to want to read them "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Missing Piece". Hell just seeing those books makes me want to build a fort and curl up inside reading them. And if we have a few barbies and dolls on hand, isn't that like reducing what we have to buy eventually? Andy made the comment that by keeping girlie toys I am solidifying the notion that I will only have boys. Okay fine, if we have boys I will get rid of this stuff, but for now we don't know what will happen.
Besides when I got home and unloaded the handful of boxes that I could fit in my car I decided by adding five boxes of stuff to our house, I had to fill five boxes to give away. And I was able to do it. I ended up not keeping the crystal vase and bowls that dad had packed up for me. I don't use my own crystal bowl. That reminded me that I had this kind of old lady crystal candle holders that I banished to a closet. So those went in the box. As much as it killed me to get rid of the tea cup with "Patty" on it, I let it go. Speaking of letting go, in the basement are my and my mom's wedding dresses. Dad asked me what I wanted to do with them. As much as a little part of me died with this decision, I told him to donate them. Yes her dress is special to me, but it has been sitting in the preserved box since 1978. I am not going to suddenly unbox it and wear it around town. Similarly, my wedding dress will never fit me again, plus I am pretty sure wearing a white satin dress with a 12' train to work, would make me look a little crazy, especially because I take public transit. I'd be picked up before I made it through downtown. But the fact that I designed and made my dress and mom beaded Andy and my initials on the train and added her own special touches to it, made me want to snatch it up and hold it forever. So I thought it over for a few minutes and told myself I would just be moving two boxes that have never been opened from his basement to my own and they would most likely stay there for another 20 years. Hoarder Natalie said but what if you have a daughter and she wants to wear one of them. Then I kicked Hoarder Natalie in the shin and said 'then I will make her a replica, one that fits her perfectly and that way she doesn't have to starve herself for a year to try to fit into a mold set by her mother and grandmother.....or probably because she'll get her father's genes, I would have to take that shit in for her....what a bitch for making me feel fat already and she isn't even born....wow I am a bitch for thinking my own daughter will be fatter than I was when I was 20. I hope I don't turn into one of those mothers you see on Maury who feed their children McDonalds everyday to make them fatter......wow I can't believe I remember that episode...' and I digress. So although I couldn't bring myself to actually lift the two boxes off the shelf and move them to the "donate" pile, I told my dad he should get rid of them. Like I said it kills me. But I shouldn't save them. They were both really special and if I didn't have the photos from both of our weddings I might feel differently, but I think it was kind of cathartic to let them go. I have the few things from my mother that were important to me. Her wedding ring, her china, the satin wrapped bible she carried down the aisle. Those things I will keep, but a dress in a box isn't important, or at least I keep telling myself that.
Speaking of unruly asses....what we weren't talking about unruly asses? well now we are (ha tears averted). I am not sure what would happen if men were left to their own devices, but I got a sneak peak while we were going through the stuff in the basement. First off, I lived with my dad for 18 years. I remember what he used to be like. But it seems in the x-number of years that I have lived away from him, he has lost his filter. You know the filter that makes you not say inappropriate things or say fart in front of others? Yeah that filter is gone or at minimum it needs a new gasket. For me, farting around any person, even Andy, is a no no. I go on a long walk in the wilderness or lock myself in the bathroom with the fan on when I need to let one out. There are sometimes when it is unavoidable and you have to use your judgment whether there is enough noise around you to cover it up, but we are talking last resort people. I will give myself a stomach ache to avoid it. Anyway my dad does not share my tight cheekness. He kept tooting while we were going through boxes. Sure he followed it up with "Excuse me". But somehow that doesn't dampen the insult to me. Take your ass to another level of the house if you're going to do that. Andy and I were cracking up all the way home, which I guess lightened the mood that I had just sent my mom's wedding dress off to a dusty rack in some Goodwill where some teenage girl will probably buy it to be Carrie for Halloween. Let it go.
Does it amaze anyone else how attached we get to our possessions? I mean if there was a typhoon headed this way and we could only grab a few items, I wouldn't think twice about almost everything in my house. But when it comes to scrutinizing what should be donated and what shouldn't be, it is crazy how hard it is to let things go. Similarly when thinking about my dad, it is amazing how easily he lets things go. Dad no more farting around me please!