In trying to clear out the spare room to make way for my super shiny Ovarian Den, I’ve had to be pretty ruthless in my culling of stuff. I’ve given away most of my books, thrown out all the useless computer software, old keyboard manuals, expired medications, taxidermy mice, bits of petrified apple core and muffin wrappers that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’m in the process of scanning all my photographs so I can get rid of my many many many bulky photo albums. It has been a long process and there is no end in sight.
I come by this honestly, this pack rat mentality. My mother and my late father could both be called Happy Hoarders, experts in the field of “stocking up” on all sorts of nonsense. While I would stop short of calling it a sickness, and I don’t think we are horrible enough to qualify for a reality television spot, we Reids have hoarded our share of items, useful and otherwise.
|We weren't this bad. Not really.|
My dad was a collector of paper products. From post it notes to toilet paper by the skid. And I use the word skid hilariously. He had towers of kleenex boxes on top of a cabinet that reached our very high ceilings. We had the storage space. I think it was just his way of building an empire, and he liked to gaze upon it from time to time.
And the multi-packs of toilet paper - I get it that you don't want to be caught short but seriously? I have to wonder, what was the reasoning behind THAT much toilet paper? What kind of digestive disaster was my father expecting? Why would we need 200 rolls of 2-ply? We are a family of Scottish origin, so, one, we’re cheap and two, we hardly ever poop, and when we do, it’s because the stupid English forced us to.
My mom, for some reason, used to buy tomato soup in 24 can packs.
We lived, literally, 50 yards from a large grocery store.
She also saved every margarine tub that ever crossed the Reid threshold. Vast armies of Imperial Margarine containers lying in wait to tumble onto the floor anytime Ellen would get within range.
My mother’s wool supply was legendary. Garbage bags full of it. Just in case she needed to crochet an afghan at a moment’s notice.
Or crochet 20 afghans at a moment’s notice.
National Geographic back issues. And don’t tell me they were ALL for potential school projects, Mom. We had them in the verandah until I was 30.
I can’t remember what I hoarded, but I must have at some point. I don’t think my brother and I were as diligent about saving and storing up stuff. I try to be sensible, but sometimes it’s really hard to throw out those elastic bands that the postal carrier bundles your J Crew catalogues with. Oh, and the J Crew catalogues. You never know, right?