I’m driving out to visit an elderly friend to help her clear out her basement. It turns out that her husband is a paper hoarder. I had no idea.
Newspapers, magazines, mail, those pamphlets at hotels that advertise local attractions … he saves them all. This was a huge surprise to me because I model my own best-case house scenario on this woman. She has a place for everything, there is a sense of space and order to her home and her cabinets. Her closets aren’t rammed and while she has a gorgeous antiques, there is nothing old-lady or dusty tchotchke about her house. Heck, I was just there over the holidays and it seemed just like it always does. Perfect.
But she wouldn’t let me in the basement.
I remember her basement before she got married. There was a workbench with a peg board, an area for wine, a few boxes and a litter box. Otherwise you could ballroom dance down there. I guess I hadn’t been down there in a while.
I was mulling this over with Cato and he said, “Paper hoarder? They are the worst kind. There is no difference in their mind between yesterday’s newspaper and a $50 bill. They are the hardest to clear out because there is valuable stuff mixed in with garbage.”
As usual Cato astounded me with his knowledge. He’s like an encyclopedia and I think he’s studying us. He says he read a book on hoarding (twice) some time before he met us. He has a deep interest in hoarders. Toy Hunter is his favorite TV show. I find it interesting/strange/eerie that he ended up in this house.
He wasn’t surprised that I didn’t know about the paper hoarding because hoarders go to great lengths to hide it, and apparently their wives do, too. I guess I have more in common with my dear friend than I thought.
AND I’m not a hoarder because I’m posting pictures of my shit on the internet! Whew.
Speaking of, here’s what I’ve got for today. PAPER!
I started off today by looking at a stack of yearbooks. They are such beasts, all huge and heavy, but I can’t get rid of them.
Look how cute I am! I’m a freshman half-Asian in an all-white Mormon school and was desperately trying to fit in. This picture doesn’t do justice to how big my bangs got.
This girl had no such desire to fit in (not me). Go girl!
I found inside one of them a letter that a really nice young woman had written to a middle-school me after she moved out of my apartment complex in Sacramento. I totally forgot about her. She talked about the lemon mouse we used to make together and her hermit crabs. She must have been so young, early 20s, maybe younger, and I am grateful that such a lovely person existed in my life, even though I had forgotten about her until now. I’m so glad I found that letter and I’m going to scan it.
If I was JT, I would cut all the pages of the yearbooks out and scan them all to Evernote, but he only owns 100 things and I’m guessing that if you had to choose between hanging out at my house (where there is something to look at) or his (where you can sit on the floor and stare at a blank wall) you’d choose mine. Plus, look what he’s got to eat. Flour in the freezer? Idiot.
Cold weather has kept Zeb and Cato out of their garage so the bags of stuff on auction are building up in the house. As is my blood pressure.
Lens cap to a camera we don’t have. Really, all we have in this house are point and shoots. This has been lingering on counters for I don’t know how long. TRASH.
Hejduk Colorado Avalanche Nesting Dolls. Why? WHY? I’m giving them to Wendy who owns The Cup. She’s a hockey freak and you’d have to be a freak to want this in your house.
Piles on the lip of the bookcase. I hate piles.
Here’s what I’m getting rid of, in addition to the nesting Avs doll and the lens cap.
I think I can get rid of these now. I am over this phase in my life and most of my friends are, too. They are great books, though. $2 each.
I think I got this when I joined a book-of-the-month club in my early 20s. Now we have the internet. FREE.
Books I don’t want. I’ll try to sell them at The Bookworm unless someone else wants to make an offer.
I read this after my divorce. It’s excellent if you want to work up a head of steaming of hatred for your marriage, the institution, men and society. You know you want it. FREE.
Vintage Petzl headlamps. This was state-of-the-art technology, yo. Was. I’m going to see if a collector wants the lot on eBay.
Why would anyone want to see this movie more than once. Zeb brought it home, forgetting that he had ever seen it (but he has because I was there) and I want it GONE.
Kid’s DVDs that I’m moving to one of my rental properties.
Featured image courtesy of www.darienps.org