Kitchen Living Room

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tales of a Pint-sized Hoarder

Just like my goose egg! (Not.)
Today is mothers day! (I don't use an apostrophe because it confuses me in this case. Is it mother's day as in MY mother's day? Or is it mothers' day as in all mothers' day? Wait, do you capitalize it?) So I thought I would share a story that incorporates both my grandma and my mother. But really it's about me. However this is my blog so that's appropriate.

I was talking to my grammie (known as Grammie but I couldn't capitalize it before because I was referring to her as mine) on the phone a few months ago and she was making me laugh and laugh. We were remembering the time I hoarded a goose egg from her and my grandpa's cabin when I was very young (but old enough to remember clearly). She was jokingly referring to the egg as 'a real treasure.' Which caused me to laugh every time she said it. It was a real treasure, lemme tell ya!

As a child I was definitely a compulsive hoarder, and my inability to stop made me very upset with myself. I had nearly constant panicked thoughts like: what if I NEED this later? I most certainly will! And: this is awesome, how could I possibly throw this away? Etc. However, I was wise enough to know that my behavior was embarrassing and unacceptable. For an elementary school kid, all I needed to know was that it was the dreaded WEIRD. I did NOT want to be weird. So I hid it.

I was only ever caught (that I know of) three times.

From here

I had two average sized wall closets against a single wall in my room growing up. One was very nicely organized (I even liked to trick myself into thinking I wasn't a hoarder), but the other one further from the door was an entirely different story. I only ever opened it to shove more stuff inside, but I had to be careful because when my mom painstakingly turned my room into a Beauty and the Beast bonanza, she removed the folding wooden closet doors and installed yellow curtains with pink roses to cover the closets. As a result, treasures (yes, I'm still laughing) could easily tumble out. Well, only if it was piled haphazardly to the rafters and close to bursting with my collections. (And of course this closet was.) I don't think my mom ever looked in there (and I'm pretty certain my dad didn't). Except, one day, she did. And I'll never forget the look on her face. What I interpreted as kind of like, "Well, my daughter is insane. But, let's look on the bright side, she doesn't torture small animals!" (Except that one time I cut a worm in half in front of a younger family friend. Sorry, mom.) The issue was "resolved" by my mom telling me to clean it up. Then I think she probably walked away and took a giant Mind Sponge and scrubbed away that memory. (Whoops, here it is again! Sorry about that, mom!) That was incident 1.

Cut along the dotted lines. From here

Then later, I was at school and we were cutting up pieces of paper (if you have already changed your high opinion of me, you should stop reading now because this will really freak you out) and I of course I had to keep the scraps. STOP! I KNOW! You're thinking "OH MY GOD, WHAT?!" But yes, I had to! I had tons of reasoning!! Let me explain!!! The paper had tiny little adorable scissors on it where it showed you to cut. And I might need those little pictures for something! I could make Barbie scissors. Lots of them! Like hundreds of paper Barbie sized scissors so Barbie could have an elementary classroom size bucket of them for...crafts. She could have an entire ELEMENTARY SCHOOL'S worth of scissors! Paper scissors. Then Kelley or Kimmy or BARBIE'S LITTLE SISTER would never be in need of scissors! And if Ken ever took up scrapbooking he would NEVER RUN OUT OF FAKE PAPER SCISSORS. Just his size! Tiny! Teensy. 

Barbie I Can Be Doll - Teacher

I never did anything with the scraps I saved. I just took them home and put them in the closet I mentioned earlier. The Treasures Closet. One day someone at school, I have no idea who, but one of my fellow students, caught me shoving these papers in my eggplant-purple L.L. Bean backpack. I would sneak off, but this time someone was hanging out in the cubby area where our backpacks lived, and I didn't notice him/her until too late. He/she asked me what I was doing. Of course I heard, "Hey, whatcha doin'?" as, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU FREAK!!!!!!!" So I freaked out and I tried to explain, but I could tell it didn't work as his/her eyes became bigger and bigger. That was incident 2. 

I totally need this bracelet! (Kidding.)

The last time I was caught was when my mom was FORCING me to clean out my desk. I had this nice yellow desk that she painted for me and added blue knobs to (holy crud, sound familiar? I do that to desks all of the time...). Anyway, I was cleaning it out and we were all having a good time and stuff until my mom said, "What. Is. That. Smell." And I thought it sounded like a funny thing to ask, but she clearly wasn't amused. She looked horrified. I had horrific flashbacks to the Treasure Closet discovery! But I distinctly remember giggling nervously and saying, "I don't know." Because I had forgotten about my prized treasure in the tupperware container. At some point probably close to a year prior I had put the egg that my grandparents let me take home (I guess they couldn't say, "No" to me) in a tupperware container in the back of a desk drawer and forgot about it. Again, I'll never forget what my mom said. "What. Is. THIS." She said surprisingly calmly as she pried open a corner of the lid. The room was quickly evacuated and the egg was disposed of. I think my mom initially said something about how we couldn't throw away Grammie's tupperware, but I think that idea was soon forgotten as the smell permeated further into the house. That was incident 3.

So, yes, I am a HOARDER. I saved scraps of paper and eggs! Eggs that were definitely not golden! Throw me down the chute! I'm happy to say that now, over 15 years later, I am mostly recovered. But I still have my tendencies. My boyfriend has pointed a finger at me with wild eyes and said, "You are. A. Box. HOARDER!" in the past as we stood amidst a veritable sea of boxes in the attic of our old house. I'm growing though, people, I'm growing. I've graduated from rotten eggs to boxes. PROGRESS.

Happy Mothers Day!

1 comment:

  1. I have a hard time throwing away boxes, and the plastic zippered pouches that bedding comes in, rubber bands from asparagus, ziplock ties from lettuce, moisture-absorbing packets...I'm sure there's more!

    I don't remember the closet (I didn't even remember that there were two of them) but I do remember the scrap paper hoarding. We were living on Auburn Drive, so you would have been pre-school age, so that must have lasted quite a while! I remember you calling the papers "1040s" and you'd ferret off any little bit of paper anyone left around - including, I'm convinced, our first rent check I'd set on the desk. Never did find that check.

    Thanks for a fun Mother's Day! Love, mom