On my first “Taking Back Tuesday” after a lengthy self-imposed exile, I’ve decided to come clean about my hoarding tendencies before footage of my rescue from beneath a collapsed pile airs on the local evening news.
It seems that hoarding has a genetic component, I’m sure not unlike alcohol or drug addition. My mom, the Captain, will being doing cartwheels knowing that this one gets planted firmly in my dad, Mr. Wonderful’s, pile of blame. While the Captain sees absolutely no reason to hold on to even a morsel of nostalgia, Mr. Wonderful would surely find himself gasping for his final breath with a box of musty, old catalogs on his windpipe. Fortunately he has been saved from death by hoarding by his lovely, clutter-busting wife who regularly throws away bits of his past when he pulls out of the driveway in the morning.
I’m sorry for blowing your secret, dear Captain. Not that being outed will deter you from tossing Mr. Wonderful’s training manuals from his first sales job in 1973. (Can’t say I blame you on this one.)
There is no doubt that my brother, the Golden Child, and I have inherited the hoarding trait from Mr. Wonderful; while our little sister, the Duchess, much like the Captain is liable to throw away your underwear while they are still on your body. (Just ask her fiance about the whereabouts of his priceless antler collection; though I think she may have a point here.) The Golden Child and I are just one traumatic event away from falling off the deep end, forever bound to the leftover crusts of this morning’s toast just in case a colony of bacteria is calling them home. Just one crisis away.
Anyway, regardless of which of our parents are to blame for our tendency to place nostalgic value on every piece of chutch that has passed through our hands it has become clear by the bowing of my closet doors that the madness has to stop. I’m feeling inspired and perhaps a shade jealous of the Golden Child who made a small fortune peddling his “treasures” from his driveway. (He couldn’t call it a “garage sale” per se, as the garage is off limits due to safety concerns. The hoard hides in the garage.)
Because I realize that there isn’t a large market for my dead grandmother’s “Love That Red” lipstick (found her last tube in a piece of her old furniture), so I’m deciding to devote this week’s “Taking Back Tuesday” to thinning the hoard. (Deep cleansing breath, Molly. Hands above your head. On a scale of one to ten, my anxiety’s about a seven.)
I’ve challenged myself to throw out five (gasp) items that I have absolutely no reason to hang on to; and no, Grandma Helen’s lipstick is not one of them. So far I’ve earmarked my Alpha Chi Honor Society medallion (Don’t figure it holds the same value as the Purple Heart, and I certainly haven’t donned it since the ceremony. Though it may get me into a couple of VIP rooms in Vegas. Worked for Michael Phelps.) I’m also tossing by half of my “Best Friends” locket I shared with my best childhood friend who moved away in the fourth grade. (Anna, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. I just think it’s time.)
I’ll be sure to let you know tomorrow what other pieces of my past didn’t make the cut. For now, Grandpap Pete’s expired driver’s license is safe.
Deep cleansing breath, Molly