Lately, I’ve been waking up in the morning with an insatiable desire to toss all of my worldly belongings right into the trash. I’m not exactly sure what has gotten into me, but I apparently can’t be bothered with the responsibilities that come with owning things—lots of things. I suppose things would be a whole lot easier for me if I were the type of person who didn’t like things neat and tidy. If I were an insufferable slob, I could just leave things all over the place with little rhyme or reason and allow them to pile up to the ceiling like makeshift skyscrapers. I would never be able to find anything, but the clutter would be quite acceptable to me.
Perhaps I would make another television appearance…this time on Hoarders. A psychologist could come into my home with a sympathetic smile on their face, but judgement in their eyes. They could try to analyze my penchant for severe disorganization and deduce that it was surely caused by a deep-seated fear of abandonment and premature loss. Then they could pretend not to be repulsed when we locate some deceased pets that had been buried beneath all of the rubble. “So that’s where Fluffy went! I thought they had run away…”
Hefty, Hefty, Hefty! Wimpy, Wimpy, Wimpy!
Meh. That isn’t the case though. All of this sounds so much easier than being a person bent on perfect organization though. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” My living space is slightly out of its usual order right now due to certain circumstances that cannot be mediated just yet, so I feel a desperate compulsion to simply dump everything into a large black trash bag and drag it off into the woods. I would just put it at the curb, but that doesn’t seem dramatic enough. I want an oblivious jogger or hiker to find it on a sunny Saturday morning and be like, “Oh my gosh! What’s that? Why it—it’s a human…shoe! The horror of it all! Gone too soon!” I’m sure I would miss everything at some point…I’m just not sure when.
Ugh. I’m always so extreme about things. It’s so annoying sometimes. Just because things aren’t perfectly organized and hermetically sealed doesn’t mean that I need to completely fly off the handle and chuck everything into the garbage. Most people would simply put things in nice little piles and stacks, but no. Everything needs to be organized exactly the way I want or I simply give up and let everything go to hell in a hand basket—a cluttered hand basket. There’s simply no in-between for me. It’s all or nothing. Yes or no. Completely black or completely white. Go hard or go the heck home. However, once I allow things to get out of hand, I start to resent the mess for being messy. The clutter is simply being true to its nature, but I hate it and want it to go away. I’ll be glad when all of this is over.
So That’s Where That Went…
More recently, I’ve been digging through all of my drawers, trying to make the most of the chaos. I sometimes fear the chore of “cleaning house” because of the awful mess I tend to make when I go through boxes I haven’t opened in years. By the time I’ve opened the first box, all of the boxes fly open and my floor becomes littered with every kind of knickknack and garment under the sun. It has always been hard for me to go through everything and select the things I no longer want/need/fit in. So, I hide things in boxes, seal them with packing tape, scribble illegible labels across the sides and find a home in the closet or basement for them…never to be seen or opened again. Is that hoarding? Is there a such thing as organized hoarding? I was a psych major. I should probably know this.
Anyway, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to find some things to throw away or donate now that my entire living space is in disarray. I mean, what harm could it do? It’s already a hellish mess. There isn’t much more that I can do to make it worse, as I see it. I found this shirt hiding in the back of a drawer though. I’d completely forgotten all about it. Indication #249 that I have too much stuff: I don’t even know what I have, much less where it is…and I usually can’t remember how it fell into my ownership to begin with.
Hey, Macklemore! Can We Go Thrift Shopping?
I actually do remember where I got this thing from though. It came from the men’s section of one of my favorite thrift stores in Cali. It made me laugh at the time because I was pretty anti-social media back then. I was never going to have Twitter. Now look. I don’t really use it, but I have it. Ugh. Guess the joke’s on me now. I still like the shirt though, so I cut the sleeves off and planned to use it as a workout shirt. I’ve lost it again already…no telling where I put it. Maybe I shouldn’t have said I’d workout in it. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been so quick to misplace it. 😛
Speaking of thrifting, I used to go a lot a few years ago. When I say a lot, I mean 2-3 times a week. I miss that. It isn’t as though I actually went looking for something in particular either. It was nearly a competitive sport. Who can find that useless vintage candy dish before the old lady with the hardly convincing wig? I can, that’s who. I always found the best stuff. My speciality was home decor, but I would scour each and every department looking for the next “big find”. Between my friend and I, that store was regularly searched high and low. You never knew what you would discover, but chances were you didn’t need it…whatever it was. However, I wanted it. That was always enough.
Payday usually went like clockwork. Get off work. Hit up the bank. Fill out all of my bills. Rush to the thrift store. We would stay in there for hours, but I would leave with bags upon bags of “treasure”. We’d pick up something to eat (usually Del Taco) before going home. There we’d be, eating tacos in our pajamas as we dumped our purchases out onto the floor and marveled over everything. It was like we were hosting some strange kind of coffee table show and tell. Only, instead of being in kindergarten and showing off barbies and teddy bears, we were in our mid-twenties dusting off Vision cookware and antique jewelry. It was everything.
At first, I assumed thrifting was simply a weird coping mechanism for a possible severe shopping addiction…kind of like how some former alcoholics start overeating once they kick the bottle. You know, just swap one vice for another that isn’t as bad as the one you had before. After all, it was a whole lot cheaper than losing my mind in Neiman Marcus. However, I started to realize that I truly loved the things I found. It was simply an unconventional hobby that strangely made me extremely happy. Until this very day, some of my most prized possessions are things that probably came out of some old lady’s living room. Thank you, Gertrude and Betty.
Random Fact About Me #2: I once made a friend of mine laugh so hard that she peed on my bed. I actually had to tell her to shut up and help me change my sheets. She helped, but then she laughed harder. And you know who you are.