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…be Closet Hoarders

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Yeah, yeah. I know it’s been ages since I’ve had any advice to give. But nearly everyone — even, or ESPECIALLY perceived ‘enemies’ — has been sharing opinions since the 2016 election cycle, and I couldn’t jump on that wagon, even if I’d wanted to. Honestly?


(I’ve been wanting to say that for such a long time that I ended up shouting. oops)

Well, when it mattered most I managed to keep my fingers off the keyboard, proving this blog’s main contention: ‘friends don’t let friends… make utter asses out of themselves during an election cycle (or after). Glory be and pass the gravy, I must have friends!! Whew!!!!  I dodged so many Facebook and Twitter bullets, I’m smiling like a Cheshire cat with all her nine lives…

I’ve avoided confrontation socially. Big deal. On the domestic front, things have gotten a little dicey. My sometimes covert attempts to move us toward selling the current real estate for a downsized version have recently included some interior changes. We’ve acquired upgraded furniture, shopped for new flooring, tried a more neutral color palette. We’ve rearranged some cabinets, rifled through the closets, wandered around the storage unit masquerading as a basement, and, if I may borrow a phrase from the Southerners of yesteryear who managed to keep a genteel grasp on the Civil War by referring to it as “the recent unpleasantness,” I have uncovered some ‘unpleasantness’ of my own.

Friends, I am married to a hoarder.

He keeps EVERYTHING. He suggests that old check stubs or tax return statements from the 1980s might be ‘interesting’ to our kids some day. He hangs onto a stereo receiver that he had in college. A closet in the laundry room is filled with coats that he never wears, but can’t get rid of. “They’re great coats!” he declares. “It’s good to have a coat like that when it’s really cold,” he argues.

“Fine!” I retort. “Keep ONE! Not EIGHT.”

But no. He must keep them all. All the coats. All the papers. Even all the pens, for cryin’ out loud. He never gets rid of wood — partial 2x4s, half- or quarter- sheets of plywood, bits of 2x8s — gotta keep them all. You never know. Small pieces of drywall, the old island countertop from the kitchen remodel, old socks and t-shirts that make good rags, owners manuals for things we don’t even own anymore — you can find any of these treasures in our garage. In the basement you can find an old dresser or two. Leftover tables and chairs and dishes and light fixtures and a baby crib, circa 1986. The kids’ toys. Okay, I admit I’m good with hanging on to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle collection. And the Tonka trucks and Hotwheels and even the Beanie Babies (embarrassed sigh). I mean, grandkids! RIGHT?? But the guy can’t even let loose of an old digital camera that cannot compete with the quality of our current phones, for cryin’ out loud. And he played the ‘grandkids’ card to get me to let him keep it. Shameful.

He won’t even throw away these:


Now, to be fair, I did win on the boxes. I salvaged the ‘original equipment’ and threw the containers in the trash. The closet, though. No win there. AARGH.

To my kids, who will eventually deal with this mess, I can only whimper, “I’m so, so sorry.”

And to my friends — both the real ones I grapple close and the virtual ones who might stumble across this post, I can only implore you to remember that friends don’t let friends be closet hoarders. Or basement, cabinet, garage, shed or any other damn storage place hoarders!!!!

Please. In these cases, it really is ‘for the kids.’

Don’t let friends hoard. Their spouses, their kids, their eventual grandkids, their friends and relatives and neighbors will thank you.

I would thank you too, if only I had a friend who would keep my husband from hoarding…

Don’t let it happen to you.



About beckyfields

Learner. Teacher. Reader. Writer. Contemplating 'life changes' -- one common chapter at a time.

3 responses »

  1. I love your writing! It never fails to bring a smile to my face. I miss you, my friend!

  2. I love your writing! It never fails to bring a smile to my face. I miss you, my friend!


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