i get crap occasionally for being too much of a hoarder … errr … COLLECTOR. well, sometimes there is a method to my madness. (more usually, a madness to my methods)
this for instance:
this is Herman. found him at a thrift store for maybe .39 cents. one day he seemed to need a tie, so i found this ribbon i’d been holding onto for probably seven years. then my sister got rid of an old game of “ants in the pants” from when she was watching some little tyke. now, the game sucks if you are over 2.5 years, and/or can do small mental tasks like reason out the name of yourself. but THE PANTS! so i stuck Herman in the pants, and he is so very dapper, he has to stand next to the TV now and show himself off. truly adorable, and very entertaining to boot.
i’m a “collector”. have been since i was a wee thing. my sister and i collect comic books, regular books, old books, ephemera, toys, vintage finds, quirky odds and ends and broken crap we think we can fix or turn into art. it’s a fun hobby, but as of yet a disorganized one. i’m hoping to get my “poop in a group” and get more organized and stream lined so i don’t end up like this:
this is a horader. he lives down by where i walk every day. i think he owns two houses that are full of boxes, cat litter, plastic tubs, old game boards, and lots of plastic sheeting. it smells like cat piss when you walk by, and i can’t begin to imagine what it smells like INSIDE.
plus there’s this issue:
where fat, juicy groundhogs crawl up into the guys attic and run around. i saw two of them piling in there one day, but didn’t have my camera on me. so yeah…time to start cleaning house before i have zoo critters moving in!!
i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.
I’m feeling proud of myself this weekend. Ok, I haven’t graduated with honors, or climbed Mt. McKinley, or single handedly remodeled my kitchen. Though, God, that would be awesome. My kitchen is so small it’s more like a cupboard than a room.
Life can become a lot. There are always obligations to deal with; someone’s having a baby, and you have to go to the shower, and you’re not sure if it will come out very cute, and if not what do you say? You don’t want to lie and say the child is adorable – BIG FAT LIE! – but it’s considered fairly rude to openly proclaim to a new mother that her baby looks like Rodney Dangerfield’s runt cousin, even if it’s pretty blatantly obvious. Someone I knew once had a baby, and seriously, this was one unattractive situation. “Aren’t you so sweet?” is usually pretty safe. But you might have other obligations, like parties to attend, or commitments to activities, or just standard, unexciting things like chores. Get the oil changed. Mow the lawn. Dismember a body, if you happen to be Dexter Morgan. That type of thing.
I can’t always do these things. Not the dismembering, because generally speaking I don’t kill people as a hobby or profession. But there are things I can’t always do, for a variety of reasons, though the reasons pretty much all fall under the category of MPD. Like my sister and I might be planning on going to a movie, but I have a problem with some aspect of my health. Or I’m supposed to do laundry, but I have anxiety over going to the Laundromat because of past situations and issues. Or I need to drive over to a friend’s house, but I’m ‘little’. A typical person makes a list for the day, week, or when they get inspired to actually do something. It might look like this:
- make dinner
- no, go get groceries, then make dinner
- email granny about her hip
- clean up that mess that came from an animal
- put away toys, weapons and victims
- watch that movie you rented before it’s due
That list doesn’t seem so hard. But for me, or someone like me (crazy) this can be an issue.
My mind doesn’t always want to go in one direction. My sister’s brain is awesomely linear, so if she loses the car keys she can re-trace her steps and find them. When I lose them she tries this trick with me, but it rarely works. For one thing, my mind thinks so many thoughts in a teeny amount of time, it’s really hard to re-trace. Just while I was in the shower today I thought of five blogs I wanted to write about, a new idea for a graphic novel, a word I was curious about, and had a curiosity about fetishes and disorders. That’s when I wasn’t wondering about why I’ve been so tired this weekend, how I was going to go for a walk if it ends up being hot again today, or why the sponge in the bathtub never seems to stink as much as the one by the sink. My brain thinks a trillion little thoughts, all the time, and I really wish someone would invent a bodycamera so I could just push a button on my neck when I wanted to capture the idea that is fleeting through my brain at that particular moment. Re-tracing all this to find the car keys is nigh unto impossible. And besides, you don’t really plan on putting your keys in the fridge because you forgot how thirsty you are and you can’t get the jug of water open with just the one hand. Or tucking them into a utensil drawer because you forgot to put away the pizza knife, which can be very distracting to some of us who like sharp, shiny objects that cause skin irritation and blood.
And I get distracted. So logical regression of activities is difficult for that reason, because I’m sidetracked so often I can’t remember what I was originally doing.
What WAS I originally doing?
Oh yeah! Being proud of myself. Well yeah, for these weird reasons (and the fact that my body is inhabited by other people from time to time) it’s not always practical to expect myself to do things exactly when I think I will do them. I WANT to be a good housekeeper….but I get inspired by something, or distracted by something, or turn into someone who just wants to color all night. So I’ve been hard on myself, and mad that I can’t make a schedule and keep to it and get some shit done, in my house and in my writing career, and in my life in general. But this weekend I did make some progress. I made a chart. I plotted out some tasks I needed to do. I gave myself a rough guideline and goal, without demanding exact adherence from myself. And though I haven’t gotten to everything that I’d hoped I could get to, I did actually do some of what I’d wanted. So good job, kid. A small step, but a step nonetheless.