Friday, January 11, 2013

Hoarder Alert

Ignorance is bliss, right? He has no idea of the
battle that rages around him.
My husband is one of those men who if given an inch will definitely take a mile. Nowhere is this more evident than in the battleground that is our ... kitchen. Or to be more specific, our refrigerator.

You see, my husband has a hard time getting rid of things. (His things, that is. He has absolutely no problem throwing out my stuff, but that’s another story for another day.)

Now, had I been paying attention, I would have seen this coming. The walls of his childhood bedroom were covered in shelves, which in turn were stacked to the ceiling with stuff. 

But everybody has stuff, right? Ah young love …

Our first home was a beautiful, old two-bedroom apartment  here in Germantown. It boasted wide moldings, hardwood floors, plaster walls, and all the charm of a place with some history. Ed moved in first and promptly stuffed the closets with all his junk. I suppose I missed not having much storage of my own, but I was way too busy with a new child and finishing school and adjusting to the peculiarities of married life to notice much. Four years later, however, and I knew we had a problem.

Why? Because four years later I became pregnant with our second son. Practical me promptly declared that now we’d need an extra bedroom and should move. Ed agreed, and we found another gorgeous old apartment. (Well, it looked gorgeous. There were loads of problems, it would turn out, and another good friend of mine who’d lived in the building before me and before I knew her would declare, once we discovered the coincidence, “You lived in that building managed by Mr. and Mrs. XXX? They’re evil. May that building burn to the ground.” And, indeed, a few years later it would.)

But anyhoo … we moved into our new three-bedroom apartment, and guess what? Before I had a moment to so much as gather my thoughts, Ed had moved all this crap into that third bedroom, and our sons would end up sharing a room for the entire three years we lived there. Arrghh!! I’m never going to let Ed forget that we paid an additional two-hundred and fifty dollars per month for three years just so he could have an onsite storage facility.

Cut to the present. Nothing much has changed. Our basement, which our children actually call “Dad’s basement” is completely crowded with all sorts of things the likes of which normal folks will never see. It makes me crazy, and I refuse to go down there, but I am tolerant. However, I absolutely draw the line at the refrigerator.

Here’s the plight of someone who can’t get rid of stuff. If I don’t monitor the situation, I’ll peek into the refrigerator and find three or four cardboard coffee cups from the mini-mart. Each cup will contain about an inch of coffee. How does this happen? Well, every day my husband buys coffee at the mini-mart. And every day, he almost finishes his cup and then puts the rest for “later” in the refrigerator. 

There was a time when the sight of those cups would drive me wild, and I'd get to fussin' and cussin' up a storm about this insanity. But one day, I realized this just wasn't working. So I told Ed, "I think I get it. I know you know that you aren't ever going to drink this coffee. But something in you can’t part with it. No problem. I’ll do your dirty work, honey. I’ll throw the coffee out. You don’t have to be the ‘wasteful’ one. It’s me. I’m a horrible, wasteful person.” 

And so I throw the coffee out. And then I rip the cup to shreds, because Ed has been known to save the cups for God’s sake.

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