Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm a Junior Hoarder

Moving sucks. It's been a month since I moved in with my special lady and I am still recovering. I had lived in the same place for 5 years and let's just say that I'm not the tidiest person on Earth. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a slob. I'm definitely a pack rat and I hate throwing things out. Now, I'm not talking about garbage, I throw out food and food remnants without hesitation, that's not the problem. The problem lies in all of the other stuff that I obtain as I bumble through life. This problem was especially bad when I was a daily subscriber to the Chicago Tribune. My apartment looked like I was potty training a small chow or about to kill Paul Allen. Friends of mine used the ample amount of newspaper as blankets when they would spend the night. It was bad. As the move date approached I would have little panic attacks at the thought of even beginning to rummage through everything, but eventually I soldiered on and did it.

As I packed up my shit I threw out an obscene amount of stuff. I filled two dumpsters and part of the alley with my horrible furniture. Some of the things I found were completely inexplicable. I had a ticket stub from a Red Sox game in the summer of 99. Presumably this ticket went from Illinois (where it was mailed to me) to Boston for the game, back to my parents house, to Lafayette for school, back to my parent's house and finally to 3 different Chicago apartments. It wasn't signed and it didn't have any specific sentimental value, I just refused to throw it out. Sanity finally prevailed as I tossed it in the garbage but I would be lying if I didn't consider retrieving it a few times. That's when the sad truth hit me, I'm a hoarder.

Now, I don't think I have reached full hoarder status yet. I do not have a collection of dead animals in the attic or a cellar filled with mason jars of urine. My apartment was not condemned. I did not try to physically assault anyone trying to convince me to throw things out. These are the signs of a true hoarder and I'm not quite there yet. I like to think of myself as a Junior Hoarder. I am a Cub Scout to the Eagle Scouts that you find on the television show. I still have a long way to go. As I was throwing out mountains of crap it was a bit difficult for me. I kept thinking that I had tossed out something that I needed. I think I even convinced myself that I may have hidden money in some old trinket because, yes, I am the "hiding money" type, although that's probably a blog post of it's own. It was completely stupid and irrational. I was able to fight the urge and threw it all out. I got rid of all of my VHS tapes which led to the best part of the week, seeing what movies had been scavenged out of the box each time I returned to the dumpster. Grosse Point Blank, Ferris Buehler's Day Off, The Godfather III, and a couple of "adult features" disappeared. I knew the porn would go quickly but Godfather III, really?

I saved only what I considered to be absolutely essential, or so I thought at the time. Now that I am unpacking boxes I am coming across nonsense that I have no clue why I saved them. For example: a little plastic lion playing a guitar birthday cake holder. WHY THE HELL DID I SAVE THIS?! I remember where it came from; it was on my birthday cupcake at the Gingerman when I turned 29. Why did I even take it from the bar? Or keep it on my computer desk since then, let alone why did I move it as I attempted to throw out all the junk in my apartment? There is no good reason why I did not throw it out 100 times before but here we are and it is staring at me with dead plastic eyes as I type this blog.

I'm sure the lion doesn't even make the top ten most useless things that I brought with me yet it symbolizes the reality of my hoarding skills. I'm sure somewhere in all of the boxes currently sitting in storage I have notes from a high school girlfriend, ticket stubs from concerts by bands I don't even remember any more, and clothes that haven't fit me since I turned 8. Next time I move I should really just incinerate all of my possessions and start from zero, if nothing else I'm sure my girlfriend would be happy to be rid of it all. I'm just afraid that I would dive into the incinerator to save my Fryin' Bryan Garbage Pail Kid.

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