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The Deluded Diva Speaks... A tribute to hoarders everywhere

February 1, 2011

There are a couple of reality television shows that crop up around three in the morning. They show up just when I’m trying to talk myself out of greeting the new day. Who get’s up at 3 a.m. anyway?
I guess it’s just me.
I’m a “morning person” and an insomniac, but I’ve watched those reality shows featuring people whose homes are over-run with “stuff” as long as I can endure. This thing called “hoarding” is getting a bad rap in my opinion. Why not call them “super collectors?”
It’s considered a form of insanity by the psychiatric crowd, but I believe it’s a noble habit. Who would still be able to find a costume for a 1950s party if not for hoarders? Who would be able to collect old bottles, early American cooking utensils, or hand hewn furniture?
The old walnut Victorian bed I sleep in was reclaimed from a dump. My mother in law picked it up and stored it in her garage until I spied it 40 years ago – it was covered by dirt dauber nests. I refinished it and sleep like a baby – well, until about 3 a.m.
I used to think my grandmother’s generation hoarded because of the Great Depression. They valued possessions and never wasted anything. You remember them - “the eat-everything-on-your-plate-generation, because the children in China are starving.”
Now the kids in China are eating OUR lunch.
I’m not so sure a little hoarding is bad. There are people in this world who just value their culture and want to make it available to future generations.
That’s why I can’t part with this early 20th century Underwood Typewriter that’s been living in my guest room closet for ten years. I can barely pick it up. I tried to weigh it on my bathroom scales but the digital readout said “E” – for error. Apparently it weighs more than I do!
I can’t throw away my mother’s winter coat. She died in 1977 but it still smells like her perfume.
I cannot throw away the last piece of Poppy Trail china that I was given when I married. It’s ugly as sin and the husband is long gone, but that ugly piece of china reminds me that you can’t make love work with material things.
I still have a swatch of hair from my two sons before they had their first hair cuts. If all this makes me a hoarder, so be it. But I may have to go rent a storage unit in which to deposit all my memorabilia which no longer fits in my drawers and closets.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com.

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