I’ll grab a warm cup of coffee, get under a cozy blanket and watch as many hours as I can before one of my crew wakes up to start his or her day.
Then I quickly turn it off.
It’s my guilty pleasure. I can watch for hours and go room to room with these folks as they clutter one space and then the next with books, papers, boxes and tubs filled with mementos, baby clothes and knick knacks from years gone by.
I’m certain, but for the fact my husband can’t stand “stuff,” I’d be a hoarder.
You see, I totally respect a hoarders reasoning behind holding onto mounds of “important papers,” because who knows when one might get audited. And if I ever do, I plan to use that faded, parking receipt as a business tax deduction, because every dollar counts. Not to mention, somewhere in one of those boxes, I’ve got that piece of paper that I once got when I once bought that thing that came with a warranty. Because if it ever breaks, and I remember I bought a warranty, I’m going to need that paperwork.
And like any good mother, I’ve got every handcrafted art project that my children have ever made. I’ve got macaroni glued necklaces, ornaments made from popsicle sticks and more Thanksgiving turkeys made out of handprints than anybody could possibly need. But just in case, I’ve kept them all.
Our attic is filled with computer monitors from the ’90s, printers that no longer work, boxes that the old televisions came in and every book I’ve ever read, because how can one possibly throw away books? Not to mention, a Christmas tree we no longer use, because the stand is broken and someone’s bassinet – that to this day – we can’t figure out to whom it belongs. Both of which, might come in handy at some point.
It’s enough to drive a good man crazy.
And, every year, it just about does.
Right about the time when he can’t take it anymore, my clutter-free husband will arrive home with large, black garbage bags. The garbage bags are large enough to fit a full-sized wife in, so I immediately catch his drift. He then demands “the drawers be cleaned out, the tubs be gone through and everyone goes through their closets because we are donating to Goodwill.”
Only to be driven more insane when we each return a limp, barely filled bag with a few scraps of paper and one pair of shoes that the dog chewed.
He, on the other hand, has filled his garbage bag to the brim.
Thankfully, when he isn’t looking, I’ll go through his bag and save his stuff.
One day, when he is sitting in that audit, dressed in that tangerine-colored tie that was always just a little too short – the one I saved – and I bring out that faded receipt, he will thank me.
Comments? Email Angel Kane at [email protected] Becky Andrews and Kane are the brains behind Telling Tales, a weekly column in The Democrat.