You've seen that show "Hoarders", right? How about "Hoarders, Buried Alive"? That show is horrifying. I saw an episode where they found two flat, dead cats in a living room under mounds of indescribable filth. The woman who owned the place sat in her chair on the porch while strangers were digging through her belongings. They found her false teeth, which had been missing for years. The cats had been missing too, by the way.
OK, I know that's an extreme case, but I think most of us are acquainted with at least one person who might someday star in one of those shows. I can think of a few. One of them is Me. Another is Ten Year Old Me. Letting things go has never been a strong suit, for either one of us.
It is a hereditary problem. Sure, laugh: I saw it on one of those shows - it sometimes runs in the family. Does that terrify you? If you saw my daughter's room, it probably would: She hoards, too. She still has all of her Valentine's cards (I removed the candy) from every grade of school, including PreK. That's four years of paper hearts. For a really long time (like, half of her life) she kept the tags from every item of clothing that was bought for her. She finally let me throw them away, so perhaps she can manage to break the cycle.
Last year, my grandmother gave me a Cabbage Patch Kid napkin from my 3rd grade birthday party and a cube of sugar from a trip that we took in 1995. A cube. Of. Sugar. I guess that isn't technically hoarding, because she gave them away. But now, thanks to her, those items are safely tucked away -or piled haphazardly- in my closet. My house looks orderly enough most of the time, but ask my husband and he'll tell you that opening a closet around here is a life or death decision. You might get brained by a box- of- something- that- doesn't- need- to- be- saved. He will periodically say, "do you really need to keep this?" He'll hold up a sentimental treasure and I will begin to panic. "Yes," I will yell: Diving in slow motion towards the item, twisting in mid-air and grabbing it, before it reaches the trash, "I do!" SAFE!
Apparently, this has been a problem for a long, long time...
My collections are miniatures, stickers, stamps, postcards from missions, and medals from missions, and indian arrows, books, and tapes and records. I have eight tapes, about one hundred records, a droor filled with almost every kind of books, joke books, majic books, cook books, books about the sea and missions, unicorn books, myseries, music, plays, good vetrinarians, horse books, spanish books, love stories, california relief map, alot of books. I have the three hundred stickers, I don't know how many stamps and lots of other things.
Don't tell my husband, but I'm pretty sure I still have all that stuff...