Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I confess, I am a shop-a-holic, I have too much stuff and too many cats!

Ever see the show Hoarders?  I am so fascinated with this show, (as much as all of the cable weight loss shows, Health specials etc, Ruby, Too Fat for Fifteen, Celebrity Fit Club, I can go on.) and I always want to know, how can you live in a house with wall to wall newspapers, laundry and cat poop that hasn't been picked up? Living in filth is unhealthy mentally and physically.  But a lot of us can do it. Although, I am always doing laundry and cleaning the cat box.  I love my cats, but pet odor is just downright nasty! It seems easier to shop and buy things instead of making do with what you have.  Buying something on sale gives you a rush.  I am grateful that I can even do this because I went without a lot of things that I wanted when I was growing up.

I started getting obsessed with bargain shopping when I went away to college.  I worked part time and any extra cash went to my wardrobe.  Any item of clothing I found was and still is appreciated, because I didn't have a lot of clothes until after I was 18 and started buying a lot of outfits.  I always liked fashion and unique styles.  I went to Catholic School so I always wore a uniform and on free dress days it was obvious that my family was broke.  People made their jokes and bragged about their designer labels.  I got clothes from goodwill and hand me downs from relatives.  Every once in awhile I would get a new outfit, but that would be for a special occasion.  After all of this, I am no label snob and shop anywhere for my wardrobe.  It's hard to break a habit when it's one that has become an addiction.

Austin and I are both pack rats.  We both grew up poor, so anything that we did get, we took care of it and saved it as kids.  As we got older, we worked part time, went to school and it was required that we paid for our own toys, entertainment and recreation.  This really teaches you to care for your belongings because you bought them! Due to this conditioning,  it takes time for us to get rid of anything for a long time.  Including newspapers. Yeap, we are old school and still get the L.A. Times delivered to our front door and we actually read the articles.  We also like to collect toys and many of them are on display in the house.  However, when it comes to dusting, it just seems like we both have an allergic reaction.  Bad, yes, nasty?  Even more so. Eventually, we get to it, but I let Austin handle that while I battle all of the nooks and crannies in the corners of the home.  In fact,  when we moved in together almost two years ago, his apartment was wall to wall boxes.  Then we found a bigger place and figured we would have more room right?  Wrong.  I still needed to empty my storage unit and we had even more stuff.

It's taken almost two years to sort everything and weed out the stuff.  First, we merged our music and book collection.  We had more duplicates than anything with our music collection so I sold a few things on Amazon and he is currently selling the rest on Ebay along with his old Star Wars collection and duplicate Transformer figures.   But back to our music collection,  I have never merged mine with anyone else, not even the ex-husband.  So as for as I am concerned, it's like getting married and I'm not going anywhere now, because it would be a bitter custody battle over all of the Dream Theater Cds in our collection.  After all of this, we still have more music and books than anyone we know.  We could open the Treadwell/Welch music library.  Again, this is just the music and books!

We both have tons of clothes, pop culture/nerd tees, rock t-shirts (and sure enough, many of them match!), old letters, photos, household linens, furniture, kitchen stuff and here is the clincher, we have his and her coffee pots.  I have to drink rocket fuel in the morning and he has a certain way he wants to brew his coffee throughout the day, thus we cannot share a coffee pot.
 Pathetic, two caffeine addicts who cannot share a coffeepot.  No wonder we have too much stuff!

Furthermore, Austin collects Legos, Transformers, Comics, Angels Baseball stuff and used to Collect Star Wars stuff, but it started to crowd us out of our home.   We both have a few hobbies and tastes that are joint, such as music, movies and books.  Other hobbies are separate.  I collect costumes and cannot stop buying shoes.  (Again, I am fully aware that I have a problem.) Austin actually cleared out part of his side of the closet for my shoes and costumes.  I also make jewelry, sew, knit, cook, study holistic health with nutrition and still have snail mail pen pals.  Austin has had this rebirth with his Lego collection reorganizing it and building things consistently.  He also is working on starting his own Transformer fansite and writes for another geek site with his friends.   All of these habits and hobbies take up all of out time, so guess what?  As you are living life, Stuff and more stuff starts piling up!   This drives me crazy from time to time and I get in a mood to clean and take stuff to the Goodwill. Sometimes this is an uphill battle, other times it's not.  For example, just a couple of weeks ago, we got rid of four sets of sheets, two comforters, shower curtains and a bunch of towels.   We should have done this a long time ago. 

And I have four cats.  I already had two.  Chip and Mashed Potatoes. Chip is the Tabby and Mashed Potatoes is the Cow Kitty....

And now.....Blue, the evil Calico is 15 years and my 21st birthday gift and the little gray one, Cracker.
 Cracker belonged to my mom and Blue lived with her because she liked mom better for a long time.  A year ago, my mom decided that she wanted to get a couple of bulldogs, so she did and the kitties had to come live with me.  Poor Austin is not an animal person and the cats annoy him.  On the other hand, I practically make out with my cats and I really don't mind cleaning up their poop, puke and feeding them.  I am a crazy cat lady and damn proud of it.  I am one of those annoying people on facebook posting pictures of cats and sharing cat pictures.

So not only do I have too much stuff, I have two too many cats!  Ha!  I love my cats and I love my stuff.  Yet, I am at the point that my heart has more gratitude than it did before and I am happy with what I do have.  I need to improve on time management and organization.  Maybe that can be another New Years Resolution?

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