You never know when you might need it

22 Oct

The other night when I was sure I was dying from the plague (I’ve been sick since I got home from Georgia. Gotta love air travel), we were watching Hoarders on A&E. Have y’all seen this show? They’re crazy. They live with wall to wall clutter, but it’s way worse than clutter. They save everything, or buy too much, or just give up and don’t clean at all…ever. Anyway, we’re all watching it, and the guy on it was explaining how he was a hoarder because when he was little his dad gave him a train set that he loved, but they didn’t have any money and had to sell the train set. He was saying that he felt like he had to hoard things because of the fear that someone might take them away and he’d have nothing. I scoffed and paused the tv. I looked at Chris and said, what a load of bullshit. My biological dad decided he couldn’t deal and left me and mom to be gay. I was a drug abusing alcoholic after my bad taste in men left me bruised, bloody and beaten. I got my shit together. You don’t see me acting like that. Chris raised his eyebrows and says, no? You don’t think you do that? I’m totally offended. Uh no? What the hell? I’m not a hoarder. I was like, I’m not crazy. Davey snickers and says, you kind of are, mom. I was like, for real. Why do you guys say that? So Chris starts to explain to me that my obsessive need to keep can goods is hoarding. Hmm.

Ok, maybe I have a need to have no less than like 50 cans of random things in my pantry. That’s not crazy, that’s good planning, isn’t it? You never know when you might need it. Shit. That’s what the people on hoarders said, “You never know when you might need it.” Alright, MAYBE there are some similarities. When the kids were babies, I was so hungry and so damn poor I had to eat ketchup on crackers for some kind of nutrition (the kids were still on formula at that time). Yes, I felt completely abandoned by everyone. All of my friends were gone, off to college having fun or just busy not being a mother, my family was…well we had issues. My marriage (to the kids’ dad) was rocky at best, plus my ex was working constantly, so he was never home. Basically it was just me and the kids. It was at the point I realized how screwed up I’d gotten my life and decided then and there that this would never happen again. Ever. I’d made too many mistakes, I’d lived in the past for too long, it was time to toughen up, grow the hell up and take charge of my life. So ate my ketchup on my crackers and vowed that I’d never be hungry again, and I’d never look at the kids again and wonder how I would feed them. When I said I’d never go hungry again, I didn’t think it would mean that I’d gain 100 pound to compensate, but that’s ok. At least I’m not hungry. So yeah, I keep extra cans in the pantry. But you know what, when y’all are starving because there’s no grocery stores left because the aliens blew them up (this is in my post-apocalyptic world, of course), I’ll be sitting happy with my cans.

Yes, I get that it’s maybe a little crazy. But I don’t hide food (anymore). Chris made me stop that when he moved in. And I don’t buy cans in bulk (anymore). Chris made me stop that too. Now I just don’t let them get below a certain number. Once Chris tried to use a can of cranberry sauce (part of my stash), and I was like, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! YOU CAN’T EAT THAT! I NEED TO SAVE IT! He was like, why? It’s a fucking can of cranberry sauce. What are you saving it for? I was like, you never know when you might need it. Alright, I get it. That’s crazy. I don’t care. There’s very little that gives me more joy than looking in my pantry and seeing a shelf full of cans. It’s just comforting.

Anyway, I told Chris and Davey to shut it. I wasn’t a hoarder. Then the doctor on the show started explaining how hoarding is sometimes a symptom of OCD and can be linked to impulsive buying. Chris and the kids looked at me with their raised eyebrows. I said, I know, I know. I need medication. Leave me alone.


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