Pick Your Battles, Yeah Right!

One of my sisters who lives in New Orleans is lucky in a lot of ways. A handsome loving husband, 2 wonderful boys and the big one: You can kick your unwanted belongings to the curb whenever the mood strikes you. At any hour of the day or night. She doesn’t have to wait for the dreaded “bulk trash” window that comes once a month here in Dallas. This window comes and goes and our junk piles up.

I'm Cold Dammit!

This all came to me in the dark in bed last night. It’s 90 degrees outside and I’m laying there in full length pajamas under a blanket shivering. The ceiling fan is on so high that I fear it will take flight and decapitate our cat. Another fan is on the floor blowing at Mr. Husband and the air con is turned down to zizz. There is probably frost on the windows. But this is all righted by a sound machine puking the soothing sounds of a rain forest. Why you may ask? Well Mr. Husband may end up with a bead of sweat on him. Horror of horrors. I don’t want to get out of bed to ease up the air con because I might trip over something.

Sometimes I wonder if my main reason for wanting to travel is to get away from all the electrical gadgets and clutter. After 8 years of living with Mr. Husband I am beginning to suspect that he may be a high-end hoarder. It’s to the point where if I hear a crash and the sound of something breaking I yell “thank you Jesus!” and jump up to do the happy dance. I might even get to throw it away. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket on those lucky days.

I have fantasized about having him kidnapped and the ransom would be to donate 25% of the stuff in this house to charity. That would mean that I would have a fighting chance to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without breaking a toe. At first glance one would not think a hoarder lives here. Our stuff is nice, everything is clean and dusted once a week. It began to grate on my nerves when I discovered that there is not one place in the house where I can lay down and do yoga without hitting my foot or hand on something or rearranging furniture.

My Dream Car

“No, thank you” is a perfectly acceptable phrase in the English language and one the hub-man has not mastered. Well he knows how to say no to me, but I hold this title unopposed. If family member wants to give us a another hunk of furniture, kitchen gadget, or gee gaw, it is not because it’s a cherished family heirloom. It’s because THEY DON’T WANT IT.

Hello … if they wanted it or had room for it they would keep it. But, not only will Mr. Husband accept it, he will go get it. Easy way for them to get rid of stuff. The Salvation Army doesn’t even do home pick up anymore.

Can a hoarder and a minimalist find happiness in the same house? Most of the time we manage it. But it’s a constant battle and renegotiation. I am beginning to suspect that Mr. Husband is afraid to leave the house for fear that when he returns something might be gone. It would take him a year and half to figure out what it was, but he would. I just know it.

10 responses

  1. I was on his side re the DVDs. And remain so… as for the rest of it – ugh… ugh… he and Mr HOT have so much in common… Mr HOT is in the import business – he imports doodads and collectables and then ‘sells’ them… Well, he does sell some – I see him take 2-3 packages to the post office almost every day. Problem is, the postie brings us about a dozen a day. You do the maths! Ugh…

    While you were away I had to bar him from my office – he was taking it over, so my desk was covered in snuff bottle, ornamental Asian porn and pigs. It was hard but I had to do it.

    I kept one of the pigs…

    1. Mr. Husband tends to sneak things into my office, using it as a storage closet. I finally got tired of it and just toss stuff out in the hall. After he’s tripped over it 70 or 80 times he’ll move it elsewhere.

  2. Hmmmmmmmmm – I don’t think so. It sounds terrible! I’m a minimalist too.

    1. How do people even know what they have with so much stuff? That’s what I want to know 🙂

  3. What a great post!
    Nice use of Gerard Butler and I love your Dream Car, The Trinitymobile!

    1. Gerard does such a great job of looking enraged, doesn’t he?

      I’m thinking I could re-enact the Monty Python scene where they go through town with a wagon chanting “bring out your dead, bring out your dead.” Only I be saying “bring out your junk, bring out your junk.”

  4. This is a wonderful post.

    In our relationship, my partner insists I’m the “hoarder”–she’s the thrower-awayer. As an artist who does collage, I like to save a lot of paper–all as “potential art.” It drives Sara crazy. You would never guess there was an issue; even in my studio things are fairly neat and orderly–but only because Sara has taken in upon herself to sort and organize and be the queen of clean surfaces and empty spaces.

    At any rate this was a briliant and hysterical exploration of this kind of coupling dynamic.


    1. Glad you liked it. I’m a thrower-awayer. As you put it, but I’m also a “if we buy this where are we going to put, and who is going to clean and dust it?” type of person.

      Mr. Husband will buy something, bring it home and it will sit there on the kitchen table in the bag for a month. I could probably generate a small fortune just returning this stuff 🙂

  5. A hoarder and a minimalist in the same house, searching for common ground…sounds like a made-for-TV movie! As always, your post had me laughing out loud.

    1. It’s an honor to cause anyone to laugh out loud. Glad you enjoyed it.

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