I want NOTHING. not one thing. Not a calendar, not a pair of holiday socks, not a basket of lotions. NO.
And what will I be giving YOU? NOTHING. Unless you are related to me AND have not yet graduated from high school, in which case you get a $40 gift card with my love. Jeff and I don't exchange gifts, that would just be stupid. We give each other stuff all the time anyway.
I have not stepped FOOT inside a mall or Target or whatever this year, except to buy MYSELF a few new tops and Jeff some new shirts for work. Here. I will show you the extent of my xmas decor so far: (please remember I don't have kids, this would be different if I had littles running amok I would have a tree etc).
That's my 'fireplace', over 50% of the books I still have (these are the vintage ones), and two sad little fake xmas topiaries. The only reason I have ANY decorations out this year is because we are hosting a Misfit Toys party, a gathering for all the other folks here that we know who have no real plans. (We plan on shooting Mike's Red Ryder BB gun. We will NOT shoot our eyes out.)
It isn't xmas that I don't like, it's the STUFF. I hate stuff. When we moved here I got rid of at least half, probably more, of the stuff I had in my condo in San Diego. I emptied my bookcases and under-bed storage of HUNDREDS of books. I am a voracious reader. But I didn't want the books anymore, and here's why:
These aren't your parent's books. The stuff WE buy at Barnes & Nobel or wherever aren't made with leather bindings and good paper and good ink. The books you buy for $25 (or for $4 if you are me and buy from the clearance table) are made with the absolute cheapest glue. Cheapest paper. Those publishing companies don't use fine linen paper. If you have ever worked around a copier/printer you know the difference between cheap paper and good paper, and they don't use the good stuff at Penguin Press. Yes, the books smell good NOW. But I had books I had been 'collecting' for over 30 years - like old Stephen King novels (that weren't 1st editions, like I have ANY first editions, har). They were completely full of dust, the covers were falling apart, the glue was DRY and cracking, and sorry. I know you love books. But, they stink. They make your house smell. THEY SMELL. I know it's sort of sacreligious to get rid of books, but I decided if I want a particular novel (like Jane Eyre, I MUST have a copy of that again!) I am going to get a really good copy of it. I couldn't afford it when Mike was little, but I can NOW. I convinced Mike to do the same thing.
Mike's books. He rescued some of my King and STOLE my Salinger and Steinbeck,
I am keeping his books for him until he is out of the Corps
We threw into the recycling bin almost every paperback book that we had, I am talking BOXES. They went into recycling because, contrary to what you may be thinking, thrift stores and VA hospitals and used book stores DON'T WANT YOUR PAPBERBACK BOOKS. I called and asked. Not paperbacks, not so much. Don't even THINK of taking your parent's huge collection of National Geographics to a thrift store. They will chase you away with two sticks. NOBODY WANTS THEM. I also refuse to contribute to some other narcissist's hoard. I recycled them to be made into new books.
The gabillion hard cover books we had between us DID go to an independant thrift store. We snuck over in the dead of night and left the boxes at their loading dock.
I bought myself and Mike a Nook for xmas last year, in exchange for his help and his getting rid of his books. I LOVE my Nook. No, it isn't like turning the pages of a real book. However, I have maybe 50 books on the thing already and it isn't even 1/4 full. I can carry my library with me everywhere.
I got rid of every single sheet or towel that was stained, bleached, torn, too thin, etc. ALL of them. I got rid of every plate and serving dish that hadn't seen the light of day in two years. Any clothes that I kept thinking I was going to do something with that one day, I would fit into that again some day... All old craft projects, unused makeup and lotions and face creams (trash). Old coats and boots that were 'still good." I got rid of SO MUCH CRAP. And my house wasn't all hoarded and piled up. It was all in bookcases, cupboards, closets, under the sinks. It was horrifying.
I also got rid of SO many vintage ceramic faces that I collected over the years, starting from when I was 14-years old. These are from the 20's and 30's and 40's and 50's - and I think they are wonderful! But some of my collection was there only because it went with the other stuff. I weeded it all out and ended up with the stuff I really love. The rest I GAVE to an antique store for ~$100.00 <--probably 1/10th of the price I actually threw into that collection for the last 30 years. But it was crap, and not worth a damn in this economy, and I didn't want to move it clear across the country.
from this in SD (not all of it, oh HO, no way):
Yes, it's ME! in my pajamas!
People don't understand not having stuff. They collect and keep and store and yes, hoard. I still have a lot of stuff. The thought of Jeff possibly getting a new job and us moving BACK to San Diego fills me with dread when I think of all the boxes again. And I have infinitely less stuff than I did, even after we moved in HERE I have been pitching crap out to a thrift store.
Hoarders are ALWAYS narcissists. They are absolute assholes who choose things over people. STUFF over relationships, and children who need a place to sit and do homework or need clean clothes or any attention at all are DAMNED for being so needy. When I started researching narcs I found these 'children of hoarders' blogs. It is disgusting and dreadful what these poor kids have to go through. Like, if one of you, after all these years of horrifying abuse, inherited the abusers home and it was hoarded, and YOU had to go through every single thing and keep/sale/toss. The impulse would be to bulldoze it, but there is CASH in the hoard, and stuff worth selling, and worst of all, photos and mementos from the GOOD people in your life are in there. Photos from YOUR childhood. All buried. Under piles of dust and used tissues. And, don't even THINK of trying to tackle the hoard while the narc is still alive. You will need the police, a court order, and a couple of Army Rangers to remove the dragon from its hoard.
I don't know how old age is going to manifest itself in me. But I'm not leaving a pile of garbage for Mike to sort through. It will be traumatic enough for him to deal with me dying (or possibly a relief? I KID). Here is a hard truth:
Nobody wants your crap. NOBODY.
Here. Here is the (sort of) point to this post. http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/ I found THIS blog at least a year ago. These two girls/women grew up with a narcissistic asshole parent who wouldn't fix the water heater EVER, wouldn't fix a washing machine, wouldn't fix a damn thing. But he was a mechanic and worked on cars. He collected them, he hoarded them, he hoarded all things related to mechanics. Here is the punchline: These two women have removed over 20 TONS OF SCRAP METAL from this property. Twenty. Tons. That is since they started taking it to a place that pays you for scrap, before that they were driving it to the dump.
Here's pictures: http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/2011/04/more-progress.html. and this http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/2010/10/garage-progress_21.html
Narcs and hoarding go hand in hand. I have a real aversion to stuff. It creeps me out.