First, before some of you get tumescent, imagining Chez Anne a trash-strewn hovel, replete with mold-speckled Jamba smoothies and forgotten pet carcasses, let me say this: It’s not. A&E’s delightful new reality show, Hoarders — which follows everyone’s cheery fave, Intervention — would deem my place a dud. No mess, no dirt, no biohazards. Animals alive (often annoyingly). Nothing for an overpaid A&E scout to kvell over.
“Are you a hoarder,” my friend S. asked. She lives two hours away, solo, sans preteens and pets, in a stunning home. She’s never seen mine. We always met at her pristine digs. There were reasons why she never came down San Diego way, and they don’t matter here. My point is, she never saw my cats, books, tchotchkes, pantry. Nada. Even with our complex, bipartite rationales for keeping her far from my welcome mat, she never saw a damn household thing. So her question re hoarding made sense, I guess.
I may well be a hoarder.
I hoard shit from 1989. I’m not talking anything remotely E.coli. Rather, in my master bedroom walk-in closet, in a smart glossy Ikea box, reside:
- a swatch of used beige shag carpet, 3 x 4 inches, net backing intact;
- a sample bar of Clinique soap, oxidized, pale yellow, tiny dried suds and mascara swirls, its green plastic box gone to landfill years ago;
- a flannel shirt, madras, predominately mauve;
- crotchless white panties from Bee’s Corsetry in Great Neck, courtesy of my mother — I SWEAR;
- a mezuzah the size of a toothbrush;
- two Trojan wrappers;
- empty cassette box, labeled 212-768-8329 in peeling decals;
- A note scrawled on a USAA envelope, in handwriting straight from Spahn Ranch: I love you so much, it hurts.
I keep these things.
I’m no Miss Havisham. (On sporadic occasion I am Mrs. Robinson, but that’s a post for another day.) No stiffened wedding cake.
There was a frozen slice, but I dumped it years ago.
I’d give a lot to have it back.