I'm spring cleaning this week. Something I do every, say, four or five years. Actually I saw an episode of Hoarders on the Discovery Channel and it freaked me out. I swear I saw things I owned in this woman's house and then I thought, "she sort of looks like me. She sort of sounds like me. Oh my God, it could be me. I could be in an alternate universe right now, seeing my future." Spring cleaning began. I started to pile stuff in every room. Shoes? who needs them. Whose clothes are those? Don't know, out they go. Why do we have two office chairs and I don't care that we have two desks we only use one at a time.
I didn't care what it was, if I didn't use it, didn't think it was going to be used, didn't like the look of it, didn't know whose it was, didn't know where to put it or where it belonged, it went straight to a pile. I was manic. No way was someone going to put me on a TV show for some kind of hoarding intervention and believe me, sometimes I think my family would like to have me committed.
Then, David and the girls came home. There was gasping. There was crying. There was digging. At some point I seem to remember having tug of wars with different members of the family and myself.
"Dad, please tell her it's mine. I want to keep it. Please Dad."
"No, we're hoarders I tell you, hoarders. Give it up."
"Please Dad, help, that's my Biology Book (who am I kidding? I would never throw away a book), that's my swimming medal."
"Oh my god, that's the music box papa gave me."
"Honey, you can't throw away my shoes, I need them for work."
"NO you don't! You have one pair on your feet now."
"My guitar, mom, my guitar? Have you lost your mind?"
"I haven't heard you play it in a year, or a month, or a week. I don't know. You don't need it. It's taking up space."
"Honey, put the guitar down, come on, put it down. You can do it. That's it. Just put the guitar down."
By this time, the girls were a sobbing mess, desperately digging through piles like seagulls at MacDonalds. I'm throwing things back as fast as they are taking them out. I'm on a mission now. There is no stopping me. Hysterical laughter is bubbling up from my gut. My mind is on a repeating tape. "I'm not going to be on Hoarders. I'll show them. I'm not going to be on Hoarders. I'll show them."
Suddenly, my head comes up. I sniff the air. Is that blood in the air? or perhaps a video game? maybe another desk chair? or that extra vaccum cleaner?
Like a rabid dog, I follow the smell, salivating, pupils dilating. Oh ecstasy, another thing I can throw in a pile. Merciful god, my heart is going to burst with satisfaction.
At that moment, David appears before me with a huge smile on his face. He's holding a vodka martini. A vodka martini. The essence of vodka swirls around my head. He gently brings the glass closer to my face so the scent can waft up through my nostrils. I close my eyes and began to sway.
"Come on, honey, follow the vodka. Can't you just feel the crispness on your tongue? Come with me and I'll give you the nice martini. You can sit in your favorite chair. - Girls, get your mom's favorite chair out of that pile in the living room. - That's it. Be a good girl."
I sat down and David handed me the glass. For a couple of minutes, I just sat, my body in harmony with vodka martini. Then I took a sip. Oh, pure, sweet, heaven. I slump back in my favorite chair. My mind at rest. My body at peace. All is right with the world. I've done a good thing today. I've cleaned out our house. I'll never be on Hoarders. My family understands me.
Of course, they put everything back and no one has mentioned it since.
They did let me put away all their winter clothes though. That was nice of them, don't you think?