Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm a keeper!

I've been known to collect a thing or two.  Stamps and postmarks, Hot Wheels, telegraph insulators, cans, (ahem) straws (ahem), ugly neckties, cookbooks, rocks, shells, bottlecaps and matchbooks, to name a few.  I also hang on to random crap in the event that it might, someday, become useful.  Sometimes I fancy myself a sculptor of found objects, like the time in college I taped all of my friend's trash to his wall.

And titled it.

He was less than thrilled.  It was even worse for him when the tape failed to hold the soda cans up through the night.  Plink!  Plunk!

Anyway, I digress.  As a sculptor-to-be of found objects, it first becomes necessary to save found objects.  As such, a random assemblage of rusted metal, uniquely shaped plastic and glass and disused motors have been collected over the years.  Unfortunately, a minor incident last Friday told me I might be out of control.

My daughter sent me this picture:
This random plumbing part was rolling around in her car, which used to be my car, and she wondered if it was important.  It's the washing machine hookup valve from our house.  In Wisconsin.  A valve that I replaced in 2005.  A valve that, despite being seized up by calcium and iron deposits, seemed worthy to me of keeping.  For integrity, I suppose.

Something apparently needs to be done about me. 
I never set out to hoard, nor am I, ultimately, a hoarder.  Not by any means.  I'm not climbing over boxes in my entryway.  I can, with minimal effort, get a car into the garage next to the motorcycles.  We're not sleeping amidst piles of laundry on our bed.  I don't have stacks of newspapers from 1978 on the kitchen table or a bag of empty candy wrappers in the hall closet.  Our toilets flush.  There are limits, after all.  We rented our house to a hoarder, and I had to ask her to leave after she turned our house into a tinder bundle.  I can't even watch that TV show without shuddering.  Deep down, clutter actually bothers me.  Not that my boxes of 'stuff' aren't taking up their share of floor space in our basement and on the shelves in the garage.  The only redeeming quality is that I know what's in each of them.
And isn't at least one redeeming feature enough to keep me?

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