I watch the weirdest stuff on TV when I’m at the gym, especially if it’s late morning. Yesterday I got completely sucked into an episode of Hoarders. I don’t know how long this show has been on cable, but I’m guessing they have to keep finding worse and worse examples of hoarding in order to keep the viewers coming back..
I mean seriously, where do you go once you’ve shown the house with the cockroaches, rotting food, boxes and stuff piled to the ceiling? Well, here’s where you go.. you go to the house that has all of those things with the additional roof and septic tank leaks so all of the piles of garbage are wet and covered in “you know what.”
That’s where you go.
Watching this show actually reminded me of our trip to Charleston a few week-ends ago and a super strange tour we took through one of the historic homes. The Calhoun House belongs to a wildly successful (retired?) lawyer who crosses the globe buying priceless antiques and artifacts. For some reason (taxes?) the man has turned most floors of his home into an official “museum” that is open to the public.
Here’s the deal, billionaires can be hoarders too. It really doesn’t matter how much the stuff costs, once it reaches critical mass, once it crowds out the rooms, once there is no place to put down your cup of tea..you know you’ve got a problem.
At one point, as we were all crowded together at a roped off doorway, staring into the over-cluttered study, the tour guide exclaimed, “the owner’s cat is in here!” After about two minutes one of the ladies called out “I see him!” and then went on to help the rest of us locate the sleeping feline who was absolutely invisible amidst all the stuff. I felt I as if I was teleported into a page of “Where’s Waldo?”
Having too much stuff crowds out life. Whether it’s a collection of crock pots, creepy porcelain dolls or foot stools made out of elephant’s feet (see photo above) at some point your stuff starts to own you, to isolate you, to steal from you…
And that’s the red line dear friends, when your possessions start possessing you..