Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Hoarder and the Purger

So, this Thursday is the big move!  To Brooklyn!  I'm sad to leave the apartment we lived in for four years, where we lived when we got engaged, married, infertile, etc.  I can't say it's the apartment where Manuji was conceived, because that probably happened on the subway ride home from my RE's office, or maybe even while I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned following insemination.  Romantic!  But still, this was the apartment where we lived when I found out I was pregnant, and then had a miscarriage.  And the apartment where we lived when we found out I was pregnant again, and where we felt him kick for the first time.  So, a lot of memories, and I'm sad to leave our home.  But I'm also really happy to leave it because I'm excited for our new place.

We are hiring packers/movers, thank goodness.  But even when someone else is going to pack and move your shit for you, you do need to go through and purge.  I consider Jeeves to be a bit of a hoarder.  He gets really upset when I call him that.  But come on - he found credit card bills from 1998.  How is that not kind of hoard-y?  Under our bed, we have two storage boxes.  One is mine, and one is his.  In "my" storage box is all of our wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon, Christmas cards - in other words, shared stuff that we both use when we need to wrap a gift or send a Christmas card to someone.  What do you think was in Jeeves' box?  Your guess would be as good as mine because all I can tell you about it is that it is very, very heavy and when I asked him what was in it, he looked around innocently and admitted he did not know. 

For a long time, I have teased him about this, but never really been a huge bitch about it.  But then something happened.  When I moved in with my dad, I put almost the entire contents of my apartment into a storage unit, and then I promptly ignored it for several years.  I did manage to unearth a few important things when I moved in with Jeeves, but mostly the stuff just sat there.  In December, we finally cleaned out the storage space and sent almost the whole thing to Junk Luggers.  I left the storage facility with some books, a couple of collapsible wood bookshelves, and a few things from my kitchen and a box of photos.  Everything else - there was just no room in our home, so I had to let it go.  In some ways it was liberating, but it also made me sad, because that stuff had made up my home and my life for 8 years.  Most of the things in our home now are Jeeves', not mine.  We've been trying slowly to get more furniture that is "ours" and let's be honest - the kitchen stuff is mine, all mine, but still.  After having to purge all my stuff, I've become extremely unsympathetic to any hoarding tendency in my husband.  

To that end, we picked out a few problem spots for him to work on (one of which was that mystery underbed storage box), and likewise, I had stuff I had to work on too.  So, the weekend was spent sorting and purging, and Jeeves did an amazing job of getting rid of stuff.  I suspect there will be more to toss when we reach our new home, but at least we've made some headway.  Oh, and the mystery storage box?  Pretty much every piece of travel ephemera he has collected dating back to his backpacking trip 14 years ago.  


I'm 29 weeks today.  I only have 76 days to go.  We're taking our birthing class next weekend.  A lot of the girls in my pregnancy group were commenting about the return of fatigue.  I wasn't really having an issue with that at all, and then the second I hit 28 weeks, I was exhausted again - can't keep my eyes open at work, quickly tire from small tasks.  I also find it's getting harder to breathe deeply.  Oh, and the iron supplement I'm taking for my anemia is wreaking havoc on my digestive system.  But honestly, all those things are pretty tolerable - the things I hate most, the reflux and palpitations, are currently on hiatus.  We'll see how long that lasts.


My dad has continued to improve at home, to the point where he is now talking about getting rid of his home health aide.  He's a stubborn old man who refuses to let anyone help him (except, apparently, me) and so he makes no use of the aide.  He's an adult and he can make his own decisions, although I obviously don't approve of him just going back to the way things were before he went into the hospital.  And yet that's exactly what's happening.  I have more thoughts on this, and how I've reacted to it, but I'll save that for another post.  My sister on the subject: Fine, he doesn't want the aide, let him get rid of the aide.  But when he gets sick again, he's going into assisted living.  The end.  At this point, that will fall on her shoulders, probably, and I'm not inclined to disagree with whatever she decides to do given the fact that Dad is so stubborn about having help in his own home.  My conclusion is this - after talking about it with Wendy yesterday, all I can say is that I have done the very best I could.  I tried to set things up so that Dad could stay in his home for as long as possible.  If he wants to undo those things, I can't stop that.  And now it's time to focus on my new home, my husband, my job, and the birth of my son.


  1. Wish I couldn't relate to a husband with hoarder tendencies. I feel for ya! Hope the move goes smoothly on Thursday and your new place feels instantly like home.


    My mom is a visiting nurse & spends a LOT of time convincing sick people of what's best for them. She recently gave my friend the advice that if she & her sister sat down with her mom and told her how much they worried about her, made their mom realize that this wasn't just about her, it would help her see past her selfishness and be okay with getting help. I know you've been doing this a long time and have tried lots of things, but I just thought I'd throw that out there. I'm sure he doesn't want to burden you, and just doesn't realize what he's doing. But this was unsolicited advice so I'll never mention it again.


    I tend to save things other people would throw out, but receipts?! From fifteen years ago?!?! Man needs to take a long hard look at his habits ;) Hooray moving! Can't wait to hear about the new place :)

  3. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Good luck with the big move, and yay for 29 weeks! I think you are doing the right thing with your dad, there is only so much that you can do and at some point you have to let go a bit so you can focus on all the changes in your life that are about to take place.