I actually started this post about a week ago and then never got around to finishing it. I'm finishing it tonight. Things have come to a head. Changes are going to be made. Even if I have to drag my husband kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat. (apologies to Pratchett)
I should have realized that there was going to be an eventual need for an intervention the first time we moved from one house to another. I was merrily going through the junk in the garage, relishing pruning all the unnecessary stuff from our lives when I came across a car radio that looked circa 1972. I shrugged and tossed it in the black garbage bag.
Bill saw me do this and dove in after it and cradling it protectively in his arms informed me, "You can't throw this out!"
"Why on earth not?"
"Because it might be useful someday!"
"Bill, it is an AM car radio it doesn't even have a tape deck. It is never going to be useful."
"It could be!"
"No, it won't. Now throw it back in the bag."
Long story short, he refused. It now resides deep in the recesses of our white wooden shed where I am afraid to go lest something he saved has suddenly gained sentience and it attacks me because it knows if I had my way it would be in a land fill.
Years have passed since then. The house we live in now has lots of storage space. Had lots of storage space, I should say. It doesn't have any now. Now what it has is storage pregnancy. The closets are gravid and full. I'm quite certain, after a couple of rum and cokes and an attempt to find something in some closet or another, that there are things breeding with other things in there.
How else do you explain the little twirly things made of metal that show up in my kitchen drawers that I certainly never bought and whose only purpose seems to be jamming the drawer shut? Hmmm?
At any rate, I should out myself here, as well. While I am exposing my husband's foibles it is only fair to point out that I am a slob. I don't notice clutter. I never have. This combined with the fact that my husband is a collector and not a slob makes for some really stupid fights.
"Where did you put my stuff?!?!"
"The stuff I left on the desk!"
"Oh, I put it away. It was looking messy."
"There's no need to get all pissy. It's in the drawer in the corner table."
"I've been looking for it all day! If you didn't have so much crap crammed into every drawer and closet I might have found it!"
"Well at least I put my stuff away!"
Things tend to get worse from there.
So, that is where we are today. There are boxes and piles of his stuff in every available storage space. He also keeps trying to store his bits of paper on my bookshelves. I won't allow that. The bookshelves are mine and the one thing I keep free of clutter because I like to be able to browse my books without having to move stuff out of the way.
He claims the fact I own all these books and won't throw any of them out is the same thing as his collection of bit, pieces and obsolete machinery. It isn't. I actually use my books. So there.
Tonight I am in our bedroom closet trying to find some old correspondence from my grandmother to my grandfather for another blog post and I tug on a box and something wobbles up there in the dark, shifts, plummets towards me and only fails to bash my head in because I am quick. I lept sideways into a box of old magazines that he keeps around in case he needs artistic inspiration (he's never looked at them since they went in there) and was clipped on the shoulder by, wait for it, a VCR.
This may not seem too odd since I'm sure there are other people out there who have them lurking in a closet. But this VCR was a Betamax. That's right, a 30 year old Betamax. That I know I threw out once because we had a "discussion" about it. He apparently rescued it on the sly and hid it up on the small shelf in our closet where I never go. It doesn't even work.
Do me a favor, please, and don't tell me how it is a museum piece and I should keep it for nostalgic reasons. I'll get enough of that from him.
I'm calling Empire Waste Management tomorrow. I'm hiring a dumpster for the weekend. The junk is going. Whenever I start to weaken when he looks at me with tears in his big brown eyes, and tries to save something no one but him would want, I will remember that his collection almost killed me tonight.
I'll let you know how it goes. Right now I am going to go get some more ice for my shoulder. It hurts.