Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Mom was the pack-rat; Dad was the neat freak. She was Oscar Madison, he was Felix Unger.

Mom kept things long past their usefulness. She didn't quite qualify as a hoarder, but it was close sometimes. She'd write a phone number or address on whatever was handy at the time but never quite get around to copying them into her phone book. Ditto recipes. She'd keep mail stuck in drawers or cabinets and was never able to find a specific letter or bill when she needed it. 

Dad, on the other hand, despised clutter. He liked things neat and often threatened to replace all of our tables with gigantic funnels so Mom would have nowhere to put stuff. He was a minimalist in the truest sense of the word. A place for everything, everything in its place. If he needed something, he knew where it was. Mom could never find anything.

Mom liked to go to garage sales on Wednesdays. She'd come home with a bunch of stuff she was never going to use. She'd take everything to our storeroom until she found a suitable place for each of her treasures. 

Next time she went out, Dad would haul all of it out to the dumpster.

This pattern repeated every week for several years. Mom and Dad are gone now, as are Mom's garage sale "treasures," but Collin and I are carrying on the family tradition. I'm not the obsessive neat freak I used to be, but I do have issues with clutter...and a storeroom full of crap to deal with. Collin, well, he has a lot of good traits, but he also has the pack rat gene.

I wonder if there's a twelve-step program for pack rats?


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