Hoarder – or Hero?

I have learned that there is a very fine line between hoarding and being prepared.  Maybe they cover this in Boy Scouts.  I don’t know.  Since I’m not a boy.  And I have never been any type of scout.  Scouting implies, to me, finding your way around.  And that is definitely not one of my strengths.

Anyway, my husband and I often have arguments about what should be thrown away.  Pretty much 95% of what he owns – according to me.  Nothing ever – according to Cap’n Firepants.

I can honestly say that I have never regretted anything I’ve deliberately thrown away.  (Accidental disposals do not count.  I did not intend to throw my engagement ring in the garbage; it slipped off of my finger.)  Despite this stellar track record, however, the Cap’n rarely listens to my advice.  And trust me, I give it to him often.

Here is the most recent example:  We can’t use our old dog bowls on the new concrete floors because the rubber on the bottom counteracts with the stain in the floor.  The Cap’n bought new ones.  I had almost released the old ones into the garbage can when the Cap’n said, “Wait!”

I looked down at the dingy, slobber-covered bowls in my hand, and looked back at him.

“Tell me one thing you plan to use these for in the next year,” I challenged.

He was silent.  Into the garbage went the bowls.

That night, I looked up at our kitchen ceiling fan.  One of the blades had split in half.  To me, this was an opportunity.  I’ve hated that ugly fan since we moved in.  It’s in a dumb place, and it’s, well, hideous.  I pointed out the broken fan blade to the Cap’n.

He looked up.  “I can fix that,” he said.

“How?” I said, doubtfully.  I pictured Dimples’ Skull and Crossbones duct tape adorning our fan.  Which might actually be an improvement.

“I have replacement blades.”


“From the fans we took down in the other rooms.  I kept the blades.”

He KEPT THE BLADES OF THE FANS WE HATED SO MUCH THAT WE TOOK THEM DOWN  – “just in case”.  And now there was a case.

I hate it when hoarding comes in handy.

I deliberately left it dusty so you would be more likely to agree with me about its ugliness. As for the popcorn ceiling - yeah, hate that too.

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Annoyances, Cap'n Firepants, Family, Humor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. I have never seen a ceiling fan do that before! Um, my Lance is so going to be like Cap’n. But, he would have insisted on keeping the old dog bowls. God bless his future wife.

  2. I agree that the line between hoarding and being prepared is Very Fine. It’s a line I struggle with!

  3. I’m the hoarder… I can’t toss anything that might come in handy. I’d win an award for being the ‘tightest’ woman in Ireland, I think… I blame my Scottish heritage. I’d have kept the bowls as something to set underneath potted plants outside.

  4. Ha, this is great. And it hits home, except I’m the hoarder and my husband is the purger. It’s an ongoing joke that if, after 20 years, we ever divorced, it would be because he threw something of mine away.

    By the way, have you tried a throw rug or doggie mat for the bowls? Or does WonderButt knock his bowls around? Somehow I think that’s not an option for WonderButt.

  5. I totally know what you mean!

  6. My husband NEVER throws anything away…someday I will write about it, as soon as I can make it sound funny (as you did) and not…um….sad.
    And I would get a new ceiling fan (and let him keep the old parts in the attic).

  7. My husband is a hoarder too. Once I even found his father’s old dressing gown in a cupboard, all mildewy. He wouldn’t let me throw it out even though he wasn’t particularly fond of his father who had died over 50 years ago – go figure!

  8. Great post!!! You should write books! 🙂 We laughed all the way through… as for hero or hoarder… well…
    um… er… um… never mind….. hehehe

    Your friends,
    the collies and chuck 🙂

  9. You may not believe it, but I have the SAME FAN in our family room. It makes a lot of noise because it’s “unbalanced” according to hubby. Probably from the popcorn up there 😉

    • See? We didn’t need to keep the old blades from other fans. I could have just posted this, and you could have sent me one of yours. Then your hubby would find that it was really, really unbalanced!

  10. You are a hero! We got through the same thing in my house. Usually, I, too, become the hero. Hooray for saving the day! 🙂

  11. I feel your pain. A few years ago I conquered my “keep it because I might need it one day” mindset. Still can’t get hubby to accept it completely but I sneakily throw stuff out when he isn’t around. My biggest advice is to hide it carefully in the garbage. I sometimes think those un-needed items call out to him because he has more than once brought stuff back in the house. My sisters have a collecting/hoarding problem. Not the disgusting dirty places you see on TV, but they won’t throw ANYTHING out. My dad was like that too. I know it is in my blood but fight on we must. Clear out the stuff that is weighing us down and do a happy dance in the uncluttered space.

    And lastly, I think you deserve a new fan. Mention that something pretty will be a selling point of your house and that you want to enjoy it for years before that happens. Good luck.

  12. Impressive for the Cap’n I’ll hold on to stuff for years, finally throw it, then need it two weeks later.
    Hey, if you have the space to store it…

  13. My husband always states: I could build that – my response is always – but will you?

  14. That’s hilarious and annoying. I want to throw everything away, too. My boyfriend even keeps ALL of his emails in his inbox. Even the pointless junk ones. If they ever come in handy I will shut up about it.
    “You could probably just delete them as you get them.”

  15. I feel your pain. I live with a hoarder and we have two old ceiling fans in the garage!

  16. My Dante is the hoarder in our house. He hides cookies and chewies everywhere…like he’s never gonna get fed so keep them just in case. I can’t figure out what causes this hoarding mentality. Perhaps Cap’n Firepants can give me some insight?

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