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Have I Got a Deal for You!

If a scientist could figure out a way to take a picture of the actual bits of information stored in my brain, the photo would be featured on the next particularly horrifying episode of Hoarders.

Those of you who know me might wonder if I am overestimating the amount of paraphernalia in my brain; many people assume there is nothing in there. But I assure you that this girl’s noggin is packed full of information.  It’s just that most of it is completely useless to me.  Or to anyone else, for that matter.

Actually, that may not be true.  I mean, have you seen the useless things that people will buy off of eBay?  If you can auction off a dictator, why not a worthless memory?  One man’s trash, etc…

If Craig’s list had a category for worthless memories, you can bet I would be listing some things on it.  Anyone want to buy the phone number from my first house?  That one still sits on top of a pile in my brain.  How about the name of my first grade teacher?    Or the type of cigarettes my dad used to smoke before he quit over 20 years ago?  Why are these so easy to reach when I have to dig through rooms stacked with detritus to find my driver’s license number?

I’ve tried recycling them.  Turning them into passwords or tossing them into stories I’m writing.  When I tried to name our daughter after my first grade teacher so I wouldn’t have a new name to remember, my husband put his foot down.  Inexplicably, I can now remember the name of our daughter’s first grade teacher, 3 years later, but my daughter still gets called by the dog’s name on a regular basis.

I don’t have to sell these junk recollections.  I’d be fine with setting them on the porch for Goodwill to pick up.  Or paying for a storage unit for my memories in The Cloud.

But, since there seems to be no “approved” disposal site, I’m considering throwing some money under the table for someone to pack all of that trash away to an illegal dumping ground.

Or lighting a match and collecting the insurance.

Anyone looking for some extra cash?

Name this Phobia…

I am obsessed about death.  Well, not about death, itself.  More about what happens afterwards.  No, this is not going to be a religious rant.

I am worried about dying and people subsequently discovering what a horrible slob I am.

I have an anxiety that I will die one day, and people will go through my house and declare, and rightly so, that I was a very mess person.  Why I would care after I’m dead, I don’t know, but it’s a fear. Apparently not a well-documented fear, as I discovered when I Googled it in a failed attempt to find an actual name for this fear. (Ataxophobia, the fear of clutter doesn’t quite describe it.  People who suffer from that condition apparently actually clean on a regular basis.)

For those of you who know me, let me assure you that I don’t plan on this happening any time soon (the dying part).

Anyone who has seen the very untidy state of my house would probably doubt that I have ever given cleanliness a second thought.  However, I think about it quite a bit.  I just don’t actually act upon it as often as I should.

I think it started with C.S.I.  When they showed graphic pictures of people who had been horribly murdered on the street, I didn’t blink an eye.  But when they showed dead bodies in houses full of clutter, that kind of made me think about the uninvited people who get to wander around your house after you die – particularly if it is a not-so-normal expiration.

The onslaught of reality shows like Hoarders did not help to alleviate my phobia.  Most people that watch that show are thankful that their homes are not that bad.  Conversely, I watch that show and begin to hyperventilate.  Sure, you can walk through my house now without towers of old computers falling on top of you, but I bet the people on T.V. had a time before the piles overtook them, too.  Could that junk drawer in the kitchen where I keep old birthday candles signal the beginning of my descent into Hoardership?

Some weekends I will frantically empty out entire closets and fill up bags of things for Goodwill, energized by the fear of dying with mismatched Tupperware strewn around my pantry.  I clean out drawers, organize shelves, and dump out boxes.  Only to find that they magically disorganize and clutterize themselves again within a matter of weeks.

The good news is that I will never commit suicide because I’ll never think my house is clean enough.

There has seriously got to be a name for this.  I can’t be the only person that suffers from this syndrome/phobia/virus thing.  I am trying to sensibly confront my fear, but it would help if it had some kind of clever moniker like Triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13 – God I love that word!).  Your job is to identify this disease and, more importantly, let me know if you, too, suffer from it!

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