My future hoarding endeavours. From an episode of Hoarders I haven't even seen yet, so now I must!
Guys, I'm iiiiilll (imagine I just whined that at you. You're imagining you want to punch me in the face now, aren't you?) I think as we're all aware, the only thing you can do when you're ill is lay weakly in bed, possibly with a not too challenging book (hello Mindy Kaling, you little life saver) and definitely with some kind of crappy internet tv to watch. I mean, I'm not saying that's not what I do EVERY DAY, but it's like compulsory when you're ill.
Enter, Hoarders. Have you seen Hoarders? It's basically a programme where people with a really complex mental illness are paraded in front of tv cameras and made to throw away loads of the crap that they cherish for whatever reason. These people literally have the most wretched lives, and there's always a back story as to why they have to get rid of their stuff (my favourite examples: because otherwise your kids won't be returned to your custody, because you'll go to jail) and yet they're still physically unable to get rid of any of the hundreds of t shirts they own because, and here's a common thing 'one day they might come in handy.' So, their quality of life has gone out of the window while they hold onto all the things they might possibly need for their entire lifetimes.
Obviously what I'm saying here is that it's the greatest show ever. I mean, I've got three seasons of 30 Rock to watch on DVD, and yet I'm choosing Hoarders? Either I'm crazy, or Hoarders is amazing (note: the former is definitely more true. Seriously.)
Hoarders has got me to thinking about my own habits, anyway. I think that, to be honest, someone who lives in a bigger house than my own might come into our house and think that there's maybe someone here who has a tiny hoarding problem. I mean, nothing on the scale of what's on TV, but we have four adults living in a two bedroom house, so naturally there's some overspill, since, like, there's a limit to how many cupboards and shit that we have, but we've got nothing on like anyone who's appeared on Hoarders ever. And as for myself, I actually love throwing things away. I mean, apart from books and DVDs (if you want to talk about being a book hoarder, I'm definitely one of them, but at least I have them for a reason...) I can and often do just get rid of things that I see as kind of superfluous. Or, in other words, I don't really have that many attachments to objects (other than books) and I don't really think that anything is irreplaceable. But that's probably because I'm poor.
Since I'm so good at getting rid of things, and organising the things I do have (I've got A LOT of the things I own under my bed, and once I get rid of the like 10 cushions that are under there I'll have even more room, which nerdishly excites me) I've naturally decided that my career path should be that of a professional organiser. It honestly seems like the perfect job to me: going into other people's houses and putting their things in order and organising like systems for them? It actually sounds amazing. It would obviously get less amazing the more hoardery the client gets, but consider just organising the home of a messy person: bliss! And I'm not even a tidy person! I just, I like everything to have its place, but I don't necessarily always put it there- but knowing that everything does have a home is very pleasing to me. Yeah, I'm weird... But leave me alone cause I'm iiiill!
Anyway. I have found myself getting pretty irritated at the people on Hoarders, because they have homes of their own that they have basically destroyed/that they're not enjoying at all. When you still live with your parents, it's difficult not to think of them as ungrateful for all they have when, if I had my own little house I'd make it so nice! But it's not their fault that I don't have a house, and it's not their fault that this is the way they live- it's literally like they've replaced people with things, and then they start confusing the things with people. Like, I can't get rid of those clothes, they're a part of me. Or, I can't get rid of my junk in the backyard because it keeps me company while I'm here taking care of my alcoholic husband and schizophrenic daughter (an actual Hoarders episode. AND her eldest daughter had breast cancer, so by the end I was pretty much like 'Jesus, if it makes her happy, just let her keep it!') Anyway, they're all very sad situations, and I'd hate to have any of their lives, and yet, in TV terms, it's pure gold. It really is.
Starting next week, the BBC is showing a series on Hoarders in the UK (hopefully it's got a better title than that, I can't remember it right now...) which I expect to be maybe less extreme than the American version, but probably just as depressing. It will be better than the American version in at least one way though- cause, well, why do they do that thing where they repeat every five minutes what the situation is? Is it because no one in the US has a short term memory, or because they're trying to amp up dramatic tension? OR is it because your brains are fried by the constant adverts (seriously, so annoying) that you can barely remember your own names let alone what's happening in Hoarders? Either way (or none of the above, and reality TV is just shitty) there aren't any adverts on the BBC, so constant repeating of the same information shouldn't be necessary. Or so I hope...
Note: I've investigated further, and actually Channel 4 has the series on Hoarders, whereas the BBC thing is a one off documentary. But either way, that makes TWO programmes about hoarders. YES!