Chick Wit: Can hoarding be a saving grace?

Posted: September 10, 2012

I'm concerned that hoarding is getting a bad name.

And I blame cable.

I say this because I'm not a fan of clutter, but there are definitely things I save, even though I could end up on A&E.

Once again, it's not my fault.

Even my faults are not my fault.

Yes, that's the kind of grade-A attitude that got me divorced twice.

Don't try it at home.

In our culture, we get a mixed message about saving. It used to be that saving was a good thing. You saved time, you saved money, and you saved yourself for marriage.

OK, I didn't save myself for marriage.

I didn't even save my marriage.

And both were excellent decisions.

Also in the olden days, someone who loved you wrote you love letters, and you saved them. When you stopped loving him and realized he was a jerk, you threw the letters away. Or burned them. Or showed them to your girlfriends and had a good laugh.

Not that I ever did this.

But it was fun.

To review, it used to be that saving was a good thing, and people were told to do more of it. When TVs broke, we repaired them, and when shoes wore out, we resoled them.

We saved our soles.

But no more.

When TVs break, we throw them away, and you'd travel far to find a shoe repair. Everything's disposable, and saving has become a bad thing, so I'm starting to look funny at the things I save, namely plastic bags, hotel soaps, and keys.

I can't be alone in this.

I don't know why I save plastic bags, but they do come in handy, and I end up with a ton at the end of the week. I rank them on a 1 to 3 scale, as in Yes, No, or Maybe So. I save the Yeses and the Maybe Sos.

See, I'm already starting to sound cable-ready.

But bear with me.

The bags from grocery stores are too thin, so they're a No, but the CVS bags are thicker and a pretty white, so they rank a Maybe So. The only solid Yes is the plastic bag from the Apple store, because it has actual drawstrings or, better yet, can morph into a backpack.

How could you not save that? Don't you think it will come in handy, when you wear your plastic outfit?

I would bet money that 9 out of 10 women would save an Apple plastic bag if Bravo weren't watching.

And now, in California, they're telling you to save plastic bags and reuse them.

Recycling is politically correct hoarding.

Consider hotel soaps, which I love for their fragrance as well as their cuteness, those miniature shells, balls, or bars, usually in pastel shades that scream guest bathroom. I save them, though I'd never put them in the guest bathroom.

It's not impressive when your soaps say Hilton.

Especially if your towels say Ritz-Carlton.

Just kidding.

My only excuse for saving hotel soap is that I use it upstairs and don't have to buy bar soap as often. Never mind that few things are cheaper than bar soap. If you built a house of bar soap, it would cost you $36.75.

With a coupon.

The last thing I save is keys.

Truly, I don't know why. I have old keys everywhere in my house, from all the stages of my life. I have no idea what they unlock, yet I cannot bring myself to throw them away.

I could get locked out.

Or locked in.

Which is worse, and who knows?

I should throw them away, and set myself free.

I smell a metaphor.

Or maybe that's the hotel soap.


Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's essay collection, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter," in paperback Sept. 18. Also look for Lisa's latest novel, "Come Home." Visit Lisa at scottoline.com.

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