~ honest. sincere. embarrassing. funny. with a healthy dose of sarcasm. ~

Thursday, January 19

Confessions of a packrat....while I'm trying to make soup and water my flowers.

Hi, my name is Jessica - and I'm a Packrat.

There. I said it.

I have every letter that was ever written to me, I have 3 memory boxes, I have a journal from Grade 1 and every diary I've written since then. I have weird objects that are the physical form of a memory ie; 80's sunglasses, a T-Shirt sleeve, a paper chef's hat with "MkFreak Dough Chic" on the side, a feather, and all 247 four leaf clovers I've found.
I even have my baby teeth and Tim's cast from his broken leg.

I know I get a little carried away sometimes...but I am a sentimental person and I love having the memories from everything I've experienced.

However, the man I married is the furthest thing from a pack rat that you will ever meet. His philosophy is; "if we haven't used it in 3 days -- we don't need it!" When we first moved in together he had a shoebox of his belongings - I had about 47 gigantuous boxes. It's like he walks around my house with a garbage bag permanently grasped in his hands looking for things to throw in it. He has thrown away 3 sleds - because he didn't want to store them for the summer. And every winter we go through the same predicament of having to buy a sled when we want to go sliding. He throws away Christmas cards the day after we get them ("What's the point in keeping them? I've already read them!") He throws away my bubble bath and shower gel because he figures I should only need one bottle at a time. He can't stand clutter....and anything that might not be used regularly is clutter.

But the last stunt he pulled, I have to say, is the worst one yet.

I went up north last week for 2 days - knowing that we were going to be showing our house on the day that I got back. I said to Hillary on the drive up "I know I'm going to come home to a bunch of things missing...."

Sure enough -- 15 garbage bags full of stuff!!

Slowly, I'm starting to notice things that are missing -- as I've needed them. I went to water my plants and find the jug missing.

"But, we already have a juice jug"

"Yes, but that wasn't a juice jug - it was the jug to water my plants with."

"Well, use something else."

"I don't have anything else, because YOU THREW EVERYTHING ELSE AWAY!!"

I went to make soup and can't find the barley;

"Was that the litttle bag of seedy things that I threw away?"


"Yeah, and that powdery stuff"

"Beef soup mix, Garnet?....are you serious?"

Upon seeing my face he figures he should justify his stupidity; "Well, I didn't know what they were!!! You should have had labels on them if you didn't want me to throw them away."

"Yeah that makes perfect sense, Garnet. I do the cooking - and I know what they are...end of story. Maybe if you spent a little more time in the kitchen you'd know what beef soup mix and barley were."

Garnet's making supper tonight.

I think I'll alphabetize my memory boxes in my free time....(they are %100 off limits to his garbage bag obsesssion!)


Hilsy said...


Garnet a.k.a. your husband said...

Hmmmm my wife being a packrat for the record is an UNDERSTATEMENT! She keeps everything. I believe in hanging on to things that are functional, practical, and even sentimental. However, I cannot comprehend why my wife hangs on to things just for the sake of doing so. It doesn't take very long before our house is cluttered, especially since it’s small and storage areas are almost non-existent. I begin thinking to myself - "Man, our cupboards, closets and countless other places are chalked full with...well...junk and other rarely used articles. I think I'm going to organize them and toss a few items"...then my wife comes home...oh no!

The moment she sees the house a little barer than when she left, I prepare to batten down the hatches because I know World War III is about to commence. For the next several months, I will hear her complain about how she can’t live without something I threw away and she will play detective and promptly begin looking around the house for missing items and replace them. In addition to replacing missing items that have little or no purpose, she will add to her collection by purchasing more things to store in dozens of obscure locations throughout the house! This is done mostly out of spite more than anything - which I guess defeats the whole purpose of spring cleaning - which by the way should done at the beginning of EVERY season in our house.

The main reason I decide to conduct massive cleaning audits while my wife is gone for a few days is simple – if she were here, we would spend hours and maybe even days moving ‘valuable junk’ from one part of the house to another….which in my humble opinion is not organizing or cleaning; though my wife will argue this point until I accept defeat. I’ll admit, sometimes I go a little over the top, but this time round there was nothing discarded exceptionally worth keeping. Did I mention that the bag of barley I threw away didn’t have enough in it to feed a mouse?!

Seriously, it’s not like I started pitching sentimental items that bring back memories or important bits and pieces we should keep. Speaking of memories, Jessica has her closet over flowing with memory boxes. In fact, she has more Rubbermaid totes in her closet than Wal-Mart has in stock at any given time! That is one closet I stay away from….leaving fingerprints on those boxes would have severe consequences!

What can I say, opposites attract. I hate clutter and my wife thrives on it. In every nook and cranny of our house you will find something my wife has stashed away long ago and has since forgotten about it. It’s only when I mention throwing it out that she remembers she had it! For instance, she has at least five different kinds of bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc, etc, etc. Some of these products she has had for over 4 years and used maybe once. So, I throw out what she doesn’t use and keep the rest. Makes sense to me, but definitely not to her.

This experience has taught me that instead of trying to receive credit and praise from my wife for cleaning, I should just be quiet after conducting an enormous cleaning frenzy. Odds are, if I keep my mouth she will never notice….and despite not getting any pats on the back, its better that way!

P.S. I am considering my own blog just so I can better defend myself against my wife!!

Michelle said...

i have a similar problem, except, kurt doesn't throw my things out, thank goodness! but, he does put things where i will never, ever find them!! so irritating! just when i'm rushing around to get 4-6 kids out the door, i can find hats or mittens.. arg!!

i'm not quite a packrat like you, but my hubby can also be irritating!

the salmon said...

well garnet, i think its great that you got to voice your side of the story. i think its nice that you read jessi's blog. keeps the communication open, even if its in print!

Jessi said...

you're the best honey.(the link to your name is too perfect!) i still love you, even if you throw all my stuff away;)

not to be cheesy - but we definitely have learned how to complete eachother.

obviously amanda, it's fun to share the predicaments that we can laugh about....but our real communication isn't shared on the blog!! i don't know how healthy that would be for a marriage!!

Anonymous said...

ok, you guys are freaking hilarious! seriously it is like listening to dan and i in action! jess, same problem over here, and dan goes on cleaning sprees and throws out the most ridiculous things. he agrees that if it hasn't been used in the past year that we definately don't need it and that just *(&*@&^$ me off! then i have to go out and spend the money on another one when he does need it!!! oh and don't even begin to talk about the memory boxes! at least yours are in totes! mine are everywhere, in everything and i think that makes it worse! if it was organized i think it wouldn't be as bad, but no, it's not and it creates world war 3 around here! well it's nice to see that other couples are going through similiar things as us! you guys are great!!

Anonymous said...

ok garnet, what's with the link, were you talking about yourself there, good recognition!! LOL!
come on, you know i'm right!