Out of the six seasons that it aired, I only watched the first season of Hoarders. After that, I had to walk away. I would love to say that I showed some iron clad restraint but in actuality, I was starting to feel a bit crazy. The new age people espouse a "fake it till you make it" attitude. I feared that by watching these people with this disease, my own sanity was being challenged and who the hell likes that?
But, oh, was it fascinating.
There have always been those stories on the local news about this house full of trash or that house with all the cars in the yard. When I say "hoarder," chances are a hoarding situation from your own life comes to mind. A friend, a neighbor, a loved one, you?
There was an animal hoarder in Santa Monica when I was a kid. The whole front yard was gravel. In other words, there were 30 cats and the whole front yard was a litter box.
A girlfriend of mine got her money back from an apartment she had just moved into when it was revealed that the upstairs neighbor had crammed a suburban house worth of his dead mother's furniture into a small, NYC one-bedroom. Turns out there simply wasn't enough room for my friend, this dude, and ALL THE BEDBUGS he was hosting.
I can think of three people's houses growing up where there were some stuff issues. One house was the we-can't-keep-up-with-toys-and-laundry house. Three kids. Two parents. It looked like one of those snow globes but instead of flakes of glitter it was an endless rain of Legos, lunch boxes, socks, musical instruments, bottles, dolls, and hair bows that went all over the place. Not dirty. More like the house was covered in a consistent layer of overspending.
The other two houses must have been pretty bad because I wasn't allowed inside. You threw an old Visine or Tylonol bottle at a window and the kid would come out. I don't know why, but there was always an old Visine or Tylonol bottle handy. Does hoarding hurt your head? Does it irritate your eyes?
Ever worked with a hoarder? Uuuuuncomforatble. And not because there are tons of things on their desk, walls, shelves, or floor. It's that they tend to talk to you about objects with a dreamy, misplaced tenderness. Work with a non-hoarder, you have to look at pictures of their kid in a school play. Work with a hoarder, you have to sit there as they wistfully turn the pages of a recently unearthed Power Point presentation they put together back in 2004 about an issue that was resolved in '07 for a person who got fired in '08. Awkward.
Hoarders the show was cancelled but I'm sure the reruns can keep us gawking for the next few years. Perhaps it's time to put down the remote control and deal with our own mess. I for one am more of a mental hoarder. I remember way too much useless stuff and have infused all entries with useless emotions, to boot. You think I forgot that time you ate my last yogurt? I'll never forget, you dick! It was fucking blueberry!
Like I said right from the start, Hoarders challenged my own sanity and no one likes that.