When I was about a year and half years old, my siblings were born. That’s about the same time my mom started dressing my baby sister up in some of my old hand-me-downs she was too afraid to throw away.
Until I was about 17, our garage was full of old trinkets and knick-knacks, like Legos, antiques, and woven baskets. We tried to sell all our useless crap at garage sales every summer but somehow mom would find a need for something pointless and bring it back up to the house. These worthless items ranged from old carpets and silverware to disposable vacuum cleaner bags that were reused and extra cables that would never again see the light of day.
Living with a hoarder isn’t easy. Soon enough, you start to study every object thoroughly before you toss it out as if it were the last decision you’d ever make in your life.
One could always find random useless items such as used- but not depleted- batteries, candles, and rerolled ribbons in our house. We currently still have stacks of used wrapping paper under the beds waiting to be straightened out and used for future gifts, Tupperware galore, excess sleeves, single shoelaces, puzzle pieces, a Barbie comb or two, and clothes from the 90s.
When I was six I finally understood why my mom would tear up my old underwear and keep them. The same went for my pants, shirts, and even blankets.
When I was ten, all the gifts I didn’t want for Christmas were used as birthday presents for other kids throughout the year.
When I was 15, she gave me my first eyeliner. As you’d expect, it was one of hers, but what you didn’t know, was that all that was left of it was basically the cap.
When I was 16 a pair of my favorite black pants ripped. They were sewn three times in THREE DIFFERENT AREAS before I was encouraged to buy a new one. Can you guess what happened with the triple ripped pair?
At the age of 22, I struggled to wash a plastic tray, like the kind you buy Lebanese desserts in, without breaking it, so it could be used again.
At some point in my 20s I got in an argument with my mom for making me wash a plastic Baggie that we had boxes of.
I am currently 25 and I still get yelled at for leaving a disposable Tupperware at work, even though we have enough to last us three lifetimes. I kid you not.
I still have every birthday, and Christmas card I’ve ever received, receipts to shoes I bought 10 years ago, and worksheets from the 3rd grade. Living with a hoarder kind of rubs off on you.