In the wake of the spontaneous and unpredicted carpet purchase, and the desire to have it done right away, I failed to consider the breadth and depth of the repercussions. It turns out that faster is not necessarily better (what a surprise!). So today the carpet layers are here with their strange knee-bangy things, and smelly glue and miles of carpet and underlay.
When the burly carpet installer man arrived this morning, he sported a spritely smile and flitted between the three bedrooms. His bulk moved so lightly from room to room he was almost an apparition. “All ready for us then?”
“hmmmm. Yes. Fun. No, it’s not.” I mumbled something along those lines.
“Worse than moving house, most people say,” the physical contradiction in front of me replied. The man was built like a brick shit house, yet, was as light as a feather. Very strange.
Again, I digress.
The thing is, it is worse than moving house. Instead of moving all your crap out into a truck, you have to deposit it in spare space around the house. What to do when ‘spare space’ is at a premium?
Early this morning I walked into the main bathroom to retrieve my son’s toothbrush – and it hit me – hoarders. Yes, Hoarders. The TV show, more specifically. I had always wondered how they could live with the mountains of rubbish around them. How is it that they could function?
Well, standing in my bathroom this morning it came to me. They were safe. They were secure in their cocoons of furniture and papers, cushions and discarded cat litter trays (okay, maybe the litter trays are a step too far – that I cannot understand.) I stood in the bathroom, the tub piled high with the contents of the bedroom wardrobes – outdoor furniture cushions, spare bedding and old doonas kept for ‘emergencies’ (what the hell constitutes a doona emergency?) Bedclothes from all 3 beds, lamps, blankets and towels spilled down the sides of the mountain inside the tub. Rails from the spare bed, the dismantled bed from Number 1 son’s room and assorted other paraphernalia and whatsits were deposited around the compact room. I stood among this higgledy-piggeldy jumble of assorted bits of our lives, and I felt safe. I felt insulated. I felt calm.
I felt calm, but I also knew it was temporary, and that it was not how I would like to live my life. I would rather ask my husband or son for a hug, or climb into bed under the heavy winter covers if I needed a little respite, a little calm and safety. We all need a little calm, and a little assured safety now and then. Being strong all the time is exhausting.
So next time you see Hoarders, don’t judge. If you feel like you just can’t understand it, gather some supplies, like all your outdoor furniture cushions, every doona in the house (duvet if you are from the UK, quilt if US, etc), some scatter pillows and a few hard items like a chest of drawers or a bedside table. Make yourself a little bunker, a place to shelter you from the world. And see if you don’t feel just a little bit better.