For some reason I have been thinking a lot about hoarders lately.
Maybe it's because there's quite a bit of gift-giving and receiving going on right now, which often results in the accumulation of stuff. I myself am not a hoarder. On some level, however, I can sympathize with those people who find it emotionally impossible to ever throw anything away. While I often have to restrain myself from throwing away every last toy in the house, I do have specific types of items that I find myself compulsively storing away, year after year.
I recently mentioned that I like practical gifts. On the occasions that I receive a particularly lovely or fine practical present, I find that I can't make myself use it. Instead, I find myself carefully storing them, only pulling them out of their little hiding places a few times a year to gaze upon them fondly.
It's kind of starting to bother me that I do this.
The last time I pulled out the storage box from under my bed and caught sight of the beautiful letter-sealing kit Derek gave me years ago, I swear that I went into some kind of fugue state, gently caressing the sticks of wax and metal stamp. When my children finally found me, it was all I could do not to throw the items under the bed before they could see them and demand that I share.
I find this behavior in myself disturbing and borderline unhealthy. I'm afraid that if I'm not careful, next time I won't just hurriedly hide my beloved objects, I will instead starting stroking them and whispering, "My precious," then hissing things like, "What has it got in it's pocketses?" when I see my children.
At least it was a gold ring that Gollum loved. I would instead be holding things like the reams of Lisa Frank paper I refused to write on as a child because they were just too pretty.
Because I do try to correct odd behavior in myself (when the mood strikes me, anyway), I tried to use the letter-sealing kit. I love to write letters to my far-flung friends, and decided a wax-sealed envelope would communicate some extra care and affection.
I burned two fingers and caught three envelopes on fire, and decided there are worse creatures out there to be compared to than Gollum.
Like Stalin. Or maybe Satan.