The Austin Chronicle

The Luv Doc: Hoarders!

Ever find a half-eaten Hot Pocket in the crack of your sofa?

By The Luv Doc, July 13, 2012, Columns

Dear LuvDoc,
My boyfriend is a hoarder. Our garage is completely filled with boxes of books, clothes, bikes, camping gear, etc. We can barely walk through it. Plus he keeps buying even more stuff at garage sales and thrift stores and bringing it home then never using it. It is driving me crazy. What should I do?
- Deb

Whatever you do Deb, don’t explain to him how you feel about it. That will only ruin the special love that you have for each other. The only thing worse than living with a hoarder (OK, scratch that. I can think of a staggering list of things worse than living with a hoarder, and most of them involve smooth jazz, multiple indoor cats, and the smell of burnt toast and boiling cabbage) is somebody else sleeping with your hoarder. So, while the first advice that comes to mind is the easiest answer in this scenario (move out), it might not be the best. For instance, your boyfriend might be a better-looking version of Taylor Kitsch who is hung like John Holmes, richer than Bill Gates, and sweeter than Johnny Depp – maybe he actually is Johnny Depp. If that were the case, you moving out would be more insane than his hoarding. Therefore, for rhetorical purposes, let’s just assume your boyfriend is Johnny Depp, and scattered all over your garage and around your house are Jack Sparrow costumes, Hunter S. Thompson memorabilia, and bass amps. Annoying? Absolutely. You could start by insisting that Johnny move all that shit to the garage – maybe establish some clutter-free common areas where there is some room for calisthenics. After all, you’ve probably always wanted to have wild monkey sex with Johnny on that bearskin rug in the living room, right? Hell, with enough room, you could fit a kiddie pool filled with Astroglide in there. Just sayin’. Yes, that sounds unsanitary, but so is hoarding. Ever find a half-eaten Hot Pocket in the crack of your sofa? Okay, maybe you’re not a stoner, but you get the idea. With so much stuff around, it’s hard to keep track of the chemically volatile stuff as well. It’s much easier to see a banana peel or an uneaten pizza rind on a spotless floor than it is amidst a pile of crap … excuse me … priceless treasures. So start with a room, then later, in the afterglow of the hot Astroglide-kiddie-pool monkey sex, you and Johnny can explore the idea that the time spent dealing with the inefficiencies of clutter is far greater than the time it takes to clean it up. More importantly, examining the reasons why he keeps things around might provide enlightenment on why he keeps you around … or vice versa. Be bold Deb. Be bold like Jack Sparrow.

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