The Luv Doc: Buried Alive

Making metaphorical mountains out of metaphorical molehills

The Luv Doc: Buried Alive

Dear Luv Doc,

I think my girlfriend might be a hoarder. We just moved in together for the first time at the end of July. While I was helping her move out of her apartment, I found out that a lot of the stuff I thought was her roommate's was actually hers. I couldn't convince her to get rid of it. Now we share a 600-square-foot Downtown apartment that is full of books she doesn't read, clothes she doesn't wear, and lots of little knickknacks that she says she likes to look at. All the clutter is driving me crazy. I don't think I can live like this. How do I get her to pare down?

– Buried Alive


I used to have a neighbor whose house was so cluttered with stuff that you could barely walk through it. There were just tiny aisles that you could shuffle through with your feet turned sideways. It was a fire inspector's nightmare. In fact, I can't say for certain that somewhere within all that debris there wasn't a terrified fire inspector duct-taped to a dining room chair. This dude was a collector; I don't know why that wouldn't extend to humans. Then again, maybe I am making metaphorical mountains out of metaphorical molehills.

The only reason I went into that neighbor's house was that one Halloween, in a frightening, meth-fueled frenzy of neighborliness, he popped over to my house and invited me to come see the "really cool laser light show" he had put together that was syncopated musically with some freedom rock band's live radio simulcast. Might have been the Eagles. Might have been Tom Petty or Bob Seger. The important thing is that it was someone incongruous with laser light shows: It definitely wasn't Pink Floyd. That would have been too easy.

I have to admit, he wasn't bullshitting. He actually did put together a laser light show with an ancient, refurbished-looking laser that was somehow hooked up to a big, 1970s-style stereo system. The laser beam was rather ingeniously (diabolically?) reflected via pieces of strategically placed broken mirror into a matrix that blanketed nearly the entire house.

I remember being both impressed and a little bit terrified – mainly that he had either found a way to recycle a shattered mirror or that he had shattered a mirror in service of what could very generously be described as mild insanity. As you can imagine, I side-shuffled the fuck out of there as quickly as possible – which is why I can't confirm the fire marshal theory.

My guess is that currently you're not in the same immediate peril I imagined myself to be. If your girlfriend starts smashing mirrors and snorting meth, we can talk. Until then, maybe try getting her to agree to binge-watch Marie Kondo with you. If she doesn't go for that, see if you can get her to agree to an equilibrium state whereby each new thing that comes into the apartment demands that an old thing exits the apartment. Just know that at some point, she might apply that policy to you.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to the Luv Doc, check out the Luv Doc Archive, and subscribe to the Luv Doc Newsletter.

Got opinions about food, arts, shopping, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More The Luv Doc
Luv Doc: A Taste for Ballin'
Luv Doc: A Taste for Ballin'
20-inch blades on the Impala

Luv Doc, Sept. 20, 2019

The Luv Doc: Home schooling
The Luv Doc: Home schooling
As Confucius says, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

The Luv Doc, Sept. 13, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Time to vote! Best of Austin 2019 balloting is underway   VOTE NOW