Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Genetic Risk Factors for Hoarding




Bear with me if this doesn't look right. Switching to Linux has me wrestling with a new suite of tools. Gimp for image editing is still a stretch for me. (Really, I just want to crop and rotate--does that need to be so complicated?) And losing Windows Live Writer for layout is more of a drag than I expected.

Ah, the sacrifices we make for our typecasting!


  1. At first, I thought the title of your post was hyperbole, but after reading it, I realize you were serious. Yikes.

  2. Thanks for the good read. My mother was in the same category when it came to saving wrapping paper and all kinds of useless detritus. She grew up poor and came from a addiction prone family.

    Your post gives me pause to think about the tendencies I've inherited. I very intentionally rip up wrapping paper and we cull newspapers on a regular basis. But old technology is a different matter. It has intrinsic value, right?

  3. Winston,

    At first I thought you were joking but there is real concern and emotion in your post. You don't sound like your grandmother with her posessiveness. But we tend to accumulate stuff, more than we can actually use, that pertains to our interests. And that stuff can be hard to get rid of. It's not for the sake of posession but "just in case" of ... (Fill in the blank.)

    A few suggestions. Learn from your grandmother's behavior and what to avoid. I suspect you already have. Sounds like she possessed a lot of stuff but didn't enjoy any of it. What a shame.

    Unless you or your mother have a legal obligation, stay away from her step-father. There is no way to please people who are that egocentric and possessive and paranoid. We went through some of that with my father-in-law after he had 2 heart attacks and a brain aneurism and had to go into assisted living. (Our other parents are all long gone.) He made the same accusations you've heard. The only thing that ended it was he is 900 miles away and is somewhat afraid of me. He believes if he causes my wife too much grief (she has power of attourney) he is in serious trouble. It's silly, but that's what it took to shut him up about his supposed valuables. (They weren't valuable.)

    We realize the years ahead are fewer than those behind us. It helps to clear things out and focus when you don't want to waste time wallowing in "just in case" junk.

    BTW, the paper bags (not too many) are working out great for sketching and with the Olympia SG1. That machine mangles most paper but the bags hold up. That lets me use one of my favorite typewriters again.

    Hope this wasn't too verbose.

    Jeff The Bear

  4. Dwayne - Old technology DOES have an intrinsic value. I think what I most enjoy is the experience of using it again. Even using it until I wear it out. Which IS different from my grandmother's "save it and let it rot" approach.

    Jeff - My mother does still have some legal ties to the man, but she gets away with only seeing him once or twice a year. After their last encounter she's decided to only see him at restaurants or lawyer's offices. The more witnesses the better, with that man. (Another one of the things he loves to collect are lawsuits.)

    As I said, there's a lot more to the story, and for the past couple years I've been trying to decide whether to go the novelization route or write it as a memoir. Given what happened to James Frey, I'm thinking fiction would be safer. Some of what that man did goes beyond belief, anyway.