It would make me feel immeasurably better if I am not the only one in the world with this strange affliction: you see, I am a hoarder. Not just any hoarder, I’m a save-the-best-for-last type of hoarder. This is a peculiar creature that likes to get the best they can and then puts it aside for a special occasion when it can be worn or used in pomp and glory to full effect. Unicorns and rainbows may appear and confetti will fall from a perfectly blue sky when this happens.
A beautiful handmade black silk dress with appliqué red roses bought on an overseas trip; a gifted bottle of vintage cuvée; a collection of early edition books inherited from my late grandfather, all unread; my favourite luxury lipstick; a vial of limited edition perfume; a fat wedge of lovely Nanna cheese from Bruny Island; and half a dozen eye shadow palettes that collectively cost me two weeks’ rent.
These are all possessions I have essentially perfectly preserved since acquisition. I certainly value them, and not always for the dollars they cost. Sentiment, scarcity and attaching each to a particular life occasion tug at my sense of guilt and keep me from using them.
Of course all of the above could be put to the most perfect use if I were, say, invited to a dinner party, at Versailles, also to be attended by Queen Rania of Jordan, Michael Fassbender, Neil Tyson Degrasse, Anthony Bourdain, Lupita Nyong’o and Samuel Clemens among other distinguished guests including my nearest and dearest. I would share the wine but keep the cheese in my minaudière for those pesky 2.25am hunger pangs that come out of nowhere (you know them?). The books would keep me company as I delicately gnaw on the cheese.
I wager the chance of aforementioned party proceeding is roughly as slim as the lovely Jennifer Carpenter’s waist. Knowing which one should:
- Refrain from purchasing any more items that remotely resemble existing stock
- Put some effort into using these beautiful things and fully appreciating them
Short of throwing the described lavish dinner myself, at this rate, my precious possessions will probably never leave the museum. And mind you, even with best efforts, we would at the very least have a guest missing
Delayed gratification is not isolated to me – are you lowering your eyes in mutual, mild shame? I am aware keeping all my wonderful things for a future time only robs me of their enjoyment now. Some of these items probably will not survive the wait, cheese and dress inclusive. I read about a woman who had nearly a hundred bottles of perfume she had kept for decades, all rather immaculate. They should’ve fetched a handsome price upon sale except for the fact that nearly each one had gone off and was no longer of any use.
And it’s not just the fancy stuff I save for later. I won’t bother making myself a decent meal if it is just me wanting dinner. The Lululemon gear only makes an appearance if I will be running in daylight. In the past 3 years, I have lived in 2 houses with bathtubs yet never soaked in a hot bath in either. Tracksuit pants are my daily uniform once I get home from work, never mind the countless items of clothing in my wardrobe.
Am I waiting for a certain doomsday? Am I worried about using things up and then no longer having them? Is it the finality of it all? Maybe a little bit of everything. Which is rather silly – possessing things for the sake of possessing them is absurd. Yet, this is what I have been doing. This is what a lot of people, especially women, do. Why? Oh the futility of it all. I am sensible. But I don’t do sensible things some times.
When we moved a couple of years ago, we couldn’t take everything with us as we were relocating interstate. The number of unused items I had to either throw or give away was staggering and caused my eyes to moisten uncontrollably. I had hoarded them and neither benefited from their use nor saved my pocket and heart the trouble of acquisition. So, naturally, promises were made to self to avoid amassing the total wealth of Andorra in the form of multiples of existing foods and vanities. I was good for a while but I am even better at falling off the wagon.
At the start of this year, I reminded myself to shop my stash, and not just for cosmetics. I can’t say I have been particularly diligent with staying the path. But I have gotten a lot better at living the moment. I don’t believe in an afterlife but I do think heaven is what you make of your life here and now. Waiting for a long chain of stars to align is futile.
So what if date night is watching old Bond movies on the couch with takeout? What does it matter that the only person who will see me today is me? Will consuming the last of the honey caramel tea make it extinct? Who cares if I wear TF Cherry Lush to casual Friday at work?
Special is here, special is now, special is what you make of the moment. I cringe to have to borrow this catch phrase but it is rather apt: «We’re worth it»
The dress no longer fits . . . . but I’m determined to eat, drink and wear all my favourites out and make every day an occasion. For now, I am going to find me that last season of Gilmore Girls and see what happened in the end.