I have a female roommate in a spare room in my home (who is also a blogger) and she posted this image of razors from my own bathroom! Imagine my surprise when I told her to delete it or I might sue her for slander (not to mention invasion of privacy!) and she simply smiled and handed me a subpoena to appear before a judge at an official Hoarder trial.
Me!? A person who defines herself first and foremost as a Sentimentalist, now forced to defend myself from Hoarder charges?! Unthinkable.
I needed witnesses. My six children would certainly help me during my desperate time of need.
Eldest Son: I don’t know, Mom. Remember when the “Got Junk?” truck parked in our driveway and you told the man, “Everything in this house is absolutely necessary and has a distinct purpose. But you can take my ex-husband.”
Me: That doesn’t make me a hoarder. That makes me clever.
Middle Son: What about the huge stack of Hoarder Self-Help books on your desk?
Daughter: What desk? Mom has a desk?
Me: Never mind, young lady. I’ll have you all know that’s not hoarding, that’s being a collector. Like the stamp collection you had at age five, sweetheart.
Middle Son: Which you still have. Along with all our other Firsts. Our first pair of real pants, shirts, dresses, pajamas, bathing suits, little hats and ties — even our first diapers.
Me: Have you ever tried to have a used diaper bronzed?
Youngest Son: (reluctantly) Okay Mom, we’ll be your star witnesses and tell the jury you’re not a Messy Mom, but actually just a Memory-Maker Mother. But when the judge yells, “Order in the court” I promise I’m gonna shout back, “Why should it be any different here than in our house?”
Me: Good kids!
On the day of my trial, I carried an armful of evidence. Nineteen very heavy 200-page photo albums bursting with pictures of children’s various school artwork, (which Martha Stewart advised was a good way to capture the memory so I could toss all those ceramic ashtrays and toothpick sculptures in actual garbage pails) so that had to count for something, right? Of course my youngest daughter creatively decoupaged all our garbage pails, so I saved all 8 of them, along with all the contents inside.
My roommate took the stand and proceeded to use the 1950’s movie “The Blob” as an analogy for living with me, “The Slob.”
Roommate: . . . and her mess slowly takes over the entire house, consuming everything in its wake like a grotesque gelatinous monster. One time the family searched high and low for their passports for a trip to Mexico. May I submit . . .
Judge: This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.
Roommate: I meant may I submit exhibit A? Her file cabinet for important documents looks like this.
Roommate: Nobody found what they needed to fly to Acapulco so the poor kids had to hang up a bunch of piñatas (which she still had in her garage from a Mexican themed party) make some guacamole, and shout “Olé!” instead. Even if they located their passports, I doubt they could even find their front door to leave!
Judge: Alright Miss, err what’s your full name?
Roommate: Fig. Fig Ment
Judge: That’s an odd name. Alright Miss Ment, I’ve heard enough from you. You may step down. We’ll bring Miss Menopause up to the stand to explain why she would have so many pink razors in the first place, which was the original issue at hand.
Me: It’s very simple, Your Honor. It’s plainly just a case of being an environmentalist AND having high self-esteem.
Judge: Fascinating. Go on.
Me: After I shave my legs, I have every intention of throwing the razor away, but then I read the package and it says, “Reusable two or three times.” So to be more green, I save it in a special container. But the next week when I go to shave my legs, I reach for the old razor and think, “I’m 51 years old, I’ve raised 6 kids, I’ve published on The Huffington Post. Don’t I deserve a fresh new razor?” And so it goes each time.
Roommate: For cryin’ out loud — They’re made to be “throwaways!” After a couple of weeks, how come the defendant doesn’t ever throw her “special” container away???!!!!
Judge: No talking out of turn. Order in the court!!
I immediately look at my youngest son, but he wisely remains silent.
Judge: (kindly) Little Miss Menopause, I had a mother just like you. Neurotic. Collected all our soap scraps and sewed them inside washcloths to save guests a step in washing their hands. You may leave the stand. We’ll hear from your roommate again about what she was doing in your bathroom in the first place. Very suspicious since she has her own bathroom!
Roommate: I had to use her bathroom because I accidentally used too much toilet paper and clogged my toilet.
Judge: Did you blog about that as well?
Judge: I’ve made my decision. Miss Menopause is nothing more than a sweet Memory-Making Mother, so she can go free. But you, Miss Fig Ment, are a Toilet Paper Hogger Clogger Blogger. And that’s a crime I cannot overlook!
Middle Son: But my mother doesn’t even have a roommate! She’s just a Fig Ment of her imagination.
Oldest Daughter: Yeah, we’re sorry to have wasted your time. Our mother is a writer and has a wild imagination. We think she just feels bad because she’s a horrible housekeeper, so she made this whole thing up.
Judge: Then the court rules that your mother is guilty of having a Guilty Conscience. And that’s punishment enough. Go home and help your mother clean the house, kids. Next case!
Thank goodness nobody told His Honor that he was also just a fabrication of my mind because I’ve had writer’s block for weeks now!