A Confession of Agglomeration

I’m an “agglomerator”.

Well, maybe not a total agglomerator, I don’t accumulate things just to gather them around me in a rounded mass. Unless it’s pillows. And I’m trying to fall asleep…but that’s a whole other story.

But, I am a bit of a hoarder.

Luckily, not like the kind that has been the focus of a number of reality series and fodder for news magazine shows. I don’t keep everything. I don’t collect plastics and electronics just “incase” I might need them some day. I don’t feel out of control if I have to get rid of something in order to make room for something else. If I replace an item with a new one I happily get rid of the old. And oftentimes I find purging “stuff” cathartic.

What I do hoard, however, are things, articles that I’ve deemed “special”‘ in my own peculiar way.

Example #1. I have some lovely ecru coloured towels with subtle vine-like filigree charmingly stitched. They lay perfectly folded over my towel rack in my guest bath. They’ve never been used. Not that I don’t have guests, but when people do visit I give them the big fluffy red beach towel I received as a going away gift when I moved out of the house to go to university almost twen… well, let’s just say a long, LONG time ago. I lay the towel nicely on the bed in the guest bedroom along with a hand towel, face cloth and pretty packet of wrapped and ribboned soap. This bath ensemble screams “use this towel and don’t dare touch the special ones draped over the towel rack…but you’re special enough for pretty soap.”

Example#2. I have two adorable dresses hanging in my closet. They were once expensively priced but I lucked out and got both of them on sale (am I the only one that views friendly, cheerful, yellow “on sale” tags on garments as little signs from God?) One dress is a pink, brown and white “Pucci print” and the other is a little black Audrey Hepburn-esque number. I’ve had both for about two years and have yet to wear either of them. During the course of these two years, I’ve gotten too chubby for them, and then have lost the weight, then have gained the weight, now have lost it again. I don’t know what special occasion I’m waiting for. A coronation perhaps? Sadly they still have their sales tags hanging forlornly on their sleeves.

Example #3 I have a couple of books (ok ten) I’m saving for vacation. The only problem is I’ve been on vacation and back a number of times and still haven’t packed them along with me. Two of the books are Imperium by Robert Harris and the other The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penny (which I’ve started, and liked, but have yet to complete). I guess my vacation destinations have yet to warrant a foray into Cicero’s ancient Rome or the Pre-Cambrian shield of 1867. But yet I continue to add volumes to my cache of literature before finishing (or starting for that matter) the ones I already own.

I think this “hoarding” of sorts exists because when I was growing up we saved the “good” things for special occasions. My father was a farmer and my mother was a teacher who took time off work to raise her daughters. Superfluous cash we had not. I remember having only a few good “church” dresses (sewn by my mother). I only had one Barbie (Sweet 16 Barbie I’ll have you know) Special treasures were a silver charm bracelet from my aunt that was kept in a blue box in the top drawer of my mother’s dresser and a little white communion gloves with pink stitched flowers at the cuffs that were also kept in the top dresser drawer. Once in a while Mom would pull both the bracelet and the gloves out for us to wear if only for a minute or two.

Now, I must be like a crow, or raven. I see something sparkly and pretty and shiny and new and I take it and hide it away. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to present itself. The exact alignment of stars to tell me that now is the time

to use or to wear

to show or to share

the treasures I’ve found.

Or maybe I’m waiting for a time when I feel that I really deserve it, or special enough to warrant its usage.

But if one is to truthfully live in the moment, to gloriously revel in what the day brings, then every day is the perfect day to break out the new dishes, or use the good towels, or wear the pretty dress and the sparkliest bracelet.

…tonight’s decompression therapeutic bubble bath will include the usage of the guest towels..


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