My partner Sara says I’m a hoarder. I prefer to think of myself as a devotee of surplus—not so much a believer in excess, as advocate for plenty.
Call this what you will. We all have our crosses to bear, and having a few extras of everything lying around is Sara’s, I suppose.
This tendency toward more than enough may have been at its worst during the Haitian presidential elections last year, when we were living in Port-au-Prince and I felt the need to be especially well-supplied in the event of violence or political unrest. We had plenty of fuel for the generator, batteries for emergency lighting, and a solar powered radio to hear election results.
We were so well-supplied, in fact, that Sara laughed at me, pointing out that, including the four cans of diced tomatoes I bought the day before the election, we had a grand total of thirteen, and including the two I purchased that same morning, we had fourteen bottles of salad dressing—blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and honey mustard varies all lined in lovely rows. You see, Sara has her own issues with wanting things excessively well-ordered—tidied—so much so that before the election, for example, Sara had my fifteen two-liter bottles of Coke Zero lined up with military precision in the cupboard under the stairs—a soldiering of the surplus, so to speak.
Okay, okay, I admit it—I’m obsessed. I over-shop. I over-stock. It’s a sickness.
And, sure, I could have blamed this on the political climate in Haiti, the potential for civil unrest, the need to be well-supplied in the event of disaster. But I didn’t. No—
—I blamed it, instead, on the DNA—
—Claiming, as my grandmother did when my aunt asked why she had so much toilet paper—a floor-to-ceiling-sized pantry full—
“I’m keeping it so all the hoarders don’t get it!”
What supplies are surplus-ed in your pantry?
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