My partner Sara says I’m a hoarder.
She insists on this—especially when I
lamely claim otherwise. I prefer to think of myself as a supporter of surplus—not so much a believer in excess, as an advocate for plenty.
Call it what you will. We all have our crosses to bear, and having a few extras of everything lying around is Sara’s, I suppose.
Some of you may recall that Sara has accused me of this before—of collecting things like empty cat food cans—of saving labels, boxes, buttons. She seems to believe that she’s the trash-savvy half of our relationship.
However, around this time of year we begin amassing a grocery surplus, as well. If one can of Libby’s pumpkin is good, then a dozen’s better. If a sign at Kroger reads, “Buy 10, get 1 free,” then believe you me, we do just that. Who doesn’t favor free?
Now, Sara is as guilty of the grocery grabbing as I am. She’ll claim otherwise. But she’s likely lying.
She’ll remind me that when we lived in Haiti, I once stock-piled, according to her count, 13 cans of diced tomatoes and 14 bottles of salad dressing. Now this is factually accurate, but it’s the context of this collecting that matters more—that when we could find an item we really wanted in the our Haitian grocery store, it was wise to stock up. We might not see it again for weeks—if not a lot longer. It was a consumer-driven form of expat carpe diem.
Fast forward over a year—land in Lexington, Kentucky.
At the moment our pantry is empty—“empty” being a relative term, given our usual surplus.
And today Sara is going grocery shopping. This makes me nervous, since our food vacuum, if I can call it that, is begging to be filled—or fed, as the case may be.
So I know Sara will be buying in bulk.
I predict that today, when she returns from shopping, I’ll have to ask why.
“Why in the name of bread-crumb warehousing did you buy so much?”
She’ll inevitably insist it was on sale and remind me that collecting excess anything is an illness of genetic origin I suffer from—that my mother does it—that my grandmother was a chronic bulk buyer.
Yet, now that we’re back in the land of Sams and Wal-Mart superstores, my very own supporter-of-surplus Sara will also claim, as my grandmother once did, “I’m keeping it so all the hoarders don’t get it.”
Will the real bulk-buyer please stand up!
Is there a DNA of hoarding in your family? What supplies are surplus-ed in your pantry? When you go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, what will you buy in bulk?
Sara and I invite you to do your Black Friday, holiday shopping at idiomART, our Etsy site.
Stay tuned—a borderline-big announcement is coming in my next post!