Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hoarders, Old Checkbooks and Diaries oh my!

Getting my Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning is part of a vague bigger long term plan to maybe shuffle outside of sunny Arizona to points east. But they say all journeys begin with a single step. Mine is to consider how the hell we were going to pare down all the junk we’ve accumulated over the last 25 years into something manageable. I started over winter break purging a closet here, a drawer there, I mean crap, I won’t graduate for two years. Surely I can get rid of my hoarder tendencies before then right?



One major task was to empty out our 4 drawer filing cabinet with all of our “important papers”. Do I really need canceled checks since 1985, owner’s manuals for the last three microwaves we’ve owned, and the Girl Scout Cookie Mom code of conduct? I certainly need to keep our first joint tax returns. We made $11,000 smackers, living large in 1982 (Ah no, not 1902). But I did discover a folder where I had inscribed funny musing regarding Sheldon’s upcoming birth. Now granted this was during the stone ages before they even invented that newfangled internet let alone blogs.

Excerpt from Labor and the Remote Control, circa 1989
Working in a male dominated field has caused me to realize that women’s liberation is considered to be just a blip in the road to the engineering workplace. Every Monday morning was greeted with an official waddle check, what saved me was that I was an Amazon height among my male patterned baldness peers. Then came the questions of when I would leave prior to the birth of our little bundle of joy. When informed I planned to work to the bitter end I was greeted with horrified gasps of “but we just had the carpets cleaned”. Stop it, surely I’m not the first employee to have a baby. Oh but I was, I was like a weird science experiment that went horribly wrong. I kept on cooking, after all I was eating for two. Oh yeah, Big Tuna too, wouldn’t want him to be hungry. Maybe a salad, I was 187 pounds when I popped after all.

Caesar Salad
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded into bite size pieces
3 Anchovies, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
¾ cup parmesan cheese
1 egg, coddled
1-2 lemons
½ olive oil, don’t cheat and use vegetable
Croutons to suit

Assemble lettuce, garlic, anchovies and parm cheese and toss slightly. Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil, place egg in for no more than one minute, crack and place slightly runny egg in bowl. Add olive oil and juice from lemons. The amount of lemon juice is a personal preference. I like it sour, so I may not be the best judge, you can always add more, but never take back.

Fortunately I went into labor over a weekend so I didn’t damage anyone’s delicate psyche. I nudged my beloved and whispered my contractions were 10 minutes apart. Without opening his eyes he grunted I should let him know when they were more like 5 because he needed his rest in the delivery room. After jumping up and down on his body and whining I wanted company he staggered from our snug bed. This resulted in the dogs leaping up for breakfast and walks, so much for a sympathetic back rub.

Settled into a cheerful labor and delivery our nurse offered the usual ice chips and hospital gown. She helped me into bed, fluffed my pillows and gave me the remote control. A look of confusion passed over the Big Tuna’s face. In our house, he is the remote control king complete with rechargeable batteries and Lazy Boy recliner. “I am having the baby! I should get to choose!” I proclaimed. With quivering lips he released his tug of war grasp on his real firstborn. But it was 1:00 AM and the only stinking thing on was the ESPN Sportcenter loop so it was still a win for him. (At this point I will point out this was pre HGTV, Bravo, and the Food Network so it was this or CNN)

I, of course, was one of those weenie woman who never considered anything but maximum drugs, problem was, even though my contractions were a minute apart, I was only one centimeter. “Sorry Mrs. Tuna, gotta be at least a five before your epidural, just keep breathing.” “Yes honey breath”, said my baby daddy as he fondled the remote and started idle flipping though the channels. Give me my f*cking drugs and I’ll breath, otherwise, I’m going to hyperventilate and do myself an injury and take your hands of the damn clicker.

No one here needs all the intimate details, we all have our own memories of our special moments, depending on the morphine haze level. Epidurals……are a wonderful thing….sigh. My teeth were numb, I was in my happy bubble. However, the hospital staff referred to the Big Tuna as a “fainter”. Needles in the back made him wobbly, needless to say he got a chair during delivery and his own personal spotter. But he survived that and more, sweet sixteen parties, graduations and someday he’ll walk Sheldon down the aisle. After all, she has been Daddy’s little girl from day one.

52 comments:

twelvedaysold said...

We've only been living in our place for two years and I'm surprised by the crap that has filled up every nook and cranny. When my husband and I got married 3 1/2 fateful years ago he filled up my trunk with his belongings. One computer, one guitar, a poster, a pillow that I PROMPTLY THREW AWAY (he was sleeping on that???) and a couple pairs of pants and some shirts. And now he has his very own man cave, filled with, essentially, crap. I'm so proud of him.

Krissy said...

I have adopted a new philosophy that if I haven't seen it or wanted to see it in a year, it's going out of my house! It's been hard to let some things go, but I'm happier when it's out of the house. Honest!

TalkativeTaurus.com

Beth said...

Since I've known you since the stone ages, I can remember this event vividly. So don't make me cry. I'm not wearing waterproof mascara today.

See you soon,
Your BFF from BFE

Mamma has spoken said...

I got married in 1982 too! Though I don't have our income tax return from then. I only have the past five years. Use the previous years for fire starter. Your hubby and mind sound a lot a like. When I had my first born, it was on a Thursday and he was worried that I wouldn't have the baby in time for him to go golfing (he played on a team). to this day he'll say that I purposesly kept Scott inside me so that he would miss his once a week golf game!

Ms.Wasteland said...

I'm in the middle of a major purge at my house. We haven't moved in 10 years and the crap keeps collecting.

The Zadge said...

I fainted just reading the word epidural in your post. I'm so tough.

Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

I always enjoy listening to other women's "War Stories"! When I had my two boys, the only words out of my lips during labour were "I want the Epidural"! Ahhhh, it IS a beautiful thing!

myevil3yearold said...

I married a fainter. He fainted and the doc ran to his side and I am yelling, "leave him the frick down there I am having this baby!" I was super pissed at him for stealing my thunder.

dbs said...

My wife didn't have an epidural either time. I don't know why. I think someone forgot to tell her. She's still pissed about it.

Red Nomad OZ said...

HAha! Glad you found something other than paperwork - I was beginning to think all those cancelled cheque and tax return hoardings could only mean one thing. Yes, that you're a Virgo!!

Have a great weekend!

Sausage Fingers said...

Did you get the mouse pad yet.
Cheers, Sausage...

Heather said...

Sweet story.
I am glad you came across that in your effort to anti-hoard.

I am a tosser. I throw everything away, gift certificates, addresses I needed. I can't figure out which extremem is worse.

CkretsGalore said...

I'm pretty bad for the hoarding thing but luckily I have moved a lot so I clean crap out every time.

Totally LoL'ing at the only thing being on was Sports. That will be my such luck!

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

It's possible! We downsized from a 9 room house to a 5 room apartment, 1300 miles away. Be ruthless!

My husband insisted on watching the basketball playoffs when I was in labor. I fixed his fanny...I barfed in his lap!

Accidental Baby Maker said...

haha girl you are too funny... I wish I was caught up to yesterday in my google reader... I'm still reading posts from 2 weeks ago.. but glad you brought me here... sounds DELISH!!!! You've got me craving salad... Good job!!!!

Sue said...

From one hoarder to another...YOU CAN DO IT! And? The Caesar salad? Yum-O. Might skip the anchovies, though...

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Bloody hell! I am an anal git and I can't stand hoarding stuff. So I was so worried about you emptying your cupboards that I couldn't focus properly upon the birth. Shit, maybe I need therapy?!

Missy said...

We need major help in the area of organizing!
I so could be a cat hoarder... Scary!

EmptyNester said...

I've been purging since the nest became empty. I'm in the second year. WTH?! Does it breed or keep sneaking back into the house?

ModernMom said...

Oh yes..to tackle our filing cabinets I went out and bought a shredder! There was something very satisfying about shredding all those old bills. Now if only I could find some kind of shredder for the crap in my basement!

PS Thx so much for voting for me at the #Ddrops contest today.. Your comment on my blog today made me smile and I NEEDED it:)

KLo said...

Hoarding is a double-edged sword. The down side is ... well, obvious. On the upside, we discover these true gems when we finally get around to digging through it all.

tattytiara said...

Yeah, the filing cabinet thing. Would be nice to be able to close the top drawer completely again.

From Tracie said...

I need to do a major closet clean up at my house...but I'm just too scared!

Hilary said...

We had a flood a few years ago that caused all of the "crap" we had in the basement to get ruined. It was wonderful to have to be forced to clean it up.... Sadly, my whole town had to do the same thing..

TexaGermaNadian said...

It is a good feeling organizing, but even a better feeling to go through old memories. Looks like you had a fun time doing both!
Stopped over from the Boost my Blog hop and glad I did. Have a great Saturday!
http://texagermanadian.blogspot.com/

Facing50Blog.com said...

Ive just shut the drawer on the filing cabinet having decided it was too big an operation to deal with at the moment. I normally pride myself on keeping the clutter down but paper seems to breed in my office.
Childbirth - hmm Hubby spent most of it fanning me with a cardboard potty and trying not to look at the business end while I told (screamed at) him that I was never ever going through it again.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Oh we do have a lot in common! Dreading the under the stairs closet I promised to take care of over spring break! Other than that we racked up 15,000 is 1986 and for me it was forget "thank heaven for little girls" but "thank heaven for Epidurals!" Didn't get my last one and was traumatized for life.

Kernut the Blond said...

Best line: "With quivering lips he released his tug of war grasp on his real firstborn." AHAHAAA!

Wait, I'm a looong time single. I have control of the remote. If I have to give that up to my husband when I get married, tell me - why do people get married?? Maybe I should stop with the Match.com thing and retain complete control of the remote.

Rumtruffle said...

Visiting from Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun blog hop (what a mouth full!)
Hope you have a lovely week ahead. If you have a few spare minutes please stop by and say Hi.
Helen x
http://acraftykindoftruffle.blogspot.com

Emily said...

I loved your labor story recollection and what you wrote prior to it!

When I told my husband that I was pregnant it was 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. He was like, "That's great, I knew you would be, I had a feeling...I'm going to go back to bed now."

Your fainter story reminded me of my friend whose twin sister, did faint while she was in labor. The pregnant twin was in L & D, the other one was in ER!

I never did get to enjoy my epidural. Had my son 10 minutes later! It's a long story!

Thanks for bringing up some funny and nice memories for me!

Mrs4444 said...

Isn't it fun, walking down journaling Memory Lane?

Good luck downsizing! :)

lovinangels said...

Wait, you put the papers IN something? crap. I'm screwed. New follower from the hop.

nick said...

Of course, the original recipe called for: 1 large head of Caesar. But it was only good for one time :)

Sarah said...

I love a good birth story, thanks for sharing yours! 1 minute apart and only 1cm dilated? So sad and painful!

(I am a new follower, I hope you have time to stop by www.mooseandtater.com)

Debra said...

Thanks for visiting my blog earlier. I totally hear you on the hoards of paper thing. But when I got to the Girl Scout Cookie mom code of conduct the episode of Everyone Loves Raymond where he gets into a fight with the other scout mom over where he can sell cookies flashed in my mind. LOL!!!
Have a great day!

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

Purging is like excavating and learning about your history. It will be tough but with two years to go, a bit at a time should do it.

Sandra said...

I love labour stories, especially ones involving morphine hazes. As for your hoarding, good god woman! I tell you right now, getting all those papers shuffled down to one tidy pile ain't gonna happen! What you have to do is get a match. 'Nuff said.

Heather said...

I love that you read and comment on my blog...not just that one time when we started following each other. So I wanted to say thanks!
I read you too...although I don't comment like I should. Too many kids distracting me constantly. I will do better!

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

This post made me laugh--both the filing cabinet part (I have one too, and yes, I have only recently put 'sort filing cabinet' on my To Do list!) and the labor part!!

Nancy said...

Now this is funny! I feel like you're talking about me - with the paperwork and all! I just recently went through my files and I too had a manual for an oven we had when we moved in our home. Well that was 3 ovens ago!~~~Thanks for coming over to my blog! And I didn't know Trader's had a frozen french toast wonder if its good? But usually everything is good at Trader's! Have a great week!:o)

Clare and Gary said...

Great story... and when you get the hoarding thing under control I'll pay for you to sort my extended hoarding family out... !

rachel... said...

Oh, I love a good labor and birth story! And I can totally identify with the hoarding. I have an irrational fear of throwing something out and then regretting it. :/

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Every time I watch Hoarders on A&E, I spin myself into a purge fest that leaves me incredibly content and full of endorphins. Almost as good as sex.

CanadianMama said...

Aww, that's so cute! But how does the ceasar salad fit in with the labor? Labor should require a treat - like chocolate something!!

Life As I Know It said...

Love caesar salad! My dad used to make the best, garlicky dressing with a raw egg. Before we really knew that eating raw eggs may not be such a smart idea ;)

Sarah @ Life as a Movie said...

Ceasar salad yum yum.
By the way you have been tagged along with three other bloggers to complete a fun quiz that can be found at: http://sarahhulen.blogspot.com/2011/03/proud-to-be-picked-by-pickelope.html
(Copy and fill in your answers.)

Kristina P. said...

I bought one of those As Seen on TV Wonderfiles. For all the crappy products I have reviewed on my blog, that is one actually awesome.

I also got rid of about 30 pairs of shoes, and 15 purses, last week. I am the Mormon Imelda Marcos.

Kelly L said...

Absolutely LOVED this post - you have a way with words...I recently found our 1990 tax returns - boy - we have come a long way.. and yes my husband has control of the remote.. which drives me insane.. Love it when he's out of town and I have the power...
Love to you
Kelly
I've Become My Mother
Kelly's Ideas
Amazing Salvation

PS - Love Caesar Salad!

julie said...

No internet. No HGTV. No epidural until 5 centimeters.

Sometimes? Life sucks.

But then they put that baby on you, and she makes it all worthwhile.

(minus, perhaps some years in the toddler and teen stages...just guessing based on my kids. oh. and my own behavior.)

Love the post. As always.

The Empress said...

I love this post.

And, we are living parallel lives over here.

We'll do it together.

I have 2 problems: I DON'T like to clean AND
I'm attached to everything.

And, so, I avoid it, because I get so SO sad and I HATE to do it and getting sad takes away my energy...and..

Well, I'll walk it with you.

Misery loves company. BUT it has to get done.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Mrs T, I luurrrve your blog! I'm trying to find a way to contact you, but can't find an email address. I'm guessing that is deliberate, but would love to 'speak' to you about something, if you're intrigued, would you mind emailing me at: mel@inthepowderroom.com ? My blog is at: www.piginthekitchen.co.uk

Thanks!

Pig / Mel

Marla said...

Ah, what a sweet post. I love labor and delivery stories. I know, sick.