Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Hoarding

A couple days ago someone described a mess left behind in a public place by unruly patrons as, "hoarding."

Well, no, see, if they were hoarders, they would have taken their garbage with them.

They were just assholes. But in the defense of real hoarders, I get the impulse. It's that misguided belief that, yeah, you probably could seem really cool just pulling out that one random thing somebody really needs right this minute. I've previously mentioned my love of this type of thing. The grappling hook and utility belt in my car, the mannequin parts, the bizarre hats, even recently my inability to pull out a denim jacket for a cowboy costume because I decided to live like a healthy human being and donate clothes I didn't wear to a legitimate charity, albeit one for people too poor to care whether or not they appear stylish.

But I guess hoarding is genetic. In third grade we had to build models for a project on Columbus, and my thought was (in kid terms), "Man, f*** that garbage, everyone's gonna be building ships. I'm gonna build a model of Columbus." So I described my idea to my grandmother, about snagging a Ken doll and her sewing machine and some paint and just modding the hell out the poor plastic eunuch. She was immediately on board. I described a material for his shirt that was "white-thread-on-white," a rudimentary grasp of "embroidery," and she ran upstairs, looked through two drawers and pulled out an L of cloth maybe two feet to a side. And she made the little man a shirt.

We later discovered she had been saving this fabric since she used it to make my father a similar shirt. When he was one.

"Wait," my grandfather paused us. "Elaine, when did you buy it?"

"Oh, when making doll clothes, so I must have been sixteen?" 65 years in storage and she knows precisely where it was. That's pretty badass hoarding, frankly.

Took a screenshot. They still sell it, apparently.
Side hoard: the other jacket had a shrunken
gloves in the pockets and a ticket stub for a
1994 Pink Floyd show at Yankee Stadium, and my
dad remembered bringing a radio to listen to the
end of the NY Rangers Stanley Cup game.
Tonight my father and I were watching the show American Pickers for some reason that escapes me, and the skinny guy found some vintage motorcycle jackets and pants made by Bucco, a company started by someone who worked for the leather company Perfecto. I said, "That's a pretty good price for three pieces, even today. Back before I took my test I was looking at motorcycle gear; I good jacket's at least $250."

"Did you ever get one?" My father asked.

"Aw, no." Before I finished I knew what to expect but it seemed so unlikely. Despite my dad never to my knowledge even ridden a motorcycle–though knowing his frat brothers and closest friends did, I'm sure now he must have at some point–ushered my the the hall closet stuffed with jackets and pulls out two different motorcycle jackets and a leather trench coat for me to try on.

So yeah, I've got a pretty sweet James Deen jacket made by Perfecto, now. Pretty sure the only reason it fits is because dad bought one for him and another a size-down so my mom would have one.

If nothing else, I am also awestruck and terrified at how awesome I'm going to be able to be if I can get a house large enough to hide all of my own bizarre crap.

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