The Goddess Speaks
Peek in pals' cupboards reveal a lot
MY FRIEND Paula's husband is a pack rat. She's pretty tolerant about this. It would drive me nuts.
He saves everything. I've seen their cupboards. They must have eaten a lot of rotisserie chicken from Costco because they still have the plastic containers from each and every one of those fowls. Add to that some Dasani water bottles, a couple of pickle jars and their cupboards overfloweth.
Then there's his theory about towels. According to Scott, you can never have enough. It doesn't matter to him that when all those towels are clean, Paula can't fit them into the linen closet.
Paula isn't a wasteful type. She'd just like a little more room in their house and a bit less clutter.
Once she tried to be proactive about the situation. They'd gotten a salt grinder as a gift, but it hadn't worked in a long time. Instead of making the usual progression from the kitchen to the garage to the trash, it stayed in the kitchen taking up space, offering no service. One day when Scott wasn't home, Paula packed it up and donated it to Goodwill.
He loved that grinder. Now, every time he has to shake the Morton container to flavor his food, he reminds Paula of her mistake. Luckily he's on a low-sodium diet and doesn't do it often, but he does relish rubbing salt in the wound when he can.
MY SISTER, Martha, is the exact opposite of Scott. She gets rid of everything. Nothing is safe around her.
She opens the mail over the trash can to dispose of the junk as fast as possible. Every closet and cupboard and drawer in their house is organized and free of excess. Her children are afraid to leave anything lying around for fear she might eliminate it immediately from their household. If her husband weren't so nice, she might have gotten rid of him during a routine cleaning.
My other sister, Boo, has a lot of stuff, but she isn't what I would call a pack rat. She's more of a collector. First it was stuffed animals. Then it was snow globes and sheep dogs. Now it's circus memorabilia and things with fish on them.
Her collections usually reflect her activity of interest at the time, as well as her obsession to obtain every single item ever produced in that particular theme. All are displayed prominently throughout her house, along with all the dust they collect.
I guess it just reflects priorities. Martha prefers the bottom line. Keep it simple and to the point and she is most comfortable. Boo is more relaxed. She enjoys ornamentation and display.
Scott is just plain thrifty and responsible: recycle, reclaim, reuse. That's why Paula doesn't complain much. What's a little clutter when your husband is simply trying to do the right thing?
Lorraine Gershun is publications adviser for Searider Productions at Waianae High School.
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