Recently, I came upon a fascinating show: Hoarders.  It just so happened that during my week long vacation (hooray!), I was cleaning out my drawers and getting rid of some old, tired, clothing when a marathon of the show came on.  As I filled a couple trash bags of old clothes for Goodwill (and put some clothes right into the trash), I watched, awestruck, as these individuals detailed the amount of trash and old/broken items around their house.

Until I realized I was living with a woman who should be featured on the show.

Every week she goes over my uncle’s house and heads into a room off of their basement.  In this room are various pieces of furniture which have been replaced or are slightly broken and await their transportation to their final dumping place.  In other words…its Non’s furniture depot.  She enters the room, surveys, and inventories the various items and hides one or more items so that my uncle or aunt do not dispose of them or give them to some random college student.  These items vary from lamp shades and old comforters to chairs which remained after their recent home renovation.  She will allow these items to remain period for a lengthy period of time, to ensure that my aunt and uncle no longer have use…then…during their next scheduled vacation or weekend away…she sneaks to their house, places the item in her vehicle and brings them back to the house.

This explains why we have four mismatched couches and several odd lamps throughout the house.

When asked why she won’t simply ask my uncle or aunt for the half-dead decor…she responds, ever so callously,

“Because then they say…I buy on you a new one…and I no want a new one. Why we gotta spending money.”

I mean, they could be offering to buy you a new one because their mother deserves nice things and/or matching furniture…but screw them for offering to pay for something brand new!

Now, unlike the hoarders features on the show, who often live knee deep in trash, Nonna’s hoarding is hidden by her unbelievable skill of finding some weird use for half-broken, half-used items (not to mention her crazy obsession with cleanliness and tidiness). 9/10 times she does not have space or a sensible spot to place these things…which is why:

1) An old wire salad bowl holder serves as a planter for our cucumbers.

2) There is an inward facing bookshelf which serves as a table for my hair accessories.

3) An old refrigerator acts as a second storage facility for my cookie sheets.

4) A mattress serves as a bumper for her car in her garage to make sure the other stuff in her garage doesn’t scratch her car.

5) The top of an old vanity set acts as a storage receptacle for our tupper-ware.

I could go on…but, I must leave some things for later blog pieces, and I think you get the idea. I must say, it is a wonder to see what sort of crazy uses she gets for people’s old stuff…as they say, “one man’s trash is nonna’s treasure…” This is especially so where the “trash” was once owned by her relatives…I am currently staring at three items I definitely threw away/donated which have been neatly (and suspiciously) returned to my drawers.  When questioned…Nonna throws her hands in the air “YOU WASTIN EVERYTING…I GONNA TAKE YOU TO SICILY WHEN I HAVIN NOTHING AND YOU THROW AWAY EVERYTHING.” Obviously, I will have to be sneakier when disposing of old clothes in the future…

For the record: the returned items are 1) bubblegum pink pair of pj pants which have three holes. 2) one pair of seersucker shorts which are 4 sizes too big and 3 years out of style and 3) one pair of shoes which have a hole in the sole…

I’m thinking she could have been a little more creative than just returning the items to my room…


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