A Story and a Stern Reminder

December 31, 2009

First, a little story for you.

Last night I was clocking a couple miles on the treadmill. Maggie was happily swinging away, and I was watching full episodes of A&E's Hoarders on my laptop. I was plodding along, gasping at the conditions of these peoples' homes, blatetly judging their character based upon the height of their shiz piles.

Heaven bless any of my readers who might be struggling with a moderate to severe hoarding issue, I hope to not offend you, but I absolutely have to tell it like it is:

These people were over the top.

Allow me to grace you with an example. One of the families, a family that lives in super cold Boston of all places, moved out of their house and in to a tent in their backyard. You see, they had crap up to the rafters and kept losing their children in the piles. The solution? Uhhhhh, du-uh! Obviously a tent. In November. In New England.

Or how 'bout the guy who built an entire barn to house his collection of 300,000+ not rare and not valuable beer cans? I've got a place for those Budweiser cans, sir--it's called Bea's Recycling shack, and you'll walk away rich.

Another family, a really sweet bunch, lived in a teeny little trailer with a postage stamp yard and somehow managed to squeeze twenty-nine cats and seventeen dogs into their nooks and crannies. There was a lot of love in that house. Perhaps a little too much love.

Then, as if the messes weren't enough, these people would do things like jump on Dr. Dianne (the clinical psychologist who specializes in obsessive behavior) from behind when she'd toss an empty soup can into the dumpster. They'd be like, "I THINK MY WEDDING RING WAS IN THAT SOUP CAN!" or "I WAS EATING THAT SOUP THE FIRST TIME MY BABY ROLLED OVER IN 1979. YOU CAN'T THROW IT AWAY! IT'S VERY SPECIAL TO ME!"

Like I said, my judgement was flowing like the rain--a real self righteous byotch if I do say so myself.

I was running along, every once in a while saying things to my baby like, "Take this as a lesson Maggie, hoarding problems start at Target's dollar display. When you see it, do not veer over. Trust me on this one. It starts with a furry pen, and before you know it, you're sitting on a four-foot mountain of holiday-themed dog sweaters."

This side of me? This evil non-compassion? I never said it was cute.

So there I was, running along, judging and condemning, when my greyhound made her way down the stairs. She casually walked across the basement playroom, stopped next to an enormous pile of clean, unfolded laundry--by that point I believe it had been sitting there for at least nine days. She let out one of those super cute dog hmmphs, climbed into the pile, and fell asleep.

When I finished my workout I literally had to wake my dog in order to find a clean towel. And that my friends, is the moment I vowed to shut my mouth and let the hoarders hoard in peace.

And now, a very stern reminder.

If no one sends me their butt photos, then The Fantastic, Asstastic Photo Challenge of 2010 will have to be cancelled.

That was almost too sad to type.

My husband and I sat down to address the lack of entrants, and we came up with three solutions:

1. Everyone should become a fan of The Fantastic, Asstastic Photo Challenge of 2010 on Facebook. Right now I only have two followers--me and my mom. Just type it into the search box, click the "become a fan" icon, and you're set to go.

2. Everyone should grab the asstastic button in my sidebar and put it on their blog. I mean really now, how fun is that? For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me paste anything into this post. So you can either take it from over there --->, or copy the HTML code from the Facebook fan page. (Are you starting to see how this all fits together?)

3. Everyone should join in on the fun. Remember, even if you opt for anonymity, you're still eligible to win one of three fabulous prizes. Details for entering can be found in the next post, and thanks to Jared's encouragement, the deadline for submitting pictures has been extended to Tuesday, January 5th at 11:59pm. Jared says that allows enough time for the guilt and poor self-esteem to set in.

Well that's that. Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!

And please, don't drink and drive--drink and dial!


funderson said...

I've been mezmorized by that show as well. Unreal... Anyhoo, how do I find the Facebook fan page?

Reenie's World said...

Can strangers join? :) I'm all for it, but I was waiting until the last minute to enter, utilizing these last few 2009 hours to beef (or cottage cheese) up my "fasstastically asstastic" ass.

Amy said...

Sister Funderson--just search for 'The Fantastic, Asstastic Challenge of 2010' in the FB search box.

Reenie--Of course strangers can join! And by all means, use these last precious days to add some girth.

Kirsty said...

"Take this as a lesson Maggie, hoarding problems start at Target's dollar display."
My husband is going to embroider this onto a throw cushion for me. It's his project for 2010.

I judge them to. From the safety of my laundry strewn bedroom. I also get my judge-on over Clean House. Those shows survive on making slobs feel better about themselves.

You too funny. I'm considering the ass photo but I think it might lose me credibility as trainer to the old and infirm and I must consider my reputation.

Kirsty said...

And I judge them TOO as well. For those of you were going to judge me over that. (The To/too thing is second only in irritation to the their/there thing.)

JAMIE said...

Funny, but my CURE for laundry that has been sitting there waiting to be folded for days IS to turn on Hoarder's. I can't help but clean while watching that show. I just feel BAAAAAAD that they can't throw stuff away. I find things to throw away everytime I watch it. I sometimes wish I could throw away my little "hoarders" ages 7, 4, and 1. They like to find "treasures" aka GARBAGE and "save them", because they are "special to me". Popsicle sticks, that's one that my 4 year old loves. I hope I don't have hoarders in my future. :)

X-Country2 said...

Hey, at least the pile was CLEAN laundry. Total pass if you ask me.

Sarah said...

Amy. Your butt logo looks like sunglasses. And as soon as my camera battery gets charged up I'll send you that fab little photo jason took of my bum. I promise.

thegatewoodfamily said...

ok I am planning on joining your asstastic challenge. I just need to wait for my husband to get home and get ready to use the panoramic setting on my camera. I am joining because I don't know you, but I constantly read your blog and get a lot of enjoyment out of it, and due to the fact that I don't know you I am not likely to walk by you as I get my large diet coke and polish hot dog in line at Sam's club. Thanks for the challenge I am excited and ready to get some of the junk out of my trunk!

Morgan -Ing said...

Hoarders is a horror. It's like I can't NOT watch it. One day, while I was sewing, I think I watched four episodes in a row and then went and rooted through MY clean laundry pile... hmmm.

I really do mean to take a pic of my bum... it's just frankly not as easy as it sounds. I'll do it ASAP.

GroverFamily said...

okay im a facebook fan, have the button on my blog, and uploading the butt picture now:)

JAMIE said...

also, a week is JUST not long enough to see much difference in this wide load......anyone up for at least 2 weeks? I mean I don't have enough butt sucking spanx to win. ;)

Mary said...

I have never watched Hoarders before (we don't have cable) but I found those 2 episodes online today and watched them. Then I made Bill sit down and watch one. So guess what Bill is doing this New Year's Eve? Going througn his infamous boxes of clutter! I think he's cleared 2 by now and has one box full of papaer to recycle. It scared him, I think. His grandfather was a true hoarder.

As far as the contest is concerned, I'm afraid I would be eliminated on the first round and I certainly would not ask friends to vote for me. I wouldn't want them to know.

Motherboard said...

They had a Hoarders marathon on last week. It was like a train wreck-- I knew I shouldn't watch, but I just couldn't help myself.

I actually started dry heaving at one point when they found over 7 dead cats in the woman's house.

I have a cottage cheese bum. And, its NOT tasty.

Kitty said...

I *love* Hoarders. My favorite episodes are the ones we recorded before Christmas, where you see an enormous pile of shopping bags stacked on top of layers of garbage and human feces, and then they cut to a Big Lots commercial where a woman tells her husband, "We need more stuff," and the husband replies, "Lots and lots of stuff." Oh yeah, they know their audience.

The Boob Nazi said...

I can't watch it. It would drive me crazy!

Robyn said...

Oh that show. My husband is beginning to love it. You see, I'm obsessed with it and every time I watch it, I stay up all night cleaning.

I was just reading your post and saying to myself that I would have never come up with the descriptives of the show that you have. Yours made me laugh. Mine would be just downright creepy and scary and unreadable.

Favorite: Maybe a little too much love. hehehehe

Kristine said...

I have never watched hoarders, but I do know someone who is one, and have heard of a few others. Scary. Linked to depression I understand. I get wigged out with our everyday messes. Yikes! And I do have laundry waiting to be folded days on end, too. :/

OK, got Heather to take the pics this afternoon. They are uploaded to the house computer. Now to go back and read the submission directions....

pam said...

My grandma is a hoarder. She buys extra houses to hoard her stuff in. . . so weird.
Here comes a pic of my bum.