I watched the first episode of this new series on A&E, and it’s gonna get me hooked, because it deals with an issue that hits really close to home to me (pun intended). My grandmother was a huge hoarder, and my mom had to deal with getting rid of 40 years of crap that accumulated in her house after she died, and to make matters worse, my mother herself is a “sentimental hoarder” who will not throw anything out that has any connection to anyone in the family, alive or dead — she had boxes and boxes of HOMEWORK which I did when I was in grade school, which even I don’t want, for example. And photos of people who lived 100 years ago and MIGHT be our ancestors, but since none of these photos are labeled, they might as well be some random dead Finn for all I know or care. And I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a hoarder myself, although I have been getting better.
Watching the first episode, which focuses on two families with hoarding problems, and professionals who try to help them, makes me see the psychological effect that I have. While for some dumbfuck reason this woman thinks that keeping rotting pumpkins in her house (2 of them!) is serving a useful purpose, since she can still pull seeds out of them, and another guy has a whole collection of empty fish tanks, some of them which are BROKEN, he also thinks that he’ll be able to use them some day. I sometimes go through the same type of thoughts with stuff I should know better for - like how I have boxes full of cables, despite the fact that all of the A/V stuff I own is already sufficiently hooked up. I also have literally THOUSANDS of DVDs, 90% of which I’ve never watched, will probably never have time to watch, and have spent more time collecting more of them than I have watching what I ALREADY have, but dammit, when I AM ready to watch them, I want them to be there. This is just like both families who buy more than what they need just so that they can have a CHOICE and ready supply. I’m really glad that this series (at least the first episode…I’m not sure if each additional episode will focus on new people, or will do a check in on the same people every week) takes the issue seriously, rather than trying to make it a “look at these dumb rednecks and laugh!”-type show.