Riley really wants a car, but we cant really afford to buy him one right now. So I made the mistake of mentioning it to my father (notice that I don’t call him Daddy). My father is a hoarder of the worst kind, where relationships with people come in second or third (or even further back) to stuff. Piles and piles and piles of stuff. I thought that maybe he and Riley could work on a car together and it be some sort of family bonding experience. Boy was I wrong.
Sunday my father came by the house to give me coupons and I mentioned the car situation and how I would like to take Riley out to their (my parents) house to see what cars were there – every car that he has EVER owned since I was a small child, nearly forty years worth of old cars.
Last night Derek and I took the boys out there, the first time that I had been there in nearly ten years. The weeds are waist deep and the place smells like cats …. lots and lots of cats.
piles and piles of wood pallets
old dishwashers (we counted at least ten)
mounds of trash
junk …. just junk …. EVERYWHERE!
Somebody who has never lived with or known a hoarder cannot even begin to imagine what it’s like as a child growing up knowing that crap bought at yard sales and found on the side of the road is more important than you are.
I will NEVER forget standing out in the rain, in my nightgown, when I was probably about eight or nine years old, holding a flash light while my father dug through plastic trash bags of well … trash, that my mother had tried to sneak out of the house while he was gone to work … because he just KNEW that there was something in there worth saving.
The same man complains that we aren’t closer as a family, so my younger sister and I foolishly try to bring us closer …. like the ill fated car project.
A few hours after we got home last night, my father called. He wanted to know if we had been out to the house.
me: yes, I told you that we were going to go out there and look at the cars
him: well I noticed an extra set of tire tracks
me: (in my mind) WHAT THE FUCK? WHO NOTICES SHIT LIKE THAT???
me: we just walked around and looked at the cars
him: well your boys better not tell anybody about all of that stuff out there … I don’t want their buddies out there stealing stuff
me: we already told them not to say anything because we knew you would be worried about that (this is something that all hoarders believe … that everybody is out to get their “great junk”)
By the time I got off the phone I was so mad and upset that I was literally shaking.
Now he’s decided that he doesn’t want to give Riley a car after all … AND he doesn’t want us back out there “digging through his stuff”.
I don’t know why I even try.
P.S. Don’t any of you hunt down my location in rural Oklahoma and get his great junk!