Tuesday, January 1, 2013

There is NO SUCH THING as a 'gift' from a Hoarder...

Just came in from a lovely dinner with friends, and on my way in I called my mother.  What a mistake that was.  During the 20 minute call where she cursed, mocked and physically threatened the ER doctor that would not give her antibiotics (she has an upper respiratory thing happening and has Lupus, is prone to thrush, so she found some in the hoard and is taking that) she switched gears on me.

"Do you still have that coat?"

What coat?

"The coat I bought you."

[Racking my brain... What coat?  She stopped sending me crap-packages a while ago for the most part.  This kind of landmine triggered me to two arguments in the recent past where she asked me where two items were... an electric broom and a small table.  That. I. Had. My. 1st. Year. Of. College... In 1987!  The electric broom was easily 25 years old and belonged to her aunt who started to throw it away... and the table was a crappy metal and formica table that my dorm fridge sat on... The electric broom burnt up, and the table is IN THE HOARD... anyway I digress, sorry!]  

Do you mean the brown leather coat that I got in 2003 or so that is quite large?  [Which is a story unto itself how she decided to do this and how she tortured the HELL out of me in the process.]

"Yes!  I need a warm coat... mine only comes to the bottom of my underpants and..."

Mom, that coat is a blazer style leather jacket, and it is not that long...

"[Interrupting]... Yes it is!  I bought that new!  FOR YOU!  It was $400 at the leather store and it comes down to almost to the knees!  THAT WAS AN EXPENSIVE COAT!!!!!"

[Now- it may have been priced at $400, but she paid $99 for it on clearance- she left the tags on it.] That coat IS NOT THAT LONG, and it is a blazer style coat and has a deep 'V' in the front with just 2 buttons, and it is a short coat.  And I wore it a lot when I was heavier, and it is way too large...

"[Cutting me off]... I am not picky like you are, and I do not want my stuff tight!"

I do not have it anymore...

I will spare you the 20 questions, the demands for details regarding the disposition of the coat, etc.  I have lost a large amount of weight, and am 75lbs lighter than I was when I got the coat, and it was large then (I would estimate that it was a 22-24W).  My mother is smaller than I am, and I wear a misses size 10-12 now.  The coat would NOT work.

Now- I think in so-called 'normal land' if someone gave you a coat, then it is yours... to do with as you please.  Not to call in the chip 10 years later...  And let's say, again in 'normal land' (if such a place exists) a mother gave someone a coat, thought about it, thought it would fit them, the person might still have it and is not using it... would simply ask... "Do still have that brown leather coat?" No. "No?  Okay!  Just checking.  I thought it would fit me if you did, and you have lost so much weight and kept it off, I know that it would not begin to fit now."  And on to the next subject!

This topic is not over for my mother.  She will ruminate and continue to ask questions, make accusations, and generally be indignant that I do not still have it, and if I did, that I should have gotten close to $400 dollars for it! (And the unspoken at this point... that I should have given her the $$$.)

Because things, in her world, are more important than people.  Things are what last, familial relationships obviously do not.  This is why I do not and will not accept anything else from her that is a 'gift'.  She does not understand the concept... it is, and remains in her eyes, a possession of the hoard.  I guess that means I am merely an extension of the hoard as well, or do not exist as a separate person.  

Happy New Year.  I wish a happy, healthy, prosperous and HOARD FREE 2013 for each and every one of you.


  1. Good decision not to take any more gifts. I have a friend who knows I am decluttering but continues to give me largely useless gifts, watching me as I unwrap them any saying 'oh, I suppose that you don't really have room for/want/need that.' What is one to say to that??

  2. Teresa:

    Isn't it amazing that the simple concept of gift giving escapes so many? I can relate... Mom's favorite saying was, "And if you decide some day you are done with it... DON'T JUST THROW IT AWAY..." Then the detailed directions start.

    I am so thankful that my grandmother clued me in to the fundamentals of gift giving after dealing with my mother...
    1- When you give something to someone, it is THEIRS. Forever... and that means they can use it, not use it, or dispose of it as they see fit.
    2- The gift should be about the recipient. Not about you.
    There were other points, but those 2 things set off a maelstrom in my household.

    Gotta laugh. Have a good day!!!!

  3. Aaaah! This! I felt so bad, but 90% of what my mother gave me for Christmas this year went straight to goodwill. I feel bad that she spent the money on junk, next year I will definitely bring up that we loved the new bed pillows she got us, but to just not bother with the small "stocking" (read: hoard) stuffers.

    Proud of you for distinguishing yourself from your mother's hoard.

  4. Thank you Rebecca! I know the guilt of the hoard gifts, and of taking them to charity immediately, having them NOT enter my home.

    Hang in there!