Uncovering very few treasures


I write this while in the midst of taping up cardboard boxes and throwing out all manner of old junk as I prepare to make the move to a new house. It’s during this process that I’ve come to realize I am, in fact, a bit of a hoarder.

When I was a kid, I remember visiting my grandparents in Manitoba and peeking into my grandfather’s study. Stacks upon stacks of lined paper covered the desk, the filing cabinets long packed full. I remember thinking, “How can he get any work done?”

Today, I am one and the same. In my own office, I’ve filed away virtually every correspondence ever sent to me via post. Who knows when I might need that monthly power bill from 2014?

There’s a simple solution to being a hoarder – throw some stuff away. But to even the most unimportant of items do I ascribe undue significance. For example, while sorting through old DVDs a few days ago, I filed an old copy of Air Force One in the “to keep” pile.

I haven’t watched DVDs for years since everything went digital. But I have fond memories of putting that DVD of Harrison Ford outsmarting terrorists on repeat, and who knows if that time might come again?

I also have, for some reason, kept bins and bins full of old memorabilia from my hometown. This includes the regular items you’d expect, like sports cards and old photos.

But I also still have, in near-mint condition, hand-drawn comic strips I completed in elementary school. The strip is called Copdog, and is about (you guessed it) a dog who is also a cop.

In these hoarding ways, I feel an affinity in many ways with my prickly aging cat, who presently is in some closet somewhere, unaware that in a week’s time her whole life will come crashing down. We once brought her to the vet for a checkup and she was wide-eyed the whole time, paralyzed with terror. When she got home, she didn’t come out from under the bed for two days.

But in many ways, change will be good. I did make some brave anti-hoarder moves, like throwing out old John Grisham novels I purchased while bored out of my skull at the airport, and tossing old jeans, years faded beyond use.

Those old Copdog comics are coming with me, though. Some things are just too valuable to part with.


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