Holiday Hangover

on November 25, 2012 in Misc

I now give thanks that the Thanksgiving “holiday” is over.

Some holiday. Okay, so I got to sleep in four days in a row.  I got some writing done.  You know what I did most of the other time?  I freaking *##$!@+| cleaned my home!

Who knew it was so dirty?

The thing is, I’m a fairly neat person.  Except for too many stacks of paper and books and magazines lying around, my place is kinda orderly and clean.

But when I’m having friends over for a belated (it was this weekend, not Thursday) Thanksgiving dinner, not only do I spend hours grocery shopping and cooking, I feel the bizarre, uncharacteristic need to SCRUB and VACUUM everything and CLEAN OUT CLOSETS (Why? My friends are not going to peek into them) and get rid of some CRAP that has accumulated over the past year.

You know what the problem is with having too much stuff?  Taking care of stuff takes time.  My precious time that could be spent on far more meaningful pursuits.  Maybe that’s why getting rid of stuff always feels so liberating.  Like I can travel through life more lightly now.  It reminds me of the penniless Buddhist monks I saw in Thailand and Cambodia.  They seemed so serene, so content, even when they had no stuff.

Bet it’s safe to say they never slept outside a Wal-Mart (OMG!) or Best Buy before Black Friday so that they could get a great deal on new stuff.  Weren’t the news reports on those shoppers obscene?

I mean, I am no non-materialistic saint.  I can be as avaricious as the next American (hence all my stuff).  But when I saw the hordes of frenzied shoppers trampling over each other and fighting to get their hands on boxes of stuff and yelling and screaming and hooting in triumph when they got their new stuff…  It really, thoroughly disgusted me.  I mean, these weren’t exactly poor folk struggling to get bread to feed their young ‘uns.  They were all just rampaging rapacious mob-minded jerks.

In my next life, I think I wanna be a Buddhist monk.  Or a supermodel who gives all her stuff to charity.

Anyway, I should probably now confess to having my own rather materialistic fantasies, and one of them is this:  When I finally become a famous wealthy author, I am so going to hire a housekeeper.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  To have enough money to pay someone to come once a week or just a couple times a month, and do all the cleaning and shopping and organizing while I spend my time writing and doing only what I want to do.  And what I want to do does not include housework.

That’s my fantasy.  Got any of your own?

16 Responses to “Holiday Hangover”

  1. We always clean our house from top to bottom, knowing full well no one will notice.
    Stuff is stuff. Ask my wife – I’m always chucking stuff.
    I hid on Friday. Finished my Christmas shopping online as a matter of fact!

  2. Helena says:

    Alex — Oh, Alex! You and your wife are so efficient! Me, I’m a slacker…

  3. My fantasy is to win the PowerBall that is currently at $425 million.

    As for what you’ve said of “Black Friday” crowds, I couldn’t agree more. I think retail has killed the spirit of Christmas so anyone that says to me that “Xmas is taking the Christ out of Christmas” is going to get “Christ and Christmas haven’t gone together for at least a decade. It wasn’t the atheists that killed it. It was good christians storming Wal-Mart and punching each other in the face and pulling guns to get deals.”

  4. I totally agree about stuff. I am not a keeper of things, yet I still have too much stuff. Husband on the other hand is very much a keeper. That may be why WE have too much stuff. Totally agree about housekeepers, too :)

  5. Helena says:

    Michael – I’m sorry, but you can’t win the Powerball because I’m gonna win it. However, to do this I must buy a ticket, which I almost never do.

    If I stay away from shopping centers during the season and watch old movies with friends like “The Bishop’s Wife” (the Cary Grant original) or “It’s a Wonderful Life,” then I can get in the holiday spirit. At least for a couple hours.

  6. Helena says:

    Carol – Funny how a personal housekeeper is a fantasy for so many women.

  7. Hart Johnson says:

    I’m a stacker, too. But I can’t envision getting rid of stuff. It makes me cringe to think about. I think it is the security-focused cancer in me.I don’t buy tons of NEW stuff, but I have a hard time getting rid of stuff and always regret it when I do–I find a need for it later. I have an odd skill that feeds this–I improvise well and when I have a new need, can usually patch something together with things I already have… but only if I still have the stuff.

  8. Helena says:

    Hart – So you really are multi-creative. Well, it’s far better to have old stuff you can work with and use than buy new stuff all the time. Isn’t it funny how what we own can give us security and comfort?

  9. Robyn Engel says:

    The holidays can be more stressful than enjoyable, especially for the host/ess.

    Thanks for your comment on Alex’s blog about our book.

    Take care, and keep fantasizing about a housekeeper. I’d like mine to be a hunky single man.


  10. Helena says:

    Robyn – Dang, I never thought of having a hunky man clean my house. Now that’s a good fantasy!

  11. Old Kitty says:

    I’m a hoarder!! I love all my stuff and can’t – just can’t – bring myself to de-clutter much as I know I need to! Sigh!

    So I just lightly dust around my collection! LOL!!

    My fantasy – an extra big room to stack more of my stuff in! Yay! Take care

  12. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – May you get your big room and may all your stuff remain dusted! And if that’s what makes you happy, go for it.

  13. Ciara Knight says:

    I took my son out early on Black Friday for the experience. We had fun watching other people, but we went a few hours after everything opened. It was actually slow this year. I would never go near a Wal-Mart or BB first thing in the morning. Oh, to be a rich writer. *sigh* With three boys, I’d love a housekeeper, too.

  14. Helena says:

    Ciara – Maybe you could train your three boys that housekeeping is fun and they’d love to do it. But I bet they’re too smart for that.

  15. Ketutar says:

    “When I finally become a famous wealthy author, I am so going to hire a housekeeper.”
    I have the same idea. And a secretary to do all the boring stuff. Like selling my books.
    It’s hard to even imagine that there are people out there who really love that stuff. Cleaning and selling and such.

    Though my problem is quite different from yours. I’m a horrible slob. I seldom clean anything, and I’m a hoarder too, so our home looks like those in those horrible shows.

  16. Helena says:

    Ketutar – I know a couple people who enjoy cleaning, almost like it’s a kind of therapy. But those hoarding shows are addictive! Like staring at a horrible accident. But if you’re not walking on piles of stuff, Ketutar, then your home can’t be that bad.