A herd or hoard mentality?
Now and again you see those huge empty skips stationed outside newly purchased homes. Homes that someone else lived their whole life in until the bitter end. Having seen the flip side of real estate selling back in South Africa, it does take some adjusting to see houses for sale still being full of the previous owners furniture, clothes and all those things that constitute a life. Here in Burgenland or at least in our area, houses are sold as is. No coffee on the go, biscuits baking in the oven or bare wardrobe shelves.
I shouldn't really complain as it often lowers the asking price but one needs more than a linear imagination to envisage the redone version. Another house was sold not long ago, although it was more than a year since the lady of the manor passed away, and predictably the skip has made an appearance.
We spend a lifetime collecting and at times hoarding the oddest things, be they clothes, cups or old linen covers. Hoarding to an extent that our whole house seems to be filled to the rafters with stuff we never actually get to use. How silly is that and how many of us are guilty of it. I know I am.
When I went to chat to the new owner of this house, I couldn't help but see the previous owner's life broken down into heaps and bags to be thrown over the edge of the skip. Old clothes never worn, sofas and chairs kept for visitors who never showed or if they did, they sat in the kitchen like everyone else.
Collecting stuff isn't that hard nowadays. Apart from anything else most of us are too ashamed of polluting the earth with further discards that we take to hiding the rubbish in the attic, cellars or barns.
Big cities are a different kettle of fish compared to small village life. Even the straight forward plastic rubbish collection can be fraught with guilt and subterfuge. Take Sunday for example. Mother's day breakfast at our house and as Monday was the plastics rubbish collection day, Bob put all of our see through yellow bags on the curb albeit a day early. What a day to be organized...
Like a good daughter, I stood at door to welcome my folks and that gave me a chance to observe them giving the contents of our rubbish discards a quick once over. These yellow bags are no place to hide the remnants of an ice cream tub, packet of crisps or chocolate wrapper. Gosh, even I do a quick scan of my neighbours' lifestyle choices as I walk past their yellow bags awaiting collection.
Of course it is easier said than done as there's always that one time down the road we might be of need of that old and surprisingly unfashionable pair of jeans, skirt that will definitely fit us again in our thinner ( or should I just call it Utopian ) phase, glass ware we could use to host a banquet and furniture that takes far less effort to hoard than it does to toss it...