Z shoulders responsibility

In the interests of fairness, I should say that it’s by no means all the Sage’s fault.  I’m just as untidy as he is – you should see the state of my study and I’ve got a spectacular floordrobe.  Mind you, I always knew and admitted it, whereas he married me under false pretences.  When I used to visit his house it was always tidy.  It wasn’t until I married him and moved in that I opened drawers and discovered that, before I was due to visit, he used to sweep everything off all the surfaces into them.  The writing wasn’t so much on the wall as in all those empty envelopes that he didn’t bother to throw away but kept with the more important former contents.

Nevertheless, we more or less overcame that (a large spare bedroom was unusable and packed to the gunwales* by the time we left our house in Lowestoft) and things were more-or-less reasonable for some time after we moved here, especially after we built an extension.  It all fell apart after Weeza’s wedding, when my hip started to give problems and I gradually became less able to keep things together.  This is not an easy house and it has a large garden, and once darling Kenny couldn’t manage any longer, the garden became too much for me.  I lost heart, frankly, and the housework suffered too, and I left the Sage to his own devices.  Devices and desires, dear friends.  His collecting habit extended beyond control.  He hasn’t changed over the years, it’s just that his brakes are not what they used to be and they were always poor.  I did enough cleaning and tidying to get by and no more and ignored the rest.

And so it’s not his fault, it’s not mine either.  It’s just that now I can’t deal with it any longer, I know that we won’t be able to stay in this house unless it’s easier to run and that means a lot less stuff.  He’s awfully reluctant to do anything about it, he’s not too keen on me at present because he thinks I’m being unreasonable (not that he’d say so to me, but he does to others), but I know my limits.  And so I’m having to push.  He’s being co-operative, though it’s not easy for him.

I haven’t started on the garages and outhouses yet.  Nor the cars.

*gunnels if you prefer, darlings, I grew up among sailors

19 comments on “Z shoulders responsibility

  1. Macy

    I fee your pain Z. I feel like I’ve spent my life prising hoarders away from their detritus.
    Programme on C4 tonight about living with hoarders…

  2. Blue Witch

    I am a hoarder too. Mr BW less so, but encouraged by me, and not allowed to throw away anything lest it be useful in future.

    The only thing that keeps things manageable is the appearance every week for half a day of Cleaner BW.

    Could you not think about getting some weekly help? It would be cheaper than moving…

  3. Roses

    I’m with Blue Witch. Get some help in.

    I’ve got a lovely lady who spends 3 hours doing the stuff, I really don’t want to and have no intention of doing.

    Which frees you up for more drinking and eating with friends (hint, hint).

  4. Z

    Honestly loves, you have no idea of the extent of the Sage’s hoarding. Nor of his idea of tidying up, which is to dump everything into a newly-cleaned and tidied room so that we’re back to square one. A cleaner cleans, I can clean. When I mentioned him buying 100 paintings I knew nothing about, I wasn’t kidding. There’s nowhere to hang them, we already had more paintings than we could hang.

  5. Mike and Ann

    We too have always had the collecting bug. I solved it a great many years ago by becoming a dealer. We still have a slight problem in that, if we buy a really nice item (for stock) Ann quite invariably wants to keep it. I don’t generally mind this, in that it gives me plenty of time to learn all there is to know about the item. In fact we’ve solved the problem (for us) by agreeing that if there’s something in stock that we wish to keep, we make room for it by parting with something else. If firmly adhered to this policy prevents the place from looking like a cross between a junk shop and a museum.
    Your solution would seem to be that the Sage must change from being a highly specialised auctioneer to a general fine arts auctioneer. But do let me know if he decides to do that, so that I can attend the first few auctions of your detritus. They should be interesting.
    Regards to you both, Mike and Ann.

  6. mig

    I’m following Barney round like a housefrau at the moment – if I don’t keep track of everything he drops we’ll never find it again in the general disorder. We both hoard and we each think the other should throw more stuff out.

    I love floordrobe – That’s us!

  7. Pat

    This is very near the knuckle and as I try to limit it to one room – his office – which is quite literally a hell hole, I try to ignore the whole thing.
    But occasionally it errupts – as do I.
    One thing I have noticed that now we have help he actually clears his stuff off the kitchen table on Sheila’S days.

  8. Blue Witch

    “A cleaner cleans, I can clean”

    No, you’re not understanding the function of a cleaner.

    It gives you (both of you) a reason to tidy up once a week, before they visit, and/or to make a hell of a mess doing/clearing something up and not have to clean up the physical leftovers afterwards.

    They will (if you pick the right one) do all sorts of things you don’t want to, leaving you free to do what you enjoy.

    It’s the best money I spend every week. I would give up alcohol before I’d give up my cleaner.

  9. Z

    Keeping a really nice item, I’ve done that too, and if the Sage is keen to buy something I’ve always been very supportive, and I don’t interfere with what he buys anyway. But he filled a room, 26′ x 18′ and you couldn’t get in the door!

    Mig, I do hope you can come to our party. I love you.

    My office is a hell hole, Pat. His office is the rest of the house.

    BW, he would not tidy, believe me. I used to have a cleaner, three mornings a week, for years. Besides, I’ve got to get the mess under control before getting a cleaner!

  10. Wink

    Good luck, kiddo, I can’t handle not being able to find things and that’s why I live in a semblance of order!

  11. Blue Witch

    OK, then let’s look at it from the other way:

    What is it that prevents The Sage from being tidier and disposing of items he no longer needs?

    There has to be a way to solve this problem; the answer to anything is to ask the correct questions.

  12. Z

    BW, this sort of problem-solving is normally what people come to me for, I’m good at seeing a situation from different angles and finding a way round it. But it has to be a two-way thing. The Sage doesn’t want to change or see any reason to do so. He’ll agree not to do something and then do it again within minutes and be astonished that I object. And he doesn’t answer questions, not in any reasoned way. I was just letting off steam, it’s all right.

  13. Blue Witch

    Yeah, but… there’s no point letting off steam if you just go back to the same old same old, is there?

    The problem isn’t going to go away, and while it’s constantly there staring you in the face, you’re going to carry on being
    unhappy about the situation.

    Unless… maybe you actually like it, in a strange way?

    Does he actually *know* how upset you are about it? Does he read the blog?

  14. Z

    Well we’re not. He’s getting rid of a lot of things and I am too, although I’ve got a lot less that belongs to me. He can’t change, but he does his best – getting Bobby into the house is his way of trying to make amends, and I’m duly appreciative of it.

    No, I don’t like it, not in the least, on the other hand there are a lot of things about him that I do like and I take the rough with the smooth. He does indeed know I’m upset and no, he won’t have read the blog. He knows where to find it but he doesn’t read it. Most recently, I sent a link while I was in India to keep him up with what I was doing (we were emailing in any case, but rather than write it all down twice) and I asked him if he’d looked and he hadn’t – he is supportive of my blogging and likes to meet my blog friends, however.

    Nothing is as inexplicable as someone else’s marriage, hey. I assure you, I’ve got plenty of faults myself but he’s far too polite to point them out to me.

  15. Blue Witch

    I’ve always had a suspicion that people who’ve been married a long time secretly enjoy being annoyed by the others perceived ‘shortcomings’ 🙂

    Glad you’re getting some things sorted. From small acorns and all that…

  16. Z

    John, it was wonderful to have a gardener two days a week, but sadly he has decided to take a full-time job rather than be self-employed. That’s part of my concern for the future.

    I don’t see his collecting as a shortcoming, BW, it’s just part of him and I’m not annoyed by it. He has every right to do what he wants and I don’t interfere normally, but even he agrees that it all went too far for a while. And as I said, I need to look ahead because he just assumes everything will carry on as it is now, but it will be an awful problem for the children at some stage, even if we live here the rest of our lives.


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