Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lamps

There's this really serious problem that I have that I didn't realize I had until I moved back to Salt Lake City. It's sort of a subset of a greater problem that I did know I had. And, well, I guess I'm finally ready to declare it publicly:

My name is Eli McCann, and I'm a lamp hoarder.

"Hi, Eli."

Oh gosh. That was hard to get out. But the first step is admitting there's a problem. Step two: talking about it. Steps three through fourteen: ice cream and cheesecake. Step fifteen: reward yourself by buying another lamp.


I've known I was a hoarder for a while. It's getting more and more serious as I age. When Jolyn helped me unpack my apartment last month we had a lot of conversations that sounded exactly like this:

Jolyn: And what does this cord go to?

Eli: Um. I think it used to charge a cordless phone I had in high school.

Jolyn: And why do you have it?

Eli: What if I find that phone and--

Jolyn: We're throwing this away.

[Ripping the cord out of Jolyn's hands]

Eli: Get the HELL out of my house! After you finish unpacking.

So, yes. I'm a bit of a hoarder. But my problem isn't bad enough to call those people on TV and have them come clean my house and be all like, "now Eli, why are you holding onto this item?"

Eli: Because it represents my childhood and a bullying experience I had in the second grade.

Hoarder People: What would happen if you let this go?

Eli: Nothing.

Hoarder People: Why don't we try putting it in the truck and seeing how that makes you feel?

Eli: GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE! After you finish cleaning it.

Etc. For one full hour.

What I didn't really realize until last month is that I don't just hoard cords to old electronic devices and great broken pottery from Mexico. I also hoard lighting apparatuses.

On that same day that Jolyn was unpacking my apartment Kurt started to become concerned.

Kurt: Why is our place starting to look like a lamp shop?

Eli: I need them. I need ALL of them!

Kurt: Eli. There are [counting] . . . TWELVE lamps in this room right now!

Eli: YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND AND YOU HATE ANIMALS!

Kurt: No. You hate animals. And I'm not pretending to understand. Why do you have TWELVE lamps in this apartment?

Eli: THEY REPRESENT MY CHILDHOOD AND A BULLYING EXPERIENCE I HAD IN THE SECOND GRADE, OK?!

Kurt: Eli. This isn't Hoarders. I don't care.

So a few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to find a cool new lamp for my office. I was at a store near my apartment, scoping out a few options. I knew I couldn't call Kurt for advice because he doesn't want me to be happy. So instead I decided to call my best friend Corey.

Eli: Hey, I'm looking at some lamps--

Corey: Eli McCann. You get out of that store right now. Leave. Find the door, and walk to it.

Eli: But this is for my office!

Corey: You have a dozen or so perfectly good lamps at home. Go get one of them and bring it to your office. Then give away about six more for charity.

Eli: How do you know I have a lot of lamps? You're not here. You live in California.

Corey: Eli. Everybody knows you have a lamp problem. When the satellite takes the night pictures to show how much electricity is being used in different parts of the world, it looks like an A-bomb just went off in Utah.

Eli: I LIKE SEXY LIGHTING. SO SUE ME.

So I bought two great lamps and they are now sitting in my office. I don't live in a big place and I own fourteen lamps right now.

FOURTEEN.

~It Just Gets Stranger

56 comments:

  1. EXCELLENT! I hoard jackets. I LOVE them and I don't know why. That is all.

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    Replies
    1. Me too! And sweaters!

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  2. My daughter hoards peach pits. My wife and I are beside ourselves.

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  3. My mother once told me to the the HELL OUT OF HER HOUSE when I was 14 because I was helping her organize and asked if we could get rid of one of her twelve bunt-cake pans. It was traumatizing. To this day I cannot collect anything without fear of disowning my future children. THINK OF THE POOR CHILDREN ELI!!!

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  4. i hoard blankets. i have so many i don't even have enough storage space for them all. but will i get rid of any? nope :) and i just keep buying them. at least lamps are useful :)

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    1. Blankets are useful in an emergency! That's what I keep telling myself about the 5 blankets on the floor of my room, anyway.

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  5. Can I have some of your lamps? I'm currently dissatisfied with mine and can't afford to replace them.

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    1. I too would like to adopt one of your lamps, or a set of twins actually. The shade on one of mine broke in our recent move, and I just can't find the right thing to replace it. I'm sure with your good taste, and prolific stock, you would have what I need.

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  6. I hoard coffee mugs, I whenever I see a cool or interesting one I must have it!

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  7. "And God said, Let there be LIGHTS" ...Just sayin'

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  8. I have a slight wreath hoarding problem. I make them, I buy them. It's my crafting obsession. I blame pinterest! I do like the sound of that 15 step program, but mostly because it allows me to eat cheesecake and buy more wreaths! ;)

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  9. Don't let them stop you from achiving your dreams! Only 346,269 to go!!
    http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/5000/most-lights-on-a-residential-property

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  10. Hi, my name is Morgan and I'm a journal hoarder. It's been one day since my last purchase.

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    1. Nothing is wrong with journals, my sister had 12 and died of Leukemia at age 25. Now I have her life in my hands! (well until her daughter turns 18 next year)

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    2. That's so cool about you having all her journals!! I think, though, that Morgan probably meant was journals that she buys but doesn't use. Which I am a little guilty of myself.

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    3. Mama Bear I would not consider yours hoarding...you are holding onto a gift!

      And yes, Anonymous, my journals are mostly empty. And if I do start writing in them my eyes eventually start to wander and I find one that's newer and prettier. I'm like a journal hoarding whore.

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  11. You are looking at this completely wrong. You're not a boarder, you're a COLLECTOR.

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  12. "I love lamp."

    "Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?"

    "...I love lamp. I LOVE LAMP."

    I've got a thing for bags (but don't you dare call me a bag lady!), and also jackets & sweaters. But I can't classify myself as a hoarder, per se, because I can let go of old bags that I know I won't use any more, and I've DI'd a fair share of jackets and sweaters (to make room for new ones).

    Maybe I SHOULD classify myself a hoarder, so I can take the steps toward recovery (because I need more cheesecake in my life).

    Congratulations on your TWO new lamps, by the way!

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  13. Have you seen the show Capture? My husband recently found it on hulu and really enjoys it. I think you and Daniel should be a team, or you and Kurt. Kurt and Daniel would destroy everyone so that's probably not a good idea.

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  14. Books and school supplies. Pens, highlighters, crayons, binders, journals, page protectors, dividers....I get giddy just thinking about back to school sales...

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    1. I'm a teacher and have this same problem. I have TONS of pens, pencils, folders, crayons, and all the fun school supplies but still feel the need to buy new stuff every year even though I haven't even used all the stuff I bought before my first year teaching...I don't see it as a problem lol.

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  15. How is Corey your best friend when you have never mentioned him?! Slash her. It's an ambiguous name...

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    1. I have mentioned Corey many many times on Stranger, particularly during the law school years when we got to spend a lot of time together. Unfortunately we haven't lived in the same state for the last two years (or, country) so I haven't had a lot of blog-worthy interaction with her. But Corey has been my very best friend for about five years now and I'm extremely fortunate to have her, even if she doesn't understand my need for lamps.

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    2. I read this comment and interpreted "Slash her" as a command. That was weird.

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    3. Me too, with the punctuation that is how I read it.

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  16. My name is jgirl, and I hoard converse sneakers. I am up to 63 pairs currently and have no plans to stop. It's a sickness, but at least I'll die with rocking kicks on my feet! ;)

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    1. Not ok! If they were shoes that were somewhat fashionable then it would be a different story, BUT YOU MUST GET RID OF THEM ALL IT'S ALMOST 2014!! (And you must destroy them, not thrift them because they would still exist!!)

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    2. Converse shoes are the shiz. I respect your obsession, and hope that the above anon breaks at least three heals on different pairs of their "fashionable shoes."

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  17. Perhaps it would help to view the Ugly Lamp Contest over at Better After. The "Bacon Barf" lamp is sure to put the fear of interior lighting in you. Though actually... you'll probably find the "Raccoon of Utter Despair" far more upsetting, considering you hate animals.

    http://www.betterafter.net/2013/08/ugly-lamp-contest-2013-final-round.html

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    1. OH MY GOSH! I can't believe those. Eli, take heed, this might be your future. "Raccoon of Utter Despair" just might give me nightmares.

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  18. Oh Eli. I totally understand. I come from a long line of hoarders and overpackers. I'm now trying to simplify my life and get rid of the excess I don't need. It's really difficult, but it gets easier if you prioritize. I decided that I only needed two lightsabers, and I've gotten rid of some of my extra shoes... but there is no sense in getting rid of any Nerf guns. Do you need the extra power cord for something you don't need, or an extra lamp? Which one can you live without? You can do it!

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  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBqhIVyfsRg

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    Replies
    1. That is sad, reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit

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    2. Hahaha! That's hilarious!

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  20. This is all fine and good, but, WHERE THE HELL is some sort of audio/video recording from The Porch last week?! I'll send you a lamp if you give us a video or a recording....

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    1. Sorry for the delay. We need some special cord and that's why it's taking a while. Should be up early next week, assuming Jolyn and I are able to figure out how to use technology.

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    2. Jolyn probably secretly threw away the special cord you are speaking of... Have you tried the miscellaneous cords you have lying around? They might be special enough to make it work!

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    3. I hear kids these days use the googles to figure out the technology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O7iUiftbKU
      Also, everyone from the office says Hello and Twice up the barrel, Once down the side (they said you'd know what that means).

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  21. First of all, I don't understand why lamps. I mean, most people hoard something but lamps? Do you have some sort of explanation that makes sense for that? I'd love to know. And you justify your "need" for lamps yet you give poor Krishelle such a hard time with her purse hoarding problem. I mean, purses make more sense. You can take them places and use them to put stuff in them and match your outfits. So... Yeah.

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    1. I think Eli answered this pretty much with "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND AND YOU HATE ANIMALS!" & "THEY REPRESENT MY CHILDHOOD AND A BULLYING EXPERIENCE I HAD IN THE SECOND GRADE, OK?!" And then he further explained with "I LIKE SEXY LIGHTING. SO SUE ME."

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    2. That's why I said "THAT MAKES SENSE" haha.

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  22. I'm the opposite of a hoarder. My husband sometimes will say, "Didn't I own a ..." and I will say, "Hm? Not that I remember..." because I probably THREW IT AWAY. In fact, when my son left for a two year Mormon mission, he said, "Mom, don't sell my stuff. I'm serious." I'm recovering, though. In fact, it's time to clean out the stuff-packed basement. I can tell because I can no longer safely navigate the ghosts of childhoods past to get to the food storage.

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  23. I hoard cardboard. Boxes, the inserts from boxes, the backs of notepads.....WHAT IF I NEED IT ONE DAY?

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  24. "I like sexy lighting, so sue me." Best line ever.

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  25. pics or it didn't happen!

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  26. Wow, this really makes me see you in a new light.

    But be careful, or you'll come across as a little shady.

    (Sorry, that's the best I've got!)

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  27. "sexy lighting"

    .. I'm quoting you on that

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  28. I am a second grade teacher. I horde pens and books. I have access to FREE pens in the office. So when I am in the office, I pick up a pen almost every time. I have a horribly full desk drawer FULL of pens and am trying to break the habit of getting more pens. I also like to horde file folders and paper. Then there are the books I horde that I will NOT let my students TOUCH. Only I am allowed to TOUCH them, READ from them, and SHARE the books with them.

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  29. If you have one I like, I'll totally buy it off you next time I'm in salt lake.

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  30. Thank you for sharing this. It has given me the courage to share with the world my collecting habit. I collect abandoned socks. I find most of them in our apartment complex's laundry room. I gently pick up each orphan and silently sob as I bring it back home. They are then tenderly hung by my chimney with great care. Sometimes, I'll even stop the cycle on the washer to look for abandon socks. Don't worry, I don't touch the underwear or anything --that's straight up creeper status. I now have 1,382 socks. They are my family. Because my own family left me. They left me in a laundromat in the Bronx when I was 18. And that's when I found my first sock. Part of me hopes to one day find one of your socks, but the other part of me knows you have a higher regard for your possessions.

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    1. do you have an address we can send orphaned socks to? I'm sick of these worthless deadbeats taking up extra space on top of my dryer that could be used for more useful clutter like lint, change, and pen caps.

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  31. I think you should become a lamp designer, then you can use the income from your lamps to fund your lamp addiction. OR maybe you can join a lamp collectors group and you can go to conventions, swaps and lamp shows where everone displays their most prized lamps. you can wear lamp themed clothing. your theme song could be Debbie Boones " You light up my life"

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  32. It's not hoarding if it's organized

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  33. You could send us some lamps. We only have about 3 for our entire house. We need more lamps.

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  34. Hoarding furniture isn't a problem, it's an asset. I currently only own 5 couches. I used to own more, but the garage was needing to be used for parking not couches so I had to sell them :(

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