I’m a hoarder. Can I call myself a hoarder if my stuff is organized?
Because the people on that show are insanely clutter-y. And I do not like clutter. Does that then make me simply a collector? OK then, I’m a collector. I collect things, not like coins or art or lint, but things that seem right to me. Then I hoard my collections until I feel they’re ready to be used. I used to do this with allowance when I was little. And Halloween or Christmas candy. My brother would eat all of his goodies immediately and I would keep mine in a safe place for months and months and savor each and every morsel, hold on to certain pieces, the best ones, like say a large Snickers bar, until the perfect time. I never have the perfect time in mind, I just keep things until that time happens to come. Until I feel it’s right. Sometimes this means things go bad before I decide they’re ready…like nice perfume, for instance. Or fresh produce. Makeup. Television recordings.
We are clients of a large cable company that sends us emails throughout
the year advertising ‘free HBO and Showtime this weekend only!’ And I turn into a crazy person. I’m scouring the TV guide to record
whatever I can that I haven’t seen before. Or have seen a million times
before. Or actually own on DVD. I just record things that I feel like
recording. Because its free. And I like free. It’s not like I’m stealing or anything. I
mean, they’re giving it to me. So I take advantage of it. I’m American. I’m the fat man at the All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant that won’t leave until I do, in fact, eat all I can eat.
It’s your fault, Fat Restaurant or Big Cable Company, if you give me enough rope to hang myself with. I need
boundaries or I become a hoarder. An organized, hoarder of collections. Our list of recordings on our DVR is so large and magnificent that it should have
its own show. ‘Extreme Recordings!’ on TLC, on after Hoarders. What are
you in the mood for tonight?Drama? Comedy? Romance?Whatever you need, baby, I got it! I’m like a drug
dealer every weekend night to my husband. And we have it all.
We had it all. Until Friday. We had been experiencing trouble with
our cable service and scheduled a technician to come out Friday from
8-12. I wasn’t particularly happy about potentially staying home during the only hours I get to go do things before my children nap. But I needed my goodies back. And it’s only 4 hours out of the day, probably less if they come early. (Please come early!!) I got a call from the technician at 7:30 a.m., saying he would be here at
9:00 and would call me on his way. Perfect! This never happens! Hooray for me! I took the
kids on our daily walk (which I didn’t think I was gonna be able to do)
and came back at 9:00. Waited. Waited. Waited. Got a
call from the technician again at 11:30.
CABLE CO.- “Hello, Mrs. Wade. This is (insert technician name
here) from (insert cable company name here)”
ME- “Hi, how are you?”
C.C.- “Not good. this heat is killin’ me. I’m runnin’
behind. But I will call you when I’m on my way”
ME- “OK….Can I have a time frame so I
can leave the house and take care of some things?”
C.C.- “Oh yeah, sure! Go run errands! Do whatever you need to do! I will call you
when I’m on my way. I’m just runnin’ a little behind but won’t be too long.”
Well at least I can go to the grocery store. I’ll
be pushing it but I’ll make it work. I speed through the grocery store.
On fourth of July weekend. At the busiest intersection in town. During
lunch. Not easy, but possible. I get home, unload in a frantic hurry and feed the kids (all the while forgetting the eggs in my 103 degree car and leaving them to fry overnight) and I wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. I put the kids
down for a nap. I need a shower. I need to do a lot of things. I get a call
finally at 1:45. (Let us all remember that my time frame was 8-12.)
CABLE CO- “Hello, Mrs. Wade. This is…”
ME, inside my brain- (I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, DAMMIT!!!
WHERE THE $&%# ARE YOU?!?!?!)
ME, as an adult- “Um, hi. How are you?”
C.C.- “Oh, not good. Not doing too good, but I’m on my
way. I’m just 23-25 minutes away.”
Well, at least he’s specific now. And he sure isn’t shy about his feelings either. ‘Not good?’ Geez, I couldn’t wait to meet this guy. I rush and shower
and get dressed, then come back downstairs and sit and wait. Wait. Wait.
Wait. I begin to feel a bit like a 7th grader waiting for the boy to call. I do not like this feeling. I do not like waiting. I do not like being lied to or taken advantage of. It makes me a little nutty. Twenty minutes later I get a call from a different number on our home phone and a Robot Lady tells me a technician will be
here in one hour and a half.
ROBOT- “Press one if this is time is acceptable”
ME, inside my brain-(AHHHH!!!! What number do I press
for ‘I’m so pissed off and
wish I could punch you in your robot face?!
Who do you think you are, Robot Lady?! Who are you to tell me how to live my life?!
Who made you the boss, huh? Huh?!)
ME, as an adult- (Presses One.)
I wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. I get another call on the house phone, forty five minutes later . I do not have high hopes for this phone call. I secretly wish it is Robot Lady so I can release some steam again.
C.C.- “Hi this is (insert new technician name here) and I’m taking over your appointment
the previous technician is in the hospital.
He had a heat stroke.
be there in 20 minutes.”
Well damn. He was serious. The heat really was
killing him. And my eggs. I take a moment to feel bad for First Guy and I wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. One hour later, (not 20 minutes later, mind you. ONE HOUR LATER. IT IS NOW 4:20 PM!!!), a cable van
leisurely pulls in my driveway. And, within two minutes of him being here, after I offer him a scone and some lemonade (…what? I’m Southern!!), new technician says,
“You need a new box.”
ME- “Oh God. Please
tell me you have that in your van.”
NEW TECHNICIAN-“Oh yeah, I do. But… here’s the thing- you’re gonna lose
all your recordings.”
N.T.- “Um, ma’am? Ma’am?…Do you want me to get started on that?…Ma’am?”
ME- __________”I’m sorry, what did you say?”
N.T.- “I have to replace your cable box and, in doing that, you will lose all your recordings.
Do you want me to go ahead and get started on that?”
Now, this is where my brain starts spinning. I have been waiting since 7:30 this morning for, not this man, but his hot friend, to come and fix my cable so my family can watch all of the things that I have hoarded collected on my DVR. And now, Number 2 Guy comes in my house, 9 hours later, and tells me that in order to fix my problem he will have to take away all of the recordings I was trying to watch in the first place? What kind of sense does this all make? How can one wrap their brain around such a thing? One simply cannot. This whole day was just a big ole waste of time. And I do not like wasting things. I felt deflated and exhausted and also silly because I was talking about TV here! There are starving people in this world, and I’m complaining about a moving picture box. I just told him to do whatever he needed to do. And then I just started laughing. This poor, extra large man must have thought I was insane because I just couldn’t stop laughing. You gotta release that stress somehow, right? Well, mine came out in the form of giggles. And I’m sure Number 2 Guy was thankful it didn’t come out in the same way it did for Robot Lady. Number 2 Guy worked for about an hour and I was able to leave the house at about 5:15. I was taking my kids to my parents house so my husband and I could go have a drink for a mini date.
It was so hot outside at that point. It was 104 degrees, a record breaking day apparently. I was sweating through my cute outfit within the first 30 seconds of loading the kids in the car. My make-up was dripping down my face and my hair was matted to my neck. We turned onto the main road and sat in Holiday Weekend Rush Hour traffic for several minutes, trying to cool off again and then it dawned on me what a jerk I was. Look at me now, raccoon-eyed and drippy, I’m a mess! I had it pretty nice all day long! And I was beginning to feel why First Guy is now in the hospital, all because he had to be out in this heat. I had been sitting inside all day, in the nice air conditioning, complaining about not being able to go outside. All I could think about once I was out there was how I wanted, desperately, to be back home again. DVR or not. Because that simply shouldn’t affect a day like it did mine and you know what? I’ve got bigger eggs to fry.
(recipe makes 4 cups)
(I picked up a 15 pound box of overly ripe and slightly bruised, local peaches from my farmers market last weekend and planned on cooking them all right away before they all went really bad.
This is very unlike me, seeing as how I tend to ‘save’ things a little too aggressively, but I knew I had no choice here. That first day we all ate our share of ripe, juicy peaches over the kitchen sink, I made Peach Cobbler, Peach Ice cream, Peach Chutney, and my husband and I drank Peach Southsides. Then I made Peach Margaritas the next night, I froze a couple gallons of sliced peaches for later, and I made 4 cups of this Peach Butter. My recipe is not as sweet as other recipes may be, but that’s just how I like it. I also don’t add spices because it feels too Christmasy when I do, but feel free to add any ‘cookie spices’ you like and more sugar if you feel it needs it. It’s delicious spread on toast, eaten in place of jelly with peanut butter, or stirred into oatmeal.)
-In a large pot, add 12 peaches, cut up (mine were so ripe that I literally squeezed them with my hands over the pot), the zest and juice of one lemon,a good pinch of kosher salt, and 2/3 cup of sugar. Stir well.
-Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer this, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until it reduces by 3/4 and is thick and the color of dark brown sugar. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
-Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge or in a zip bag, laid flat in the freezer. Once the butter freezes, flattened in the bag, you can then store it upright along with any other sauces you may have in there, just like books on a shelf.