Confessions of a Packrat

Yep, ‘fraid so. This rat packs. Waaay too much, in fact. And last night, I received a packrat’s dream gift: stuff.

Miss Kitty, BFF Kay’s mother and a sweet, sweet lady until her passing coming up on one year ago, was a fellow rat packer. I mean, pack ratter. I mean, she was just like me. She kept stuff.

Now you might not think it’s cool, and that’s all right. That’s the way we p-rats roll: we keep what *we* think is cool. And this, I must admit, is downright frosty. Behold:

What’s that pile of garbage, you ask? Why, it’s 44 gift bags, all in pristine condition, dating back probably 20 years. She received a gift, and boxed the bag. Received a gift, boxed the bag. Received a gift…you get the idea. I recognized the yellow one with the purple flowers and stripes; it contained a gift we gave her several years ago. And who knows how many bags were lost along the way. Still — they’re all mine, and I will pack them away until the next birthday, baby shower or Christmas event. After all, it’s worth the pack-ratting if the stuff has an eventual purpose, right? Of course right.

A bit on the funnier side was the other half of this booty. Some may think it strange, but knowing that Miss Kitty was born in 1925 and lived through the Great Depression brings much of this behavior into better focus. Here is a small sampling of the wrapping paper — some intact in its packaging, but most just random scraps — I inherited last night:

And we’re talking hundreds of scrap pieces, many looking like they’re from the 1970s. It’s awesome. And little jewelry boxes? Likely a dozen of those, in all shapes and sizes. Even some gift bows, sticky name tags, and partial rolls of ribbon. And they’re all my preciouses. As soon as I feed the three hungry dogs at my feet, I plan to go into the dining room and arrange the bounty in one box, and have the Thriller store it in the basement utility room.

I love things and stuff, don’t you?

8 thoughts on “Confessions of a Packrat

  1. David

    We have a massive box hidden away on the top shelf in the office closet that looks just like your stuff! Box is so full, so heavy it takes two men and a boy to lift it but by golly we can wrap any size gift for any occasion. In fact, Ms Liz has one box simply with wrapping paper/gift bag stuff and a separate box for ribbons and bow stuff.
    I am a pack rat when it comes to nuts, bolts, screws and nails…cause you never know when you are going to need that one 6/32 machine screw or carriage bolt.
    I am a stuff sort of guy! I also love the corresponding cubby holes where I store some of my stuff.
    Enjoy your Holiday break Ms Fink…Peace!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Oh, you mean like this?


      I like how Ms. Liz thinks! And the Thriller is very much like you: he never throws *anything* away, and has a cubby for everything. You guys would get along famously!

      Hugs back atya, pal!

  2. Ross Bonander

    Sing it sister. If you wrote me a note in high school on a scrap of paper no bigger than a postage stamp, I still have it. And everything on up, starting from about 1984. I have trouble throwing things away. Amber once found a piece of scratch paper on which my mother had written down two people that called me that day– in 1988. She’s like ‘throw it away already!’ and I’m like ‘Why? I’ve held on to it this long.’

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Now I must say, you put me to shame on that score — you still have stuff from the 80s? That is fantastic. What is it about our inability to pull the trigger on throwing stuff away? I know people who never save anything. I can’t imagine it. But boy, their lives are clutterless, which I envy.

      I know I’ll have to give up stuff sooner or later (like when we eventually sell this house and move), but for now, I’ll hang onto my many things, thank you. I wish I’d kept more stuff from high school!

  3. Mavis

    My husband saves *everything*. I mean – everything. Did I say EVERYTHING?! *sigh* When you come to my place, you’d never know it, though. I’ve become an expert at storing it all away! In all fairness, though, I’ve saved a few things in my life. I have almost all of the playbills from your musicals. I just need to go through the drawers to find them all. ;-) I also have a letter, written in the 80’s by a woman that had advanced stage Alzheimer’s. Most of it made no sense, but it meant a lot to me.

    I LOVE that you save gift bags, wrapping paper and bows! You’re so creative with it. Every year your packages look different. Even if you use the same ribbon, you have a way of making it all look new!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I told the Thriller last night, “We won’t have to buy another gift bag for the next 10 years!” haha He liked that. I’m surprised at how UN-cluttered your house looks all the time!

      I need to get with you on those programs from my old shows — I have NONE! Not even in the scrapbook Dad kept. I have tons of other programs, but they’re all from OMEA stuff like Regional and All-State Orchestra. Almost no choir or theater programs at all. Strange, eh?

      And I do so love to wrap! Since I have zero creative talent in any form of visual art, it’s one thing that allows me to appear at least moderately able to construct a pretty thing, lol.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Organized CHAOS is more like it! I never know where anything is, but the Thriller can recall all that detritus in a New York minute. I don’t know how he does it, and if I’m ever in a bind and he’s not home to find stuff, look out. hahaha


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