I recently had a Sunday afternoon filled with laundry and cleaning and the other assorted trappings of civilized life that prevent you from going out and actually LIVING. As such, I was left to the mercy of daytime television. Now I’ve pointed it out before, but at some point in the past TLC went from being Discovery Channel Lite to The Tumor Removal, Fertility Abnormality, and Mental Disorder Channel. Regardless, officially love this channel because it has made me fully aware of all of the problems I don’t have.
It is only recently that I became aware of “Hoarders”. For those lucky enough to not even know what this is, let me explain. There are some people who don’t throw things away. I don’t mean that they keep VHS tapes when they don’t have a VCR anymore. I don’t even mean people who have every birthday card they ever received. I’m talking people who just can’t part with that used tissue from 1988. From what I can tell, every episode is roughly the same, showing people failing to be able to explain WHY they refuse to get rid of the paper plates from the bicentennial barbecue. It is a deep seated mental problem, and thankfully a problem I don’t have. Things may pile up around the house, but it isn’t out of sentimentality or a psychological disorder, it is strictly laziness. Eventually I grab a garbage bag, sweep everything into it, and then spend a few days wondering where all of those bills I’ve been meaning to pay went. Usually right after an episode of Hoarders.
OCD is another one.I’ll straighten up the pictures on the wall, or flip all of my dollars to face the same way. I do not, however, touch the doorknob three times, lock it, unlock it, lock it, and touch it three more times every time I leave. I saw people on this channel that would walk back up the stairs and walk down again, because they didn’t walk down correctly the first time. Were you at the top of the stairs? Did you end up at the bottom of the stairs? Well, then. Mission accomplished. The only time I consider myself to have walked down the stairs incorrectly is if I actually FELL down the stairs. And even THEN I don’t feel compelled to try it again. So I might make sure that the mouse pointer paperweight on my desk is oriented correctly, but OCD I am not.
It might not seem like the same thing, but I also don’t have a 313 lb tumor. The rest of these have been mental disorders, so you would think that I would have gone for another one of those. If you think about it, though, having a 313 lbs tumor IS a mental disorder. Having a 6 ounce tumor is a physical problem. Hell, even a 1 lb tumor is a physical problem. Anything over 10 lbs is definitely a mental problem. Why? Because it takes a very special person to let an abnormal growth get that big before deciding to do something about it. “Hmm… Should I go to the doctor? I seem to be growing a second torso… Nah, maybe it’ll fall off once it hits 200 lbs. Or maybe I’m pregnant with a grown up!” I did manage to shed 140+ lbs of useless flesh, but it wasn’t a tumor, it was good old, All-American flab. Completely different.
I’ll close by saying that my fondness of the shows that illustrate all of these terrible problems I don’t have is not universal. Me? I watch Hoarders and think, “Maybe I’ll clean my room.” I watch a guy with OCD and decide sorting my quarters by year probably isn’t necessary. I watch the tumor show and resolve to get that mole looked at. Other people watch these shows and decide that, since they aren’t QUITE as bad as what’s on the screen, they have no problem at all. This is probably not a healthy outlook. You may only have one room in your house stuffed to the brim with maggots and used diapers, rather than EVERY room, but you should probably still clean it out one of these days. Also, don’t try to go for the size record before having the doctor check out that tumor. There is no shame in being the guy who got the 312 lbs tumor sliced off… Well, there’s SOME shame, but it has nothing to do with not waiting until it was ripe.