Hoarders Season Premiere recap

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yesterday marked the second day I completely forgot to write a "Things I Love Thursday" post, and I'm not sure how you made it through your Friday workday without knowing about even more things that I like (kidding). But honestly, I didn't write yesterday because after my rather personal declaration on Wednesday, I was somewhat embarrassed to get back on here.

After I posted about my exercise addiction, I immediately left my apartment to go running (ironic), and while I was working out I kept going back and forth on my decision to open up about a very personal problem.  I felt incredibly vulnerable and had pretty much decided that as soon as I got back home, I was going to delete the post.

However, by the time I'd gotten back home, I already had a few comments on the post, so I knew it was too late. But after reading all of those wonderful insights and words of encouragement from you guys, I was suddenly glad that I wrote what I did. People's kindness overwhelms me and I really appreciate you taking the time to not only read my blog, but to leave such thoughtful, sweet comments.  I wonder why we try so hard to stuff everything down and keep all of our secrets under wrap when so often it seems like most other people are dealing with the exact same thing. I think women's lives in general would be easier if we were more open about our struggles and more openly supportive of each other. As cheesy as it is, I teared up a bit when I saw the comments.  I really did.  I had a major Oprah moment and felt extremely united with my fellow woman.

So thanks ... a million! I feel confident to charge onward and create a dialogue where we can chat away like school girls at a slumber party and talk about our periods and boys and ... cake.

And guess what?

You’ll never, ever guess. Never in a million, billion years.

So I’ll give you a hint: It’s on TV and it’s almost as awesome as Jersey Shore, but has less venereal disease and more vermin.

Give up?

The new season of Hoarders started this week! (I can hear your audible gasps of excitement from all the way over here!) And I’m pretty sure that the premier episode was the television equivalent to seeing a unicorn: I felt a mixture of amazement, confusion and wasn't sure if what I was seeing was real.


Monday’s premiere episode highlighted the Hoarders' key demographic: Two single, middle-aged women who do weird things in the confines of their homes.

Janet, a mother of like a thousand, has been living in isolation and filth since she and her husband divorced nearly 27 years ago. Allegedly her husband was so sick of her clutter that he both verbally and physically abused her (though the ex-husband contests this). Her ex-husband didn’t know how to deal with her issues, so he tried to scare them out of her by intimidation. Even Janet admits that the alleged abuse is the cause of her extreme hoarding today.

Janet no longer has heat or working plumbing and has to answer nature’s call by traveling outside and relieving herself on the side of her house (not unlike a dog or a drunk frat guy). However, she is very old and suffers from congestive heart failure, and her house is so full of mountains of waste that it’s near impossible for her to maneuver to her outdoor bathroom. That explains the various bottles and plastic cups strewn about the floor filled with apple juice.

Only, it’s not really apple juice … I’m confident you know where I’m going with this.

Yeah …

When the camera first revealed a shot of these “golden glasses” (Sorry, that was the best name I could come up with), I was horrified. Like, legitimately uncomfortable and how-can-the-FCC-even-allow-them-to-air-this horrified. But then again, I kind of get it. I’ve been stuck in the car on a very long road trip without nary a rest stop in sight and decided it might just be easier to pee my pants and call it a day. I understand that. However, what I don’t understand is keeping said soiled undergarments or pee-pee jars around for safe-keeping in the same area where you eat and sleep.

“I can’t throw these out! The memories! Think of the memories!”

But no, this woman honestly breaks my heart. She spends hours upon hours praying and attends mass daily (when she can get out of her house), living a life completely devoted to God (perhaps she should be praying for a broom and a dust pan?). Her children have all but abandoned her, refusing to visit and serving her with idle threats to call protective services if she doesn't clean up her house.
Dr. Zasio sums up Janet’s living conditions best when she said: “The main component that is filling the house is trash, feces covered diapers and bottles of urine.”

*buzzes in* “What is ‘Things That Will Make Me Vomit’?”


“I’m sorry. The answer we were looking for was ‘Reasons Not to Host a Dinner Party’.”


Ah, so close …

During the clean-up, family drama ensues when an estranged twin of one of the daughters shows up at the house to help remove trash and clean. She even brought along her toy poodle to demonstrate her commitment to the project. After lots of yelling, the good twin yelled the bad twin out of the house and everything was copacetic again (Well, I suppose as copacetic as a house filled with excrement could be).

After an argument over throwing out spoiled food, a priest from Janet’s church arrives as a surprise guest. Father Doc offers a blessing on the home (a little too late?) and leads a prayer with the whole family huddled into the freshly cleaned living room. The good twin breaks down into hysterical sobs, masking her tears by covering her eyes with her hands. It was an emotional moment, but I couldn’t help but think, “Oh gosh, is she touching her face with the same gloves she was wearing when she was tossing out her mother’s dirty diapers? Can we say ‘pink eye’?”

Watching Hoarders always makes me want to apply a gallon of hand sanitizer.

Phyllis is the other hoarder we met on Monday's episode, but I didn’t pay too much attention to her segment. Watching the first 5 minutes of her introduction scene gave me all of the information I needed to decide that I wasn’t going to be watching the rest of it.

Phyllis loves dolls … a lot. She loves dolls the way I love Sour Skittles and matching kitchen towels. She has so many dolls in her house that she started storing them in her 40 year-old son’s room (which already raises so, so many questions. What could be more of a babe magnet than living with your mom and having hundred of dolls in your bedroom?). Phyllis makes almost daily trips to thrift stores and will by any doll she finds, regardless of quality or condition. She then brings them home and takes care of them the same way you would take care of a childchanging their clothes, giving them baths, etc.

Seems a bit strange, but mostly pretty tame, right?

Wrong.

Phyllis has a small section of a room that she likes to refer to as the “doll hospital”. Here, Phyllis will pronounce a doll as “deceased” and then proceed to chop off hair or limbs that will serve as “transplants” for other dolls. In fact, the Hoarders camera crew caught Phyllis cutting the arm off of one doll and adding it to another stating, “This one has been on the donor wait list for awhile!”

I can almost make peace with this. Almost. My sister and I used to stand on my Dad’s porch and chuck our Barbie dolls over the railing, holding on to nothing but their hair so that there’s bodies would disconnect and going flying off into the yard. So, I can’t really judge because people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones … or something.

But as I recall, my sister and I didn’t cackle like crazy witches as we bore scissors into our dolls chests and removed their body parts for “surgery”. I think I could live a thousand lifetimes and would still never be able to get the sound of that snicker out of my head. It was kind of like “I’ll get you my pretty!” mixed with that creepy laugh at the end of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.

So that’s when I stopped watching Phyllis.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, enjoyable weekend and I will see you back here on Monday! :)

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