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prepare ye the way of the end times

So many people posted today about preparing for some kind of attack, and having a plan and all kinds of necessities in the house that I felt the sudden urge to run out to Price Club and bulk up.

Then I realized that I don't have to, because I have been preparing for this for years. Allow me a repeat post here, so I can prove to you that some idiosyncracies do come in handy.

From January 31, 2002:

I have a shopping problem. I like to buy in bulk.

It's not even one of those Costco/Price Club bulk binge problems. Because I don't buy the bulk all at once. I just collect items until they become bulk quantity.

I've been this way since I was little. I was a hoarder. I would take canned goods, candy bars, those little boxes of cereal and put them under my bed. I once packed a suitcase full of silverware, napkins, canned fruit and, of course, a can opener. I hid it in my closet, sure that one night a hurricane or earthquake or tidal wave or alien invasion would necessitate my having a suitcase full of sliced peaches ready to go. I was always prepared for the worst, ready to stave off starvation by just reaching under my bed. Eventually my mother realized what I was doing and took all my supplies back, muttering something about therapy.

This quirk persisted into high school and beyond, when I would buy pot in mass quantities and store it away in my nightstand in case there was a nuclear war and I was the last one standing and needed to spend the rest of my lonely days in a hazy oblivion.

Eventually my pack rat sensibilities crossed over into other areas. I saved months worth of Creem magazines to read when I was under quarrantine when the inevitable plague arrived. I bought loose leaf paper by the box, sure that I would need it all to write down my memoirs when I was the sole surivor of an asteroid disaster. At some point, I was able to keep my hoarding impulses under control and I stopped collecting things for future disasters.

You can never keep a good quirk down. A few months ago, I went into the pantry to get hot cups. I stared at the shelves in horror. When did the uncontrollable urge to buy uneeded items in bulk strike me again? I didn't even realize it had started up. But there lining the shelves was the evidence. 6 packages of hot cups. 4 packs of styrofoam bowls, 100 to a pack. Enough paper plates to take down the entire rainforest. I walked around the house in a daze, opening cabinets and drawers and cupboards. 4 Economy sized boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups. 12 - yes 12 - cans of coffee. 5 lbs of butter in the freezer. 7 boxes of Success white rice. And somewhere along the line, I must have developed a chicken broth fetish without realizing it. Justin took out the calculator and did a quick survey. All together, in a myriad of cans and those stay-fresh-forever boxes, was 293.5 ounces of chicken broth.

The sad thing is, the compulsion to overbuy doesn't end with food. I have three 100 count boxes of CD-Rs in my closet. 6 packs of blue Sharpies. 10 marble notebooks. And tampons. I could plug up the Mississippi River with the amount of tampons I have.

Am I subconciously getting ready for a nuclear winter? Am I preparing once again to be the last person standing on earth? Or do I just have really bad buying habits?

Gotta go. ShopRite is having a sale on plastic forks.

I could probably live forever with the amount of food and supplies we have in our small living space. Which begs the question, would I want to?

By the way, my back is killing me tonight and my wonderful husband propped me up at the computer chair with some pillows and a footrest and some Motrin. I'll be here all night or until I pass out. Try to keep up, ok?


Hon, you're not the only one who stocks and restocks. I buy things without thinking and end up with 47 boxes of bandaids, three cases of toilet paper, a pallet of chicken noodle soup, and enough soap to bathe and clean half an African nation.

It sneaks up on you. Of course, I can't find a single one of those things when I need them and end up running out to the store once again.

I do the same thing.

My kids grew up with food in the cupboard and laugh at me because I always keep the shelves full and I have more in a closet in the hall.

I just feel more comfortable when I open the kitchen cabinets and stuff almost falls out.

I had lean hungry days when I was younger and that is always somewhere in the back of my mind.

Yeah,I'm with you all on this one,remembering that two weeks of pumpernickel pancakes and making that stick of butter hold out.

There's a real quick cure for Pack Rat-itis: read My Brother's Keeper by Marcia Davenport.
This novel is based on the lives of the Collier brothers. The circumstances surrounding their deaths created quite a stir in New York. Evidently, one brother was crushed under a mountain of collected newspapers and trash that collapsed on him when he inadvertently tripped a booby-trap wire. The other brother, who was confined to a wheelchair, starved to death while waiting for the now-flattened brother to deliver his dinner.
It was a thoroughly gruesome book. I first read it when I was about 14 years old. It created a clearly-defined Fear of Too Much Stuff that has stayed with me throughout my life.

oh my god. i have half a pint of eggnog and a jar of pickles in my fridge. i've got to kidnap my parents and make them take me to sam's. and they're in columbus with my grama. by the gods, please no biological strike before my dad comes back on saturday!

but at least i've got gin...

My mother used to say to me when I was young, "Your room looks like Collier's mansion!"

Tanya, in the event of an emergency drink all the gin and you'll never know what hit you.

Have you thought about switching to Mormonism? They're big into that.

It's more like feast or famine around here. I despise grocery shopping and only do it once every 3 months or so. - It's not as bad as it sounds, we get fresh fruit, veggies, milk, eggs, and OJ delivered every week. - When I do go, I seriously stock up. For a month, we have no room to store anything. Slowly, it all gets depleted until we're using paper towels in the bathroom and I know it's time to go shopping again.

Paper clips. Every time I open a drawer in the house, I find a box of paper clips. Metal ones... cheepie plastic ones... novelty oversized ones... vinyl coated ones... everywhere.

At the dinner table:
"Could you get me a steak knife?"
"I'm sorry, they're all dirty, but I got a paper clip you can have!"