panicking in bulk
When I wasn't having the usual nightmares last night, my husband was keeping me awake by talking in his sleep. He played Resident Evil for a few hours last night, so I imagine that's where some of his more bizarre lines came from. I dreamed that I was on an operating table. There were people all around me, none of them doctors, all of them holding sharp instruments. They were going to dissect me. When the first person laid the sharp edge of a razor blade on my stomach, I didn't even flinch. I saw the thin line of blood emerge, and then another person ran his fingers down the line, spreading the slice open. Yet another person, this one a female, used gloved hands to pull the skin of my stomach apart, revealing several cans of Snack pack chocolate pudding, a few spoons and a jar of pickles. Inside my stomach.
Yes, those individual chocolate puddings used to come in small, flip-top cans. I remember this vividly because my sister once sliced her tongue open when she tried to lick the cover she had just pulled off. I suppose the dream has something to do with my post from yesterday when I wrote about hoarding food under my bed as a child. I also spent a good portion of the day yesterday looking up suggestions for bug-out boxes and contemplating a trip to Price Club. I figure if I want to stock up on all the necessities needed in case of nuclear winter or a zombie invasion, I'lll need to empty make some kind of underground bunker the length and width of my backyard to store all the stuff safely. I've been wondering why I'm such a hoarder. Is it just a genetic defect or did something from my childhood (stories about the depression from my grandmother, perhaps?) send me into a lifelong panic mode? Ah, look. I already wrote something about my penchant for bulk buying and the purchase of unecessary items in large quantities. Which is a good thing, as I need to leave for work now. [the rest of this post is a repeat from early 2002, but it might server as further psychological evidence that I lived through some kind of great disaster in a past life. Or didn't live through it, more likely. Maybe I was a member of the Donner party and I don't want to have to go through another episode of cannibalism] so, does anyone else collect chicken broth? 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 3 100 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.