KEEP..?FOR KEEPS?

Because we grew up without the privileges,other children in our neighborhood and in school had,we had to take care of what we had,or live without it.

Since I can remember,I wore hand-me-downs.It wasn’t the nicest feeling,to go to school,wearing a pair of school shoes,that was worn by a neighbor’s child and even worse,was when that child,lived right across the street from you ànd was part of the “rich” children’s group.When at home,we were “friends” but the minute she set foot in the school gate,I was bullied,teased and made fun of,like the other poor and even poorer children.She would tell the other children,that I was wearing her old shoes and like bullies do,they found a way to hurt me.My soft spot,was that they would make up a song and sing it out loud,that I’m wearing hèr”hand-me-downs” I couldn’t deny it,because like all the clothes and shoes,my mother got from them,were thoroughly marked with her name.

When I reached grade 5,I was sort of immune, against them targeting and terrorising me.Those years, the primary school sport,only started when you’re in grade 4 and at the right age.I was a year behind,because àll children born befòre the 15/06 of a year,went to school,when they were six years old.I was born on the 17th of June and could only go to school,the year I turned 7.This meant that I was a bit taller and older in class and in the sports team,than most other girls my age.My age meant,I could only start playing Netball,in grade 5.We could do the daily practices,without sport shoes,but we had to wear them,when competing against other schools.I made it to the best team, which was,like the school classes,decided in “A” for first and “B” for second best.My only problem was,like àll other personal necessities,my parents wouldn’t use some of their “weekend-drinking-spree” money,to buy me the pair of mandatory sneakers.I lost out,on the first two games away.So did a few other poor children,who also did vèry good.The school decided to “sponsor our shoes,but we couldn’t take it home.We had to treat it with white “Shoe-shine”after each match and then it was put in the box and locked away.

I honestly can’t remember one single time,my mother bought me clothes,except for sòme of the secondhand,” hand-me-downs”

I got married,at such a young age and started getting vèry “protective” of “my” things.I wanted so much,but again,I had to be satisfied,with secondhand furniture and other household items,as my then deadbeat spermdonor husband,was extremely allergic to WORK.I remarried and things were better…I had trouble buying some clothes,because I had no clue,on how to go about!!I was sort of shy,when trying to buy something,because I couldn’t decide,between the variety items,I had to choose from.

After my second husband’s death,I remarried(and I’m still married to this wonderful man,nearly 24 years,on 30/03)and things started getting much better. I could do more shopping and could choose what I wanted!!Then my saving” started….I kept items, because I might just use it again,or use it for something else.I gathered just about anything.I don’t want my husband to through his(few and far apart)beercans away,as someone could sell it,for some sort of income.I don’t want to get rid of papers,as I can make paper mache,or paper crete from it…. this includes the egg boxes and the eggshells,that can be used in the flower/container fruittree pots.I keep all glas jars and have a obsession, of keeping plastic bottles and containers.

When we go shopping,my cart would surely not be completely filled,without plastic containers and jars.I hàve to buy towels and dishcloths.Can’t walk past the shelve showcasing drinking glasses.I nèèd to buy flour,instant yeast and baking powder….just in case.Like to have tins of condensed milk,packets of desiccated coconut,margarine, spaghetti,soup and cheese.Pillow cases and fitted sheets!!Most,not rèàlly necessary,on the specific reason behind the“quick” shopping,for just a few things….

I save everything,because I don’t want to have to,go without anything,like I had to,all the previous years.I need to have flour and yeast,because I’m worried, that something might happen and I don’t have money to buy any food…..or I want to make something,then I have the ingredients.I save the egg boxes and shells,because I can and might use it.I keep collecting dishcloths and towels,because I don’t want to run out of any….and what if I need to go to hospital?

I know that this behavior,is a direct result of the limited privileges,during my childhood,from since I can remember and also because of the lack,of personal possessions,as child and young adult….

Now,I see myself as a person,who don’t want to waste,by throwing things away,if I might have a use for it,some day…..A few days ago,after stumbling over some empty,plastic cold drink bottles,my husband jokingly remarked,that I am a hoarder…. not half as much as the ones on the TV program,but still….I laughed it off and we made a big joke out of it and then it was forgotten…..until today,when my eye caught the top,of one of my kitchen cupboards….packed with empty egg boxes,and egg shells,coffee tins and…..

I’m not totally falling for hoarding,but how about;I am a saving hoarder….?

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