Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My friend Stig's account of Clutterer's Anonymous

This is NOT my experience...enjoy Stig's world.

Hi my wonderful friends. I attended my first Clutterers Anonymous meeting. Oh my goodness I just do not know what to say about this organization. I thought I was in the middle of filming an episode of Antique Roadshow. The sign in sheet asked for our first name and our main items of clutter. Reading over the list felt as if I were reading Craigslist or classified ads. There was a lady that had used six lines to list her main items of clutter whereas I was able to fit my collections into one line and have space left for a few more items if I wanted to be more honest with the people. I am not one to gossip and I do not feel that it is appropriate to mention the goings on during a twelve step meeting outside of a group but I feel that Clutterers Anonymous is not as much of a self help group or meeting as much as it is a flea market or swap meet. As I read over the list I noticed the lady who had the massive listing had listed discarded cigarette packs within her clutter items. I smoke a few packs of Virginia Slim 100's a day and do not find this an item of interest. Several minutes before I entered the meeting I had noticed a lady that was digging through one of the outside trash cans and had been pulling out what I thought were pieces of paper. Once the meeting started I noticed the same lady was in the meeting and remained quiet throughout then I noticed that she kept staring at my chest. It only took a few minutes for me to realize that she was staring at my pack of Virginia Slim Menthol 100's in my pocket. Throughout the meeting people stood up and told stories of searching and answering classified and online ads such as Craigslist and Freecycle for their collections and as each person spoke I noticed that several people were taking notes as if they were compiling shopping lists. When it was my turn I stood and told everyone of my hobbies and my collections such as the trial size items, childhood Barbies and toys, replica vintage potholders and various crafts that I have made over the years and I ended with a description of my replica of Damien Hirst's Lullaby Spring. I noticed the cigarette lady licking her lips as I talked all the while staring at my chest. When I finished you could hear a pin drop. I just felt as if I did not belong, like I was some kind of freak or something. I do not understand how people that collect items that varied from empty tealights, burned out lightbulbs, dead batteries, crushed cigarette packages, toilet paper rolls, paper clips, pencil shavings, carpet samples, plastic grocery bags, broken drill bits, potato chip packages, dryer lint and old eyeshadow applicators could think that my collectables were something of a freakish nature. I was happy that I was the last person to speak because the second the meeting let out I wanted out the door. It took twenty minutes to get to the parking lot as I had been approached by many members of the group. They not once welcomed me to the group, each inquired regarding items in my collection and making offers. I smoked my last two Virginia Slims and no sooner than I walked away from the garbage can I turned to see the cigarette lady retreive the empty pack. I had to hail a cab to escape the urge to set myself ablaze and run down the street. I paid fifty-four dollars in total to make sure the cab driver circled my block and made figure eights around Los Angeles to make sure I was not being followed. I called my doctor this morning and he called in a prescription for xanax at the Rite Aid on Wilshire. I have been too scared to leave my condo today that I called out of work tonight and offered one of the clerks at the pharmacy a hundred dollars in cash to bring the xanax to my condo, unfortunately no one from the store would so I have taken a Valium and a Klonopin from my Lullaby Spring display. I hope I never run into any of those people in A.A., N.A. or S.A. Thank you for reading. Stig Ren.

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