Friday, 16 December 2011

Ding Dong Avon Hoarding

Major Dragon is an Avon Lady.  Not your hoof the streets, ringing doorbells one, just selling to workmates and friends. So every three weeks or so another couple of boxes of stuff arrive in The Dragon Hoard.  You know where this is going don’t you? That is right. MD gets a sale book and gets spending.  She used to have dreams of a sale or an Avon party when she sold it all off.  Only it turns out when she tried to sell sale items, of course, there had been a reason they were cheap.  And of course, no party.  (Well maybe little elves could have one in the microwave. I would like some elves in here)  Very little was sold. And most of that wasn’t particularly sold at a profit as the folk she was trying to sell to regarded something for a pound as not cheap enough. So in a box it went. Then another box. 5 years later… well I am not brave enough to count it up.  I just stacked the boxes so I could get past them and carried on. It got to the stage that MD had no idea how much stuff she owned. She still doesn’t.
My sister (she should really have a dragon name like the rest of us shouldn’t she? Reformed Dragon? RD?) on one of her break and bin missions to the Dragon Hoard turned to Major Dragon while she was running through the excuses, about to shout, stopped and started to think. She went home and rang back. “Right. I am going to get my boyfriend to give me a lift over in a week. You have the Avon stuff ready to go and I will take it away and sell it on ebay”  This is a pretty big thing to offer since RD IS really a reformed hoarder.  Unfortunately she had to have a bit of a breakdown to do it.  Taking boxes of extra stuff into her home is no easy thing for her. MD gratefully accepted. But nothing happened. Gentle prodding got nowhere. I rang RD and said “maybe you should leave it this week.  There is nothing ready to go.”
And we waited.
A fortnight later RD lost patience and started shouting at MD on the phone who was all defensive and pointed out RD hadn’t been over anyway. This dragon hid in the kitchen till they finished snipping at each other.  A day was finally set. RD was going to get her boyfriend to drive her over after his work to collect stuff.  MD had another week to put together some Avon boxes to leave.
And we waited.
Two days before RD was due to turn up nothing had been done.  I was really torn.  It really isn’t my stuff.  It has value.  She buys it as xmas gifts and that is bearing down on us at great speed.  She really buys a lot of it for herself.  I wanted her to sort it in to vague price ranges. Say like 5 quid or under, £5 – £10 and £10+.  Three boxes and just lob each item in one according to value till you needed a new box.  In hindsight this was a serious mistake.
See, part of hoarding is being stymied by where to start to fix it. MD has a thing that she can’t begin something till she has made space for it.  Something that, with the current state of the Hoard is completely impossible. So she makes a grand plan. Then gets discouraged as her mind will not head to the really crucial bit of the grand plan, the actual point of it.  Which is probably somewhere round number 3 or even 5 on the list.
How did MD stop herself this time?
MD’s Grand Plan
1) Clear dining room (a room that is currently completely out of commission) this was to -
2) Clear living room (a room reduced to a single hamster track through and one free seat.) so MD could -
3) Empty out the sets of storage drawers filled with Avon.
4) Then sort it.
5) Then stack it up for RD to collect.
She of course, had added in a load of side “quests” like finding the expensive iron she has lost, possibly in the dining room. She put it somewhere as she hadn’t wanted to use it till the Hoard was cleared. About 3 or 4 years ago. Then her iron broke this year. So she bought another cheap one as the expensive one has wandered off.  But she hates it.  Most of the Hoard discussion is never really focused on since if you talk about clearing an area she sits wondering out loud if that is where the expensive iron is.  By the time we find that damn thing I will have to restrain myself from breaking and binning it so I can stop being haunted by the ghost of it drifting above the Hoard on little puffs of steam.
So we have an argument.  Where I point out it would be a hell of a lot simpler if she just tipped the drawers into boxes or bags and never mind 1) and 2) since WTF is she doing etc etc. (note: wrong thing to do. Great for a good yell, pointless for progress)  And she went into teenager mode of how much we bully her and her stuff and she can make her own decisions and WHERE IS SHE SUPPOSED TO PUT THE SORTED STUFF THEN.  Since sidling around it for a couple of days is far more traumatic than setting off a stuff avalanche across the whole of our ground floor and getting nowhere.  Ye gods and little fishes.
One day left. Still nothing. RD phones and I try not to sound like I want to shut MD in a storage drawer and running screaming into the night. RD shouts a bit. By 2am MD has lifted out two the aforementioned storage drawers filled with Avon and stacked them on the floor.  Right.
Avon Leaving Day dawns. While MD is out at work I head for a stack of Avon boxes used as a table in the upstairs hall. And find one whole box full of nothing but Avon books from about four or five years ago.  Ooookay. I have no idea why but she finds it impossible to recycle them.  I keep digging and sorting and compress the contents of the boxes into one large box for RD. 
MD calls to say she is leaving work.  I remind her that she has an hour till RD and boyfriend show up.  An hour and a half later RD and her man arrive, having been slowed by bad weather, just as I am dragging jumbo box down the stairs.  And then I fall.  Thankfully only two steps from the bottom but ow.  No sign of MD.  Has it all become too much for her and she has ran away from home?  Has she had an accident?  No answer from her phone (I may have left a swearie message or two)  Half an hour later there is still no sign. RD and I are both ranting angrily and apologising to each other for shouting when we aren’t angry at each other while her boyfriend watches with lowering brow as he hasn’t had his dinner yet.  Never leave a man unfed. I thought he was going to start chewing the Avon in desperation.  Actually with the stress I nearly was myself.  They were just on the verge of taking the box and two drawer contents and leaving when lo, in drifts MD full of righteous excuse “I work you know!” which would have worked slightly better if she hadn’t phoned when leaving work nearly two hours earlier. Harrumph. 
However it did work out in a crazy way.  Faced with three very angry people MD was suddenly filled with Avon ridding zeal and about 15 minutes later the car left with about 6 boxes worth.
We did promise MD that there would be a final decision made on the stuff and discussions of value etc over Facetime or Skype before it gets put on ebay.  But now the stuff has left we all feel that we don’t need to have it back.  And the gods know we could use any money made from it. 
A long long story of the last month at The Dragon Hoard. And a longer road travelled than most trying to part company with bottles of shower gel. 
But for us here at the Hoard, well, the end to this story? *looks at number of emptied drawers*  You might call that our very own Christmas miracle.
Of course if there are any elves maybe with time on their hands and people in dire need of eyeliner and moisturiser, please feel free to give us some further festive miracles.

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