I have a problem. I hoard things. I don’t collect random knick knacks and all my nostalgic stuff consists of slam books, letters and diaries. These I keep in two cardboard boxes marked with “ZARINE’S STUFF DO NOT OPEN” written across the front. The boxes safely reside in Chennai, perched above an antique cupboard in my room. I unbox them every time I’m at home, relive those memories for a few moments and pack them up again. Those few moments are enough to tide me over for a year.

What I hoard are pretty things. Notebooks, shoes, clothes and scarves. I buy pretty things with the intent of wearing them but I hoard them while I wait for the “perfect” occasion. This has caused me to buy stacks of pretty clothes that never see the light of day because no occasion seems “perfect”.

I have a gorgeous, purple colored, Kashmiri embroidered jacket. While buying it I was ecstatic at the prospect of wearing it. Since that day five birthdays have come and gone. Anniversaries, special dinners, festivals, but none of these matched up to the “perfect” occasion that I created in my head. I possess a number of beautifully designed notebooks that scream to be written in. Rolls of silk scarves are piled on top of each other, each anticipating a perfect outfit. Exquisite kurtas wrapped in delicate tissue paper sit in my closet waiting to be worn, waiting to create memories in.

But lately I’ve realized that the most imperfect occasions create the best memories. That “perfect” occasion in my head will never materialize because my expectations far surpasses the reality of it. And funnily enough the reality is a million times better than my expectation. Now, I’ve promised myself that I will wear the clothes I want to and write in all my books even if it is just a sentence. I will use my pretty things to make memories even on the most ordinary days and years later, when I come across these things I will see them for what they are- not just “pretty” things but memories.

As for my purple jacket, she still hangs in my closet in quiet anticipation. Little does she know the plans I have for her.



8 thoughts on “Hoarder

    1. That kind of hoarding is one thing I’m glad I never inherited from my mom! Have you read Marie Kondo’s book on organizing? It’s supposedly really helpful. I haven’t read it yet though.

  1. I want to see this purple jacket! As a fellow hoarder, I salute you from recovery. It’s very hard to let go of things or find that perfect occasion, I’ve just learned to wear my best stuff now.

  2. Wow. That’s such a great idea and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it. I usually just give away clothes (too frequently) that I feel sit around for a year. I should just wear them. We tend to go out/not dress up here a lot less as compared to India so all the fancy clothes hatch moth eggs. Take photos when you wear the jacket.

    1. Omg I totally feel you. Back in India I would dress up every time I left the house! Now, I’m set as long as I my body is covered! There’s some kind of pleasure I get walking into Target at ten in the night wearing pajamas that is unparalleled.

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