Filling the hole

In the minutes/hours/days after Maci’s death, I went on a grief-fueled shopping binge. Anything remotely spiritual, cat-related, grief-related, or (better yet) cat-grief–and-spirituality-related brought out an urge to spend, spend, spend. Over the course of two days, I’d spent several hundred dollars on things I wouldn’t likely never have bought otherwise, including making a number of small, spur-of-the-moment donations. The only thing that really stopped me from spending more is a lack of money.

I’d done something similar when my mother died, buying things that I’d hoped might help me to come to grips with the emotions I was feeling…I still haven’t finished reading most of the books I ordered during that period. (Hell, I haven’t even *started* reading most of them.)

Most of the things I ordered this time around won’t arrive for several weeks, but I’m already over the initial rush of gut-wrenching emotion that prompted their purchases. It’s the ultimate in binge buying. The act of shopping filled the aching void in my heart, made me feel like I was actually doing something at a time when I was feeling particularly helpless. (In the weeks before this, I’d been on a smaller buying spree, ordering things that might help me get Maci to eat more. Those items are now arriving in my mailbox and I’m finding myself now trying to figure out where I can donate them.)

The whole situation has me thinking about the issue of hoarding in general. Hoarding is the current topic du jour on TV, the new train wreck for all of us voyeurs. And most people cannot comprehend how a person gets to that point in their lives. I can. While I’m not (quite) at a point where I would be featured on one of those shows, I do live in constant clutter. Before this, the clutter made me kind of depressed. Now, it’s comforting in the sense that it muffles the emptiness that is Maci’s physical absence. It, like the binge shopping, fills the gaping hole in your heart. Of course, it’s a stop-gap measure that causes its own problems in turn that can be even worse than the grief, but at the time you’re not thinking about the future, just about stopping the pain or anxiety.

It’s done what I needed it to do, but I think it’s time to release the clutter, release the bubble I’ve wrapped around myself over the last few decades.

I have much to do, and time’s a wasting.


Favourite Etsy finds that I’ll probably never buy

I’d love to buy them but they’re the kind of things that are pretty hard to justify buying when you’re living paycheque-to-paycheque. So they sit in my wishlist while I watch and wait, dreading the day when someone else buys them instead. Maybe if the gods are smiling on me and I get a new contract soon, I’ll be able to finally get one or two of them.

Sock zombies — Like sock monkeys but more undead. Created by underroos, aka Erin. Absolutely pointless but I want one so badly. In particular, I want a Pirate Zombie. Partly because it’s just so bizarre (toe sock hair? blood dripping from the mouth?) and cute at the same time, and partly because of the description on the item (shown below). I think he’d get along really well with my Bluenoser monk doll.

Could there be anything more feared than the Pirate Zombie? I mean, you know he’s going to eat your face off, that’s a given. But after that you’re going to have to watch, faceless, as he ransacks your house and takes all your best stuff. Talk about insult to injury.

Pirate Zombie’s handcrafted ensemble is completely removable in the event that you want to see Pirate Zombie naked. His eye patch, vest, and messenger bag are made out of felt, and his awesome head wrap thing is made out of something else, I don’t know. Fabric. Pirate Zombie’s messenger bag contains adorable surprise pirate goodies. Oh, you don’t even know.

Pirate Zombie has a skull and crossbones tattoo on his shoulder; he tells people it’s a Pirate Zombie gang sign he earned by drinking more Captain Morgan Private Reserve than anyone else, ever, but really he got it on Mission Beach after the other Pirate Zombies made fun of how he looked in a tank top.

Pirate Zombie is on his third divorce, but he’s not worried about it. Pirate Zombie has a knack for doing really well in settlement situations.

Assemblage Spirit Dolls — One-of-a-kind fetish dolls, mixed media Goddesses, and forest spirits created by Griselda Tello. Absolutely stunning, breathtaking works of art that really stir your senses. I’d really have to clean this place up to be worthy of having one of those hanging on my wall.

Steampunk jewelry — Too many favourite sellers to link to just one so I’ve linked to an Etsy search results page instead. (Actually, what I really want is a computer like Datamancer’s Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Computational Engine or the Steampunk Workshop’s Victorian All–in-One PC, but one settles for what one can reasonably obtain.)

[This post was originally written on January 8 for publication on January 10, but technical issues prevented me from doing that. So it was pre-dated and published on January 13 instead.]

Hello. My name is Louise

and I have an online shopping addiction. (I have mentioned before that I have an addictive and, yes, bingeing personality in general, right? Why eat one chocolate when you can eat the whole box? Why buy one item when you can empty your bank account?)

Made the mistake of hitting eBay tonight. Whew! Bought some nifty things but really, really, REALLY need to put the Paypal account to bed. For the next several months at least. If you ever learn anything from me, it is to shop around BEFORE you buy anything ‘cos you gotta hate when you make an “all sales final” kind of purchase only to find it on sale somewhere else for less. I’m a bad bargain shopper. Hit a couple of those over the last several weeks, although in fairness, once you figured in taxes, duties, etc., for the cheaper items, most of them turned out to be OK in the end. But there were still a couple…ah, well, you live and learn. Hopefully.

Feels like Sunday (that’s what happens when you take a couple of days off) so imagine my surprise to see Saturday horoscopes on Jonathan Cainer‘s site tonight:

Saturday, 29th December 2007

Your Weekend: ‘Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose.’ The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or so they say in France. Here in the rest of the world, things move on! We can’t make them stay the same no matter what we do. This is both a blessing and a curse. You are now keenly conscious of something you would like to change if only you could. But it is changing! It is just not changing in the way you think it ought to change. If you are going to resolve to do anything for New Year, resolve to let more time pass. 

Your Week Ahead: H G Wells remains one of the greatest writers of all time. In his day, though, he was derided for suggesting that one day, people would visit the Moon. With a great combination of irony and poetic justice, his famous fiction became the inspiration for millions of twentieth century schoolchildren. Some of these boys and girls grew up to be scientists. They took his dream and made it their dream. Then they helped to make it come true. That’s what the power of imagination can achieve. As you prepare to enter 2008, you have a special vision. It is not invalid or irrelevant. It’s just slightly ahead of its time But that time is coming. Soon.