Hoarder on wheels

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“You know those people who get lost in the mountains and have to live on ice for three days? That will never be you, you have a buffet in the back of your car.”

This came from a friend after she was unwittingly exposed to the interior of my vehicle. I’m not offended because she’s absolutely right.

You would think the fact that my car managed to provide her both cheese crackers and suckers on the spur of the moment would permit her to overlook my packrat tendencies. As it was, I was disappointed she didn’t check out the “kitchen goods” section in the front seats and retrieve the canning jar I owed her. It was right there between the fork (son’s meal on the way to soccer practice) and spoon (my breakfast yogurt for an a.m. game).

Prepared

Soccer mom or hoarder? It’s such a thin line. Today I took a good hard look at my vehicle at the close of a playoff/tournament sport weekend. In my backseat were a jumbo container of cheese puffs (I’m talking 55-gallon drum), a bag containing three different kinds of lollipops (some people are Tootsie Pop people, some people are Blow-Pop people and some people prefer a more seasonal selection, such as caramel apple pops. It pays to be prepared).

There was also a plastic container (apple pie), three library book reading assignments (not cracked all weekend), three gloves, two scarves, a king-sized fluffy blanket (in case an entire stadium row gets cold), two empty slushy cups, a soda can and three empty water bottles and a partridge in a pear tree. Just kidding, that’s a Christmas item.

Mind you this was just the back seat. The third row and cargo area had their own stash of lawn chairs, more blankets, a military grade rain poncho (it doubles as a tent), three umbrellas, two recyclable shopping bags, a small cooler, a camera bag, three extra sweatshirts and a vuvuzela (in case a World Cup soccer game breaks out).

Space

I’m told my vehicle seats nine but my money’s on four, five max. The rest of the room is taken up with stuff. At various times I have tried to go all minimalist but then someone always NEEDS something and there I am with my showroom spotless vehicle and no cheese puffs. Or lawn chairs, or jumbo box of bandages.

O.K., scratch that. Bandages are one of those things that responsible moms carry in multi-packs and I tend to jettison in favor of more suckers. You come to me bleeding I’m like “well kid I can patch you up with … gum.”

The other day I did manage to have a box of bandages on hand, (only because I was already previously aware my child had lost a chunk of his flesh to some turf a day or two earlier). When he came to me in need I sprang into action like Florence Nightingale herself and then expected to be carried around the field atop shoulders like a hero because finally I had something that was needed at the very moment it was — and it was good for more than remedying low blood sugar.

Rockin’

The other night I was cruising along with the T-tops down, the warm autumn air ruffling my long, fluffy hair and rocking out to latest club tune when from the backseat I heard “Crrrcccckkkkkkk!” That was the ear splitting sound of a plastic water bottle being twisted under foot until it cracked.

As it vaulted me out of my “I’m still 23 and drive a Firebird” fantasy I found myself piloting an SUV with my daughter chastising her brother in the backseat. “That was mean. Mom was having a moment. She thought she was still cool.”

Just for that kid, you aren’t getting a single one of my 10,000 cheese puffs.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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