Something occurred to me the other day, something that I can't believe didn't come to mind when The Boss and I first moved into our apartment. This is something so huge that when the light bulb finally came on, I got goosebumps. What could be so big, you ask?
I think my downstairs neighbor is a hoarder.
Most of us have seen the TV show on A&E, or at least heard of it. The show documents people all over the United States who have the mental compulsion to “collect” or hoard things. They fill their houses with everything conceivable until their houses are unlivable. In a majority of the episodes, the children of these hoarders are in danger of being removed by CPS, or already have been. Another common theme is that the houses these people live in are often borderline condemnable.
I don't think my neighbor is at a level of hoarding that would qualify her for the show, but I've learned enough from watching the show to recognize a couple of the warning signs:
- She has multiple cats,
- She keeps her shades drawn at all times,
- She has an adult son that lives with her,
- They produce very little trash for weekly pick-up,
- Whenever I've seen her leave her apartment, she opens the door only enough so she can squeeze through, and then quickly closes it,
- She has teeth that look like a can-opener,
- I've only seen her wear Crocs,
- We can't ever hear her walking, which could mean that she's carefully picking her way through narrow walkways among canyons of boxes and bags and refuse.
While it might be cool to have the camera crews and all these people around to clean up her house like we see in the show on TV, I actually hope that she is not. I wouldn't be cool with all the vermin and the smell and all the city health officials and such.
Especially since we just moved in, I would hate to have to consider moving again.