this weekend kinda sucked…
…but this week has REALLY sucked.
anybody ever seen the show hoarders? yeah – that’s basically what i’m living through this week. this is the week we had planned to clean out my grandmother’s old house so we could sell it. my uncle shocked my sister and i my announcing over xmas dinner that he was finally ready to release the property to us to clean out and sell, which only took seven and a half years after her death to get going – and considering she spent the last three years of her life in nursing homes, it’s been over a decade since the house has been lived in.
FUCK, does it show.
day one was spent almost exclusively going through mail (top of pile march of 2kX, bottom of pile sometime during clinton’s second term). my sister (who has taken up tree hugging as a hobby, apparently) insisted we separate out the recyclable paper from the not and my uncle insisted anything that had my grandmother’s name and address be destroyed (i.e. shredded) beyond recognition.
surprisingly the latter wasn’t identity theft (she’s been dead eight years – is that even possible at this stage?)…it was because he was afraid somebody sifting through her trash (that happens?) would see dozens (read; HUNDREDS) of mails with her name and address on them and figure the house was now empty and rob it.
yeah…okay. fuck it – i needed a paper shredder, i’d put off buying a paper shredder, now i’ve splurged on a rather kick-ass paper shredder.
day two was the pantry for me – which was where we got into serious hoarder/e.p.a.- unfriendly territory. SERIOUSLY nasty shit (literally, in the roach and rat sense of the word). wore gloves, shoulda had a haz-mat suit. fuck it, it’s done. the fridge? that we’ll seal with duct-tape and push to the curb. anybody who decides to break the seal and open it does so at their own peril – i figure the spores alone will kill a grown man within days.
and so on…
don’t get me wrong – for a house that has essentially sat abandoned since the turn of the century (as in 199-2000, not 1899-1900) their is remarkably little dust or cobwebs…but for my uncle, every little nick-nack or drawer holds an hour long story where every other fucking sentence begins with “my mother…” (for JAB and others at her funeral, picture the extended dance mix of his eulogy).
here’s why the “sentiment card” ain’t playing with me. his mother (my grandmother) – treated like every inch or belonging in the house is sacred beyond words because she handled it – is in a rather UNsacred little cardboard box on top of a piano in the library.
i’m not kidding.
she donated her body to science – when they get done with what of it they’re gonna use, they send you the “leftovers” (let’s face it – it’s an unkind term, but it’s accurate) in a little box, cremated (the leftovers, not the box) so you can bury or scatter the ashes at your leisure. i know for a damn fact he got them within five years of her dieing – which means they have sat in that house, like every other brick-a-brack, for the last three fucking years.
say what you want – that’s fucked up. and COMPLETELY eliminates the sympathy card.
the double whammy of the week – not only did we realize that my uncle has let this “shrine” crumble around her ashes (in the most literal since of the phrase – “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”…LITERALLY) to where the value of the house is FAR less than we had figured it might be, but he has also announced that he wishes to honor my grandmother’s original wishes (not what’s done with her body, which clearly doesn’t mean shit, but rather the financial end of things) whereby HE gets FIFTY FUCKING PERCENT of the house sale, and we (my sister and i) split the other fifty percent between us (25/25).
that’s bullshit beyond bullshit.
so, here’s my dilemma – no way this will get done before teri heads back to chicago on easter…so do i press on in her absence, a couple hours here, a couple hours there, until we’ve got it all sorted out and sell-able, or do i just let it sit (as my uncle would have it do) until he dies and we can claim it all? he’s not that healthy, and he’s in his seventies…it MIGHT not be that long a wait.
plan c is probably best – i knock it out, but negotiate a higher split (33% across the board or 60/40 where teri and i each get 30% and he gets 40%)…as many of you know, never underestimate the power of motherfucking charm…
(damn, this was a long one – did i need to vent or what?)