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So why do I?watch these kind of TV programs?

April 28, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

Why is it that when I watch an episode of "Hoarders," I have a sudden, inherent need to clean my apartment, even if it's just picking up one item off the floor. Better yet, why did I buy the first season and the first part of the second season of the A&E show? Curiosity I guess. It's a show that's like a bad accident, you can't help but keep watching.

I'm not a neat and tidy person by any means - my work desk is usually cluttered with loose papers, I tend to dump stuff I buy, bring in or whatever at one certain spot in my living room, and my Jeep is in a constant state of mess. Not where live things are growing or chewing wires, but it could use a good drubbing.

Then I watch an episode of "Hoarders" or "Confessions: Animal Hoarders" on Animal Planet and I don't feel as bad. I may have newspaper in several spots around my apartment, but it's not covering a dead animal. My shower probably could use a little cleaning, but it wasn't as bad as this one shower that looked overgrown with black mold and gunk in an episode I watched recently. And I can get into my bathroom as well. Quite a few of these episodes show the hoarder and his or her family having wade through piles of clothes, garbage, books, boxes, whatever just to get from room to room.

One of the featured hoarders from season two, Judi, was a former technical writer. Her toilet didn't work and she didn't have running water. She resorted to wearing adult diapers and then they'd end up in the piles of stuff around her house. She may have been mentally ill, but that never really came up in the episode (not overtly anyway). She did have other health issues - she wasn't able to walk and had become trapped in her kitchen when she fell out of her chair. The house was not a pretty sight.

When I start watching an episode, there would be one of the hoarders that I'll have hope for - the person is ready to move forward, make that change and have a clean house. Then it will come the day when the professional organizer will arrive with a team to help get the place clean and the hoarder will regress and have a hard time getting rid of anything. It's psychological I know, but I hope for the best for the hoarder throughout the entire process. Especially if hoarders are able to get their kids back by the end of the episode or are able to keep custody or are able to have a friend over for dinner. I want that to happen at least by the end of the show.

On a happier note, I purchased a season of TLC's "Four Weddings." Each episode has four soon-to-be brides who attend each other's weddings and then rates the wedding on food, venue, dress and overall experience. The winner gets an all-expense paid honeymoon. I've only watched the first episode so far. One bride had a native-themed wedding. Another bride with a Puerto Rican background had a big affair with food, music and a game of musical chairs. It was a nice change of pace from "Hoarders," that's for sure.

And just the other night, I got the first season of the History Channel's "Full Metal Jousting." What can I say, I have eclectic taste.



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