What is a Pack Rat
Author: W. K. Hayes
What a beautiful day to go rummaging through the storage room to see what forgotten treasures I would find. Please refrain from asking me what possessed me to spring clean in the storage room. Personally, I think it must have been a temporary case of insanity.
What started out as a great idea turned into a four hour non-stop shuffling through dusty boxes only to find items of very little interest. However, I did find some really, neat artifacts hidden in four boxes. Out of a hundred boxes, only four contained anything worthy of the effort put into cleaning the room.
All four of the boxes contains old video games systems, controllers, plus and TV hookups. There were two Playstation ones, a Sega genesis, two game gears, a Nintendo 64, a regular Nintendo and some other odds and ends. To most, this would mean very little…to a video game fanatic such as me, this was like finding the mother lode.
Still, by the time I finished finding those four boxes of goodies I am, too tired from moving the other ninety-six boxes to, even think about fooling with my newly found treasure. Maybe tomorrow I will get the energy to delve into them. I know all of them work and I still have games for each system and truthfully, I would be playing one right now but I am firmly, planted on the couch.
Nevertheless, as I sit here in this quiet house and write, I wonder why I saw the need to mess with that old room. In the end, everything that was in there is still in there. However, when I think about it, I think the real reason I tackled the room was the need for taking a trip down memory lane. Truthfully, I think I hang onto many of the things in the room not because I need any of the stuff but because of what that makes me remember.
Some days just require a good trip down memory lane, even if that trip requires some kind of aspirin at the end of the journey. For me, the lesson I learned today is that we do not necessarily hang onto things because we are, ‘pack-rats.’ Instead, I believe that anyone that keeps things is simply the sentimental value behind the object more than any other reason.
Throughout the years and in the course of moving several times, I have sacrificed many memories. Sometimes willingly and sometimes, it was not my choice at all. Granted, keeping journal is a great way to remember things but you cannot touch words no matter how well they may touch you.
Humans, by nature, are feelers for the most part. We like to touch and by doing so, we create what I like to call, ‘Feel Memories.’ So, when someone asks me what I think a, ‘Pack Rat,’ is…well, this is my answer. I believe a pack rat is a person who simply does not want to forget the memories that mean the most to them. Whether it is a snow globe they got for Christmas from an aunt who passed away the following year or an ugly tie that your ten-year-old son gave you for Father’s day…it is the memory behind the object that you will always cherish the most. Therefore, for many of us, throwing away an object is the same thing as throwing away a memory.