Or at least a malady of some kind. It’s the alternate OCD: Obsessive Constructive Disorder.
One manifestation is the inability to discard any item without it having gone through every possible phase of Usefulness.
For instance; blue jeans. We (the OH & I) have several pairs, and we wear them for work, leisure and walking or cycling about town. (Jeans are an especially good example because they’ve often come from Value Village having been Useful even before coming into our possession.) When they get holes in the bum from biking in them, I patch them. If they (ahem) shrink a little (in the wash – having nothing to do with a winter of comfort food or the gradual expansion of my hips), I have been known to insert a panel of ribbon in the sides or back to make them broader. In short, I don’t give up on them easily.
But eventually the patches develop their own holes, or the OH decides that the mid-90’s “work” pairs are finally just too baggy and shaggy and raggedy looking, or they just become indecent to wear in some way.
So finally, you’re saying to yourself, I must get rid of them. Maybe use the calves for rags if they aren’t in absolute shreds, but the bulk goes into the trash at this point, right?
But no. You would, sadly, be mistaken.
Because this, ladies and germs, is what I do with them at this point.
First, I cut off their legs
and tear them into strips.
(This is very dusty work – I understand why people sewing in factories MUST wear dust masks).
I will admit it; I really like braided rugs. And I like that I can make one without having to go out and buy fabric, with stuff that most people would just toss in the garbage. In fact, it makes so much sense to me now that I feel bad about every pair of worn-out, holey, scruffy pants I’ve ever thrown away. What a waste… I didn’t mention that this rug will include some khaki, too. And I’ve also got a bunch of strips of wool (leftovers from sewing projects mostly) that are waiting to be another rug.
Oh, and I’ll likely be removing the zippers from those jeans because surely they’ll be Useful for … something.
So, yeah, I’ve definitely got a full-blown case of the alternate OCD.
But don’t worry, I don’t think it’s contagious.