Questions arise over hoarding versus sentimentality

World War 2 Navy tops worn by Charlie Dossi, above left, and Bob Ingalls, both grandfathers of Guy Dossi, are examples of the many items Dossi holds onto in hopes to one day pass on to future Dossi generations.

The more you are with somebody, the more you learn about them. It wasn’t until after the lovely Mrs. Dossi and I got married that I learned something major about her.

Apparently, when she was born, she was viewed as a healthy baby. But as the years went on, it was discovered that there seemed to be something missing. Yes, it turns out that the lovely Mrs. Dossi was born without a sentimental bone in her body.

Because she doesn’t have that sentimental bone, it makes for some awkward conversations and debates about items in our house. You see, when it comes to sentimentality centered around physical objects, she won’t lose much sleep if something is in the trash, rather than on a shelf or in the closet.

I, on the other hand, am the exact opposite. I consider myself a historian, while she views me as a lightweight hoarder. To be fair, I don’t hold on to everything and I don’t have a pile of “treasures” that consume my life. But if there’s something that I think our future children or grandchildren would one day like to have, I’ll tend to keep it.

While the lovely Mrs. Dossi doesn’t care about items, she is sentimental when it comes to people. She currently sees a reason to keep me around, so I guess I can’t complain about that. But allow me to give a few examples of what I deem as necessary to hold onto, while she sees the same items as things that only take up space in our house.

In December, I was perusing on eBay and I looked up Sonora High School yearbooks. My Grandfather Dossi went to Sonora High from 1938- 1941. While searching on eBay, I came across a Sonora High yearbook from 1941, which happened to be his senior year. What are the odds that I was not only able to find a yearbook that he was in, but also from his senior year? I had to purchase it. While the yearbook wasn’t personally his, he did sign his picture, which makes it even a little more special.

Questions arise over hoarding versus sentimentality

A 1941 Sonora High School yearbook purchased on eBay is the most recent addition to Guy Dossi’s collection of family history. Dossi’s grandfather, Charlie Dossi, was a senior at Sonora in 1941.

Once the yearbook was shipped to me, I was able to put it with the other collection of yearbooks that I have. The oldest is from 1934. I have my Grandma and Grandpa Ingalls’ yearbooks from Summerville High School, which are from the late 1930s. I also have a copy of my father’s 1969 senior yearbook from Bellarmine Prep. Those, along with other family yearbooks, plus my own and hers, take up one shelf on our bookcase.

I look at those yearbooks as family history. She sees them as something that could also be looked at by visiting the local library. I feel that I have a leg to stand on when it comes to keeping those. However, there are also other items that she might have a valid point with when it comes to taking up space.

I have kept nearly every card that has been sent or given to me. Yes, since I was a child, I have kept every birthday, Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s and greeting cards. Last week I was cleaning out the garage and I found a box with nearly 50 cards. Her response was, “Why are you keeping a birthday card from 1997?” I had no legitimate answer.

Questions arise over hoarding versus sentimentality

Charlie Dossi signed his picture in a random 1941 Sonora High School yearbook found and purchased on eBay. Charlie Dossi died in 1998.

I have plenty of sports memorabilia that I’ve collected over the years that I would one day love to give to future children. I try telling the lovely Mrs. Dossi that my sports collection is valuable and one day will buy at least a week of college for one of our kids.

I also have every newspaper that I’ve ever had a story printed in. Is that borderline narcissistic? Perhaps. But I’d like to think that one day, way in the future, my grandchildren will look through all those papers and be proud of the work I’ve done. Or they will be really into papier-mâché and turn my life’s work into a fun sailor’s hat.

But I think the one thing I could never get rid of is something she would not want me to discard. Both of my grandfathers were in the Navy during the second world war. I have both of their Navy tops. Grandpa Ingalls’ is white, while Grandpa Dossi’s is black. They are from 1941-42 and are in good condition. Throwing those away would be a disservice to them and she agrees.

The biggest problem is that I hold on to all this stuff so that future generations will see it and learn from it. Yet with no children of our own, my argument for keeping these things around isn’t as strong as it could be.

So, is having children merely for the sake of being able to hold onto my family heirlooms a legitimate reason to procreate? I don’t see why not. But let’s keep that between us.


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