TLC show to feature Tulsa-area woman's 'upscale hoarding'
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2012
8/26/12 at 3:50 AM
Monte isn't your typical hoarder - not by TV standards or common stereotypes, anyway.
She's a "couture hoarder," people at the TLC network said of the Tulsa-area resident, who doesn't divulge her last name on Sunday's episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive," which airs 8 p.m. on cable 56.
"It's kind of like being obese," Monte told us by phone recently. "How can a tiny person make such a big mess?"
Regular viewers of the TLC show, which explores the psychology behind the compulsion to accumulate and store large quantities of nonessential things, might picture most hoarders are living in packed, barely navigable living quarters, sometimes with vermin.
That's not the case with Monte, whose shopping addiction led her to filling up her 4,000-square-foot home with clothing in the past 10 years. Some of that apparel still had tags on it.
"I had nicer things - I didn't have piles of trash," she said. "I took relatively good care of this stuff."
She has spent an "astronomical amount" on it, too, said Monte, the TLC show's "first couture hoarder," a network spokesperson said immediately before our interview.
On the show, it's speculated she had spent almost $500,000.
Her shopping addiction started surfacing after she was hurt in relationships, specifically a devastating divorce, she said.
"Rather than be hurt again, I started filling the house up, isolating myself," Monte said. "Then, people couldn't get in ... People couldn't come to my house."
Only a small number of friends were allowed over, and "dating was out of the question," she said.
It also meant her son, Chase, couldn't have friends over. Sometimes, he'd be mad or frustrated, Monte said.
But one of her friends, who had tried to get Monte on the show in the past, tried again - and didn't tell Monte until TLC accepted her.
"I was shocked but not totally surprised," Monte said. "I was actually kind of relieved."
Having not found help successfully in Tulsa, she was glad to welcome Dr. Becky Beaton, a licensed psychologist and consultant on the TLC show, who came to Monte's house to help.
Beaton pointed out to Monte that she had been so angry and guarded against getting hurt, she protected herself the only way she knew how: shopping and accumulating stuff.
"I can't be mad at my friends for trying to help me," said Monte, who's having a watch party at her house Sunday.
We won't spoil the ending of the show, but she does want to warn people who are in her shoes.
"Your stuff can't hug you back," she said. "It can't throw its arms around you."
To see a clip from the show that will air Sunday, go to tulsaworld.com/hoardingburiedalive
‘HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE’
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: TLC, cable 56
Original Print Headline: Hoarding half a million
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
"Couture hoarder" Monte sits among a mountain of apparel. The Tulsa-area resident, who doesn't divulge her last name on Sunday's episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive," is speculated to have spent almost $500,000 on her hoarding addiction. The episode airs 8 p.m. on cable 56. Courtesy