I talk a pretty good game. I make a pretty big deal about how I’m not a collector, and that if I don’t use it, it’s OUTTA here. Right? Yeah. Well, I have my Achilles heels just like everyone else. I’d like to share the Top Five Things I Will Keep Forever.
1. Books. Oh, the day I discovered amazon.com was the best day in the history of ever. I looooooooooooove me some books. I love good books and trashy books and shameful books (that last one is the hottest three bucks you’ll ever spend, and Gideon Cross makes Christian Grey look like an underachiever). My current favorite genre is biography/memoir. I love reading people’s stories. From Jack Benny to the delightfully sordid complete collection of Kitty Kelley tomes that I keep close at hand, there is nothing more fascinating to me than the lives of real people. So the 7-foot bookshelf next to my side of the bed that is busting at the seams? The three more just like it downstairs? Let’s just assume they will be all full for the rest of my life. I’m resisting the siren call of the e-reader, but the space-saver in me sees its appeal. I fear I’ve passed this trait on to Boo, and I’m not one bit sorry :). She takes so many books to bed with her that she falls asleep on top of them. Parenting victory, there.
2. Boo’s Artwork From School. I never thought I’d be That Mom. I don’t keep stuff. Bits of paper and non-specific artistic renderings of nothing in particular? Good heavens, why would I keep that? Well I’ll tell ya. If my daughter made it, it is precious. And for this reason, I have a bin that contains every.single.piece. of art that she has made at school since she was 3 months old. It’s probably some subconscious working mom guilt manifesting itself because these were created when she was not in my care, or some such twaddle. Whatever. If she stuck a piece of glitter to a paper plate next to a googly eye, you better believe that it’s in that bin.
3. Shoes. Oh good heavens. I’m a shoe girl. When I find a pair of shoes that makes me happy I must have them. I must wear them down to nubs until they are mere shadows of their former fabulous selves. I must have them resoled. And then I wear them down to nubs again. And then I keep them because I can’t possibly get rid of something that has been with me through such joys and wonderful memories. I have shoes that people remember more than they remember me. And that’s fine.
4. Greeting Cards. Shocking, I know. You’d think this would be a no-brainer for me. But the occasions on which we are given cards are so fleeting, and cards are so intentional. In the age of email and texts and Skype where it’s so easy to just reach out wherever you are whenever the whim hits you, the act of going to the card aisle (or a stationery store *swoon*) to pick out a card that reminds you of the recipient has such weight for me. I have a friend who sends me just the most amazing cards. They’re perfect. They’re SO funny or touching and just perfect for our friendship. We’ve been friends since Fall 1991 Sorority Rush (go Gamma Phi!) and I have every card she’s ever sent me. They are the story of our friendship and I treasure them.
5. Random Useless Artifacts That Strike Me As Ridiculous. I have a copy of our local power company’s safety guide from the 1950s when the Nevada Test Site was doing above-ground testing. It talks about how nuclear energy is our friend, but hiding under a desk will protect us. Last year, we had a required exorcism all-staff retreat, and 200 people were given a 75-page, single-sided handout, and no more than five pages of it applied to anybody. Stuff like this? Priceless. It reminds me of who I don’t want to be, what I don’t want to do, and to keep perspective about who I DO want to be. I don’t want to take myself too seriously, because when you do that, the people around you wait until you leave and then they laugh at you. Not with you. AT you.
We’ve all heard the stories about people who can move across the country and everything they own fits in their cars. That’s never been my goal. I can’t imagine having this as my living room.