Sunday, November 18, 2007

How I spent my Thanksgiving vacation (so far)... part 1

Well, today is what I would call a productive day. The boring stuff first: I woke up after 9.5 glorious hours of sleep, ate Grape Nuts (this matters to me: I love Grape Nuts), read 100-ish pages of The Satanic Verses. Around one in the afternoon, I embarked on the true adventure of the day. I had promised my dad that while I was home for this week, I would help him go through the boxes and boxes and boxes of junk and irreplaceable treasures which are currently intermingled in our garage. Armed with Barrel Aged Old Rasputin, we did this from around 1pm until 8pm, with a break for dinner. Seriously, it was one of those situations where it just keeps coming, like in cartoons when things pour out of closets. One box gone through just led to another... I was alternately disgusted, amazed, ashamed, you get the picture.

Notable Discoveries:
-Birkenstocks I wore for about a year in high school exclusively (I have this distinct memory of wearing them with green cargo pants and this pink peasanty top my Mom had bought for me). I wore them for the rest of the day, because I forgot flip-flops in my packing rush.
-A make-up bag literally FULL of Barbie hairbrushes. I would estimate that there are around 40 or 50 of them. We kept this.
-A box intended for 3.5 floppy disks, labeled and containing "Smooth Rocks." I'm not sure why. I almost kept this, except that I realized the likelihood of me bringing it up to San Francisco and using it for gardening/plants in vases was approximately 1%.
-Two Tamagotchis, lifeless, obviously

Lessons Learned:
-Do not keep stupid shit. I found about 4 decks of cards with less than 52 cards in each. Why did I keep these? I am not sure.
-I have a postcard problem. I know for a fact that I have 2 full boxes of postcards in my apartment. I found two more boxes here -- one from the Washington, D.C. trip I took in 8th grade, one from my trip to Spain in 12th grade. TONS of freaking postcards.
-It is true what they say about Americans and waste, or perhaps just about modern people and waste. We threw out so much junk -- stuff so useless that we can't even give to Goodwill. It's really quite frightening. Some of it was stuff that I know I never used -- things that I'm sure we got for Christmas one year and were excited about and then never touched. For example: A calligraphy set. A paper airplane set from Eddie Bauer (I don't know why). A Chinese brush painting set. A mosaic concrete tile set. A make-your-own Native American Moccasins set. A macrame friendship bracelets set. I realized today that we have around 25 Beanie Babies, and I would like to point out that we were definitely less into that whole trend than most other families in our community. (See below for my treatise on stuffed animals.) So think about the sheer weight of all that stuff in the landfill. Terrifying.
-All that said, stuff can tell a story. For example, in one box, I found a deck of Tarot cards and a Henna painting kit. Can you guess what phase of my life I was in then? (Hint: It was closely associated with the Birkenstock period.) I found the headdress from a costume from a Toyon special dinner I went to with Amelia and Laurel. I found signs from "Slappin' Ass Day" -- motto was, I believe, "Make a friend, slap an ass" and Cristina can really explain more. I found lots of cocktail umbrellas and origami paper and jewelry wire from the good ol' Stanford Craft Guild Days.

All in all, it was actually fun, although daunting by the end, when we had lots of "keeper" stuff out in piles, utterly disorganized still, and no place to put the boxes of yet-unsorted stuff. Also: We have yet to go through any of the stuffed animals. I am paralyzed in the face of stuffed animals. They look so pathetic when you give them away. (Apparently sympathy for inanimate objects is a major symptom of Asperger's. Just a side note.) The aforementioned Beanie babies really present me with a traumatic choice -- I feel like I can't give away one Beanie and keep another, even if the kept one is something rad and weird like a buffalo or a ferret (yes, I have both!! Who am I!!) and the other is something boring like a dog. We will see. When Lucie is here tomorrow we are going to go through all the stuffed animals together, and I have a feeling her sentimentality is not as strong as mine. I'm bracing myself.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Things I also have found in similar garage/under the bed expeditions while visiting my parents:

1) Post cards. Why the heck did 12 year old Kim ever start collecting post cards? Dumb. And yet, I cannot bring myself to throw them away.
2) Smooth rocks. Also known as "rocks and shells." Last time I was home, I got rid of about 1/2 of the collection, but I still have done nothing with the rest. In fact, I think they went right back in with my "memories" stuff in a box in the garage.
3)Stuffed animals. So incredibly hard to give away due to the sentimental attachment. Aka sympathy towards inanimate objects.

How many things can I justify saving for the children I will have someday, somewhere in the unknown future?