Forgotten Items of Sentimental Value

March 24, 2011 at 7:31 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
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When I moved out of my parents’ house, I took the majority of my belongings with me.  I wasn’t moving far, but I wanted to be as independent as possible, so I didn’t want to use my parents’ house as my own personal storage unit. The few things I left behind I planned to pick up at some unspecified point in the future.  I left behind some books, stuffed animals and my collection of dollhouse furniture — nothing I was going to need anytime in the near future and nothing I was ready to part with.

And why couldn’t I part with these items?  A lot of them had some sort of sentimental value, some sort of memory tied to them that I wasn’t ready to let go of.  We all stuff our closets with memories in the form of physical objects only to stumble upon them during some massive cleaning effort or some purposeful memory searching effort.

So I have been taking these items home with me, one at a time over the past 4 years that I’ve lived on my own.  Very often, I end up giving the stuffed animals to my dog, who will have 30 seconds of enjoyment out of them before they end up with their stuffing on the outside, but it’s more fun than I ever had with them.  But I can’t do that with the ones that have sentimental value.  At this point, there aren’t many left that don’t have this “value” and what I am now noticing is that if they did at some point have sentimental value, I no longer remember why.  Where did the memories go?  I held on to some of these things for 15 years or more.  I know that I got the stuffed kitten from Chuckie in Kindergarten, but what about that bear?  I know the Chinese dolls are family heirlooms, but where did that sheep come from?

I’m sure that I have these memories somewhere in my mind, but the physical items are no longer jogging my memory.  It is kind of funny how that happens.  We are so focused on the material items that we forget the memories that make them special.  But the memories aren’t lost. They are within you somewhere — somewhere that can never be thrown away.

Will You Remember Me?

January 25, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 8 Comments
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A few months ago, I was walking through a local grocery store in my Sunday best (read — pajamas) picking up my food for the week.  Not surprisingly, it was pretty crowded, but somehow, in the craziness, I ran into someone I knew, or rather, someone who knew me.  Someone I probably should have known, but for some reason couldn’t place him right away.

Why didn’t I recognize this person?  Did he really look that different… seven years ago?  No, no, he didn’t…. did he?  I really don’t know.

This really bothered me.  One of the traits I take pride in is my ability to remember everybody, their middle name, their birthday, their address, and their mother’s name.  I am the person who says to my best friend from high school, “remember so and so?” and she just doesn’t remember anybody so her answer is typically no.

So what does this all mean?  Am I going to start forgetting people I knew all my life?  Am I going to lose the capacity to remember the names of people I meet?  Or even worse… what does this mean for those who know me?  Will they forget I exist?  Will they remember me?

It’s part of the human condition to want to be remembered, want to know you had an impact on somebody.  That’s why we have graves.  That’s why we name our children after family members. That’s why people strive to be famous (or infamous). That’s why writers want to be published (wink).

But you can’t guarantee that everyone will remember you.   Some faces will fall through the cracks, even if you did hang out with them a bunch of times. And sometimes, it will just take a little bit longer to remember some people, as your brain continues to take in images of the new people entering your life.  And sometimes, you’ll need to count on your friends to jog your memory.

That said, I really hope I’ve had an impact on a lot of people’s lives because a lot of people have had impacts on mine, and I plan to remember a lot of people.

Do you have a date for the prom?

June 8, 2010 at 7:35 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 9 Comments
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I was driving up the street the other day when I was suddenly hit with an onslaught of traffic on a residential road.  Strange.  Very strange indeed.  What are these kids doing in the street all dressed up?  Guys in tuxes, girls in long gowns like it’s the Grammy’s. What could this be all about?  Oh yeah.  It’s prom season, and I have just crashed a pre-prom party.    It’s been a long time since my internal clock was set by the school year, so pardon my surprise.

Oh prom! Prom, prom, prom! How many have you gone to?  Did you ever get to go to one as an underclassman?  You must be really cool if you have.  Really, really cool.  I went to two proms and one junior prom – all at different schools. Go me.

My prom was a real trip.  I had broken up with my long distance boyfriend a few months before because of the distance (and some other things I won’t get into here) and didn’t have any solid prospects for a date.  Neither did my best friend.  What were we to do?  We had plenty of guy friends and some guys we were dating casually, surely one of them would escort us out of the humiliation of arriving alone.

But nooooo.  That’s right– no!  That’s not a word I heard often from a guy growing up, but when it came to getting a prom date I heard it more than once.  I asked my ex-boyfriend and he said no.  I asked my good guy friend who I kinda had a thing for and he said no.  I asked one of my really close guy friends, but another girl had gotten to him first. I blew such a stink that he didn’t go with either of us.  Oh prom date-getting is an ugly game.  I even got the courage to ask my long time crush – the local barista at Starbucks, and he said no.  Crap!  What’s a girl to do?

Go to the reserves.  I went through my mental catalog of guy friends from other realms of my life with a specific criteria  — they must be photogenic.  Prom pictures are important!  A great old camp friend of my stepped forward and rescued me from dateless hell.  Too bad he knew no one there.

There were other options I did not take.  I was asked by a very sweet guy that I grew up with. I should have said yes to him, but I wanted to take someone I was going to make out with at the after party.  Which is part of the reason I didn’t go with my best friend, who suggested she would wear a tux.  That would have been awesome in retrospect!  There was another guy I had just met who I would end up dating just a few months later.  If I had the guts to ask him, I think he would have gone. He knew people attending and was just a bundle of fun, and my best friend could have taken his best friend and it really would have been a kick ass time.

But alas, it is only one night.  If I could go back and tell my younger self anything it would be this.  Prom is an important rite of passage but it’s not the deciding factor of your future. You most likely won’t marry your prom date, and in a few years you’ll laugh at crappy pictures.  If you find someone to take – be it your best friend in drag – just make sure it’s someone you have fun with. The best part of prom  for me was the fact that I looked damn good, and so did the pictures, but my memories don’t go too far beyond that (and the chocolate cake shots that almost got us kicked out of the limo).

This is your last hurrah with your classmates.  Things are going to change big time after this night and you can’t even begin to fathom how that feels. But it’s not the time to.  Spend prom making good memories so one day you can tell your kids “my prom date was my best friend in drag.  It was awesome!”

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