Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm a Material Girl

Who ever said "I don't need material things to make me happy," was lying.

You don't realize how much you  miss your "things" until they're gone. Since I flew to Washington DC with 2 suitcases and a purse stuffed as full as I could get them without busting at the seams, I sadly left behind all the little pieces of who I am in Ohio. Okay.. possibly a little dramatic, but I really missed my things.

Growing up, I filled bins and boxes with every passed note, birthday card, ticket stub, brochure, and letter I had ever received. My mom was constantly battling with me to consolidate these boxes to a much smaller, and more practical shoe box. I would sit down on the floor and spread out my boxes meticulously going through every brochure and reading every note.. as the memories rushed back, I would carefully place the note in the "keep" pile. By the time I got to the bottom of the box, I realized, I was putting everything in the "keep" pile with the exception of a candy wrapper that must have snuck it's way into my memories box. This would not make my mom happy. Rather than sacrifice my memories to the trash, I decided that I would stand by my memories one by one and explain what each one meant to me.

How about this?... Can you throw this away? No! That's my aquarium brochure mom! We went to the aquarium for our 4th grade field trip! My kids will want to see this some day!... This conversation would go on for hours until my mom would just give up and let me neatly place everything back into my box.

I even convinced her to let me keep a piece of paper that contained a MASH game... remember those? My husband was Jonathan Taylor Thomas, my car was a shopping cart, and I lived in a shack.

I don't necessarily know where this attachment came from. As a kid my dad was always the one with the huge tourist maps and brochures no matter where we went. The man is full of useless information. We visited the Air Force Museum, Art Museum, and the Museum of Natural History at least once a month, and although I'm sure the brochure hadn't changed from the month before, he would make sure to get a new crisp copy.

My mom on the other hand, rarely has many trinkets from her childhood. When I got to the age of curiosity about my mother's childhood and what she was like as a teenager, the only thing I had to satisfy my curiosity were a couple of dusty year books.

My mug that I purchased from Dayton Visual Arts Center
I would guess that my obsession with keepsake items is a mixture between habit and the longing to leave behind a trail of memories for my children to sift through.

Yesterday, I rushed home because my mom had sent me 6 big boxes full of the things I left behind in Ohio. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning! My new place didn't quite feel like a home because it was lacking my personal touches; my paint brushes, my favorite coffee mug that fits my fingers just right, my grandmother's old silver necklace, my jewelry dish, my moccasins... it all just fits. Everything has its own story. It's me.

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