24 May 2009

More Aimless Archeology: I am in no condition to function as a juror at this time.

Pinned to the bulletin board in my mother's office is a piece of paper that my brother wrote up, years ago, in preparation for a big garage sale. It remains a useful set of edicts, as we putter around, trying to begin to clean out our mother's house.

That said, it's nearly impossible to refrain from aimless archeology. I found my "Five Year" diary, locked and missing its key. Unable to resist, I cut the strap and spent far too long looking through my deep thoughts from 1970 to 1977 (yeah, more than five years). It ranges from the banal to the ridiculous, and includes crushes on a shocking number of boys. Today being May 24, I had to check and see what I was doing on that day: in 1972, at age eleven, my mother took me to the ballet (which means that she probably took me out of school since it was a Wednesday), and I went home on the train alone.

We found a file folder of jury duty notices and receipts, and a wonderful letter in which my mother asked for a postponement of jury duty.

And we threw away many many pairs of grimy tube socks, and some eye shadow that dated to, oh, 1966? Let's put it this way: I remember that eye shadow from playing dress-up as a kid.

35 comments:

Bethany said...

Your mom, she's something special, you know that? I don't know if that letter got her out of jury duty, but I bet they were delighted to read it nonetheless.

Kelly said...

Did the letter work?

Aunt Becky said...

I second Kelly's emotion. Did it work?

Mary G said...

What a great lady. The note is superb, and so is your brother's list.
I must check my eyeshadow.

bipolarlawyercook said...

No Undue Sentiment. This is a true motto for living.

phd in yogurtry said...

My favorite line is "unrelated to any of the above" ... as if any one of the above weren't reason enough!

phd in yogurtry said...

Oh, and what is the "intensity rule?"

FreshHell said...

I love the last line as well.

God, this is my life in a few years - throwing out makeup she's kept since my childhood. Odd hot water bottles that have dry rotted. Decades-long expired chocolate flavored diet bars (speed, basically). The thought makes me need some antidepressants. Or maybe jury duty to keep my mind off it all.

de said...

Your brother loses me a bit after number four, but I love the list anyway.

I got out of jury duty because I am a primary caretaker of under school aged children. I heard that this is no longer worthy of exemption, but am certain the state of CT is not offering childcare. Hmph.

julochka said...

that must be the best get out of jury duty excuse letter ever. :-) i'll be they've preserved it at the place where those letters are sent. it's probably framed.

the last one is priceless.

aimless archaeology rocks.

Lori said...

What emotions you must be feeling as you dig through the years.

These items are fascinating. Love your diary.

flutter said...

i LOVE that garage sale list

Gwen said...

Umm...can I use your mom's letter? I hate jury duty. I know, I know. I'm a terrible citizen.

I love archaeological finds. I do the same thing as you, and look at old diaries and journals to see what I was up to this same date that year. It's interesting to see how far we've come, and how much we haven't really changed.

mayberry said...

Did you go around all day saying "To hell with it!" after you found that list?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Your mother was obviously a helluva gal.

painted maypole said...

i find that all my journals from my youth are filled with crushes, crushes, and more crushes. I'm pretty sure I thought about other things. didn't I? sigh.

i am very mary said...

I need to try out #4 in a variety of circumstances. I'll let you know how it goes.

Elena said...

No saying "to hell with it?" That's one of the few responses that applies in almost every situation!!!

I hope you're doing ok...this process seems like it might be painful.

heidi said...

I have been saying this over & over again...
'Magpie!!! This is just ALL too MUCH." And I can only sigh. (loudly)

Mental P Mama said...

May I please have a copy of that note? I do hope you are keeping that. Take care.

Kyla said...

I loved this post! Funny little treasures.

Mad said...

Oh, I recognize myself in this post. Clearing out my mom's house was impossible for a sentimental hoarder like me. I once wrote a post about keeping a jar of lineament from the 60s b/c the smell of it was such a strong memory trigger. I also made the mistake of using the same lineament on a pulled glute shortly after I returned home with it. The lesson in all this: don't use 40-yr-old lineament on your ass.

BTW, I LOVE the jury duty letter. I wonder if it worked.

Gotta Knit! said...

Oh I do hope you kept that note to postpone juror duty. That was priceless!

Woman in a Window said...

OHMYGOD, tell me you are keeping that jury letter forever! That is the best!

And the diary. You kept the diary, right?

Aren't you glad I wasn't there to help?

niobe said...

"No undue sentiment," huh? I'd guess complying with that particular rule is a little hard under the circumstances. Thinking of you.

Beck said...

I love the "no new hobbies" line on your brother's list - I should get that tattooed someplace on my person as a permanent reminder.

Your mom sounds like she was so interesting. I can't even imagine how hard this must be right now - but I know that my brother and I are already shuddering over how hard it will be to clear out my parents' (both hoarders!) house.

Dora said...

The jury duty letter should be framed!

Nap Warden said...

OK, that letter belongs in a movie!

slouching mom said...

Oh, does she ever remind me of my own mother. As you already knew.

jen said...

ok so that last line? her clarifying her meds as unrelated to you guys?

heelarious.

nursemyra said...

fabulous letter

Hip Mom's Guide said...

Those are the kinds of treasures I love. We can't wear them on our fingers or hang them in our closet, but they are more real than anything we can buy. How lucky you are that she kept those things: true indicators of her person, not just trinkets she liked one random day at the store.

meno said...

I wonder if it's possible to refrain from Aimless Archeology and still be human.

Great letter. Please frame it.

Janet said...

I have that same 5 year diary and it amuses to post pictures of the entries on my blog from time to time :-)

Julie McCoy said...

I absolutely love this letter. LOVE IT.