11 July 2012

Little Is Better Than Nothing

I finally cleaned out "my" closet at my mother's house, the closet in what had been my bedroom. There was stuff in there that had come home with me from college, and hadn't been touched since. There were boxes marked "treasures" and others full of letters from old boyfriends. There was a box labeled "three mink stole", containing, yes, a three mink stole just like the one your grandmother probably had.

Some stuff I fondled and threw out. Some stuff I packed up again and sent to storage. And some of the "treasures" I felt compelled to photograph and catalog before I tossed them:

  • wicker tea strainer
  • empty drawstring bag marked "bathtub playmate of the year"
  • 1983 Cats playbill
  • Silly Putty, still putty-like
  • the glasses I wore in fourth grade
  • a Kent comb missing a tooth
  • a brass nut & bolt
  • a brush with which to clean a record
  • 790. Little is better than nothing (fortune from a fortune cookie)
  • a really ugly Christmas ornament
  • the plastic cup from a container of strawberry yogurt from "The Loseley Herd of Pedigreed Jersey" - which I think was bought in England in 1978
  • an almost full box of business cards from a job I had in 1982
  • my first ATM card, from college
  • a cancelled check, to the college bookstore for $1.14
  • an almost full bottle of salt tablets, dating to when I first got contact lenses in high school and before you could buy ready made saline solution
  • a souvenir yarmulke from Suanne's 1983 wedding, and a little tulle wrapped bundle of rice
  • the kind of plastic mermaid who perches on the edge of a glass
  • a wire and tissue paper flower that I made, oh, 42 years ago?
  • a plastic ruler
  • one formerly white pointe shoe that my mother had picked up on a backstage tour at the New York State Theater - Freed 6X, maker X, Sara Leland - sliced to accommodate a bunion.
  • the erasable memo board that had graced the door of my college dorm room - with the last notes as we were about to graduate, including the address of the restaurant where we had our Chinese banquet with Bing.
  • a notebook from the time I spent four months in London, with this jejune note about Bruce:

I also found my first pair of glasses, the ones that I had in kindergarten. Alas, the plastic had turned green and crumbled to bits.

I need to remember that I will exit this earth with naught but what I came with.


Kyla said...

I am as old as that Cats playbill!

S said...

That is just... touching.

Janet said...

ha, your notes are much more intelligent than mine...mine were all about what club I went to, who I met, what [edited] I took, etc.

alejna said...

Fascinating! It makes for a rather eclectic time capsule. It seems like it could make some sort of puzzle.

I find myself wondering what unexpected things I have stashed away in corners of my house.

Liz Miller said...


jo(e) said...

I remember those erasable memo boards! I think mine is in a box in the basement somewhere. I guess cell phones and texting have made them obsolete.

MARY G said...

I just did a similar clean of the boxes, drawers and closets of a close friend who died last month. Amazing what was found - samples of handsewed garments right back into the 1800's. Old corsets. Clippings and cards. And much much more.
I have been sporadically cleaning my drawers and storage areas ever since.
Fascinating what you found - fascinating what we keep. A social anthropologist would have a ball.

mayberry said...

I do love the photo tableau of all the treasures. I lost "my" room and closet at age 18 when my parents moved cross-country, but there may still be a box or two lurking somewhere... wonder what's in it?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You make me feel like I travel so light. Your stuff is very cool.

Jocelyn said...

I have just lapped up this list--such stuff is up my alley. Best of all? The salt tablets to make your own saline solution. Suddenly, I'm a kid again.