Memory Lane

My mom has been remodeling her house, and during this endeavor she has had to clear out closets that hadn’t been cleared out since I got married and moved away from home 13 years ago.  Rather than put everything back inside for another 13 years, Mom decided it was high time I took ownership of some of my own memorabilia that had been cluttering her closets.  So on her last visit, she brought three such boxes and plunked them down in my foyer.  Where they sat for several weeks.

Have I mentioned my unfortunate procrastination habit?

Finally my husband drug the boxes out to the garage, where they resided for several months.  Until last Thursday night, when he decided it was high time to clean out the garage, at which point he unceremoniously ditched the boxes in the middle of the family room floor as I was watching the American Idol results show.


Guess who was finally forced to reckon with those boxes?

Now I’d be lying to you if I told you that it never occurred to me to set the boxes out by the curb and let the trash man take them, without ever looking at the contents.  But the one sentimental bone that I have in my body (there is only one, and it doesn’t bother me very often) cried out in protest, so I decided to take care of that chore right then and there, with Ryan Seacrest and the whole Idol gang in attendance.

Well, if THAT wasn’t a trip down memory lane. 

First I opened the box with my high school and college year books.  I cracked open a few, curious to see what words of wisdom were hiding inside those pages.  When I have more time I will fill you in on some of the gems contained inside.

The yearbooks went in the Keep pile, and the rest of the contents of the box (college text books, mostly) went straight to the Trash box.  Also inside the box was a journal that I kept in 1992.  I called it "My Collection of Things I Love About Life", and I got quite a chuckle reading that — more blog fodder for another time.

The second box held cards and photos from my high school graduation.  I didn’t bother to read the cards, but I did page through the photo album.  Most of the pictures included a certain young man who I was dating at the time.  I guess that’s why that album remained at my mom’s while the rest of my photo albums came with me to Pennsylvania when I got married. 

At the bottom of the box, I came across a treasure that had been long forgotten — the most awesome sweatshirt I ever owned.  You know how it is when you get the perfect one — soft and thick and stretched out until it hangs to your hips without really touching any body part.  I loved that sweatshirt.  But on the sweatshirt are the letters USMA.  Anyone wanna take a gander at who attended the United States Military Academy?

You got it — the certain young man in the high school graduation photos.  I wore that sweatshirt from the time he gave it to me during our freshman year in college until the time I met my husband.  I broke up with the certain young man at the beginning of my sophomore year, but that didn’t stop me from wearing the favored sweatshirt.  The only thing that stopped me from wearing it was meeting the man of my dreams, who didn’t particularly care for me wearing my ex-boyfriend’s clothes.  Go figure.

When I discovered the USMA sweatshirt in the bottom of that box, I felt like I had been reunited with a long lost friend.  I pulled it out and put it on, and sure enough, it was as perfect as I remembered.  I took it off and laid it aside, thinking that surely after fifteen years it wouldn’t matter if I reclaimed ownership of the ex-boyfriend’s sweatshirt.

The next box was full of wedding memories.  I rifled through my wedding planner and a few old Brides magazines and a box full of cards and set them in the Keep pile.  I threw out about 25 boxes of fossils photograph negatives from the disposable cameras we provided at our wedding reception.  And then I came across a journal that had been a present at one of my bridal showers. 

In it, everyone present at the shower had written a message for me as I was about to embark on the great adventure called marriage.  Most of the entries were wise and helpful tidbits of advice, such as "Don’t fail to put God and His plan for your life first always," from my dear Great Aunt Ardith and, "When you’re angry, think before reacting.  Most of the time it’s not worth arguing over" — a lesson I’m still trying to learn.

And then there was this gem from my aunt’s sister, "It’s not too late to change your mind."

Mmm’kay.  Thanks. I think.

Oh.  Oh.  And I love this one.  From my Aunt Carol, "The best advice I can give is to communicate.  And laugh.  Laugh a lot, laugh at yourself.  And if all else fails, take the credit cards and shop!!"

Now there’s some advice I don’t mind following.  Needless to say that little treasure went in the Keep file.

After I got everything separated into piles, my husband wandered through the room to see how things were coming along.  He immediately spotted the USMA sweatshirt.

"What’s this?" he remarked.

Me: "An old sweatshirt I found in the boxes."

Him: "And what are you planning to do with it?"

Me: "Mmm.  Maybe wear it?  It’s a great sweatshirt."

Him: "Uh.  I don’t think so."

So that was the end of that.

* * *

Be sure to check out my swimsuit review on Chic Critique, and I have a giveaway this week at Reviewsings.  It’s a fun one!

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13 Responses

  1. If you really miss the sweatshirt I have a picture of you wearing it that you could look at but I really think you should just go shopping.You could get a new sweatshirt or even better a sweatshirt alternative-maybe something cute.

  2. I like that Aunt Carol! I have a stack of advice cards from our wedding too which I need to get out and read. I’m sure back then I thought I knew everything about marriage and didn’t really need advice. Hee hee- oh how wrong I was!

  3. BEFORE YOU THROW OUT THOSE TEXTBOOKS……….check out the ISBN numbers on http://www.half.com YOU NEVER KNOW….you might be holding on to a rare text book that someone is looking for! I sold text books before we moved and pocketed about $100 plus! To look to see if it’s worth it, see if anyone else is selling them and for how much; then list yours and undercut the prices by $5. IF you don’t mind holding on to them for another month or two, you may be pleasantly surprised!

  4. When we moved a year ago, I found a cd case full of cd’s with RW (high school boyfriends initials) in sharpie on all of them. There were some great cd’s in the case! I kept them to put them on my ipod later. When I got around to downloading (uploading?) them I couldn’t find them anywhere. I asked hubby if he had seen them. He said, “Yeah, I through those out.” I thought it was kinda cute.

  5. Hi, I came across your blog through Trista over at The Pumkin Patch. We are in a group together and I really got a kick out of reading this entry. I started my blog a while ago but I hate to say that I am still learning and I’m not up to date with the “community” so, I snag things here and there for ideas. (in case you go to my page and notice something familiar from someone’s lol) I try to just use an idea if it fits my life hehe …Is that illegal? lol
    Well, anyway- You have a great blog. 🙂

  6. Love the sweatshirt story! My hubby did the same thing when we saw my ex at a football game about 5 years after we were married. The ex came up and gave me a huge hug and said how ‘great I looked’. Hubs just stood and had this grin. I introduced them and then afterwards he said THAT was the guy you dated thru college? I said yep and he just rolled his eyes and said “I guess he is ok” LOL. He mentions it every so often when we head back for alumni stuff.

    Oh and don’t throw the books away just yet. You can possibly sell them for shoe or purse money! Priorities you know!

  7. LOL – I’m picturing your hubs saying that. I was wondering how YOU’d react if he wanted to keep this cute teddy bear that HIS girlfriend gave him? Maybe R could have it on her bed?!? ha ha ha

  8. (snort!) What is it about hubby’s “old boyfriend” radar???? It’s like a 6th sense.

    A little territorial, are we?

    I think you should go to bed in it. Just see what happens. It could be a fun night.

    “My woman.” Grunt. He might even drag you around by the hair.

    And WHAT is it with those tasks? You know – the ones you DREAD, but end up spending HOURS on because they’re SO MUCH FUN???

    Good times.

  9. One of my favorite things is how your hubby came into the room and honed in on the sweatshirt. Like he has “ex-boyfriend stuff” sniffing/beacon powers.

    I need to remember a lot of advice you got for your wedding. I especially like the one about how most stuff is not worth the fight.

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