Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning

There's a lot of purging going on over here, as in, throwing or giving away everything I own before I move to Denver.

OK, more like organizing, letting go and getting shit done. This whole two month deadline thing is scarily motivating. The best treasures I've uncovered are the ones in my photo/scrapbook box in my parent's basement. Most of the stuff is from college with a few things from the first year after graduation. I just kept finding myself bursting into laughter or reading intently as I went along. Here are some of my favorite gems:

- A picture of me blearily shitfaced on my 21st birthday with my arm around a fat, bald grinning cop in Aggieville.

- About 600 pictures from a trip to Cancun I took with three other girls our junior year many of which include guys. LOTS of guys. We nicknamed most of them by the part of the country they came from, i.e. "The Maine Boys." That was one of the best trips I have ever taken.

- My bleach blonde, tan, ripped self that was obsessed with wearing very tiny clothing and almost always holding a can of Natty Light. Of course, I could do that when I was 19 or 20 because my metabolism hadn't yet taken a shit on me forcing me to work so hard to stay in shape and I didn't look like an old lady trying to re-live the glory days. But, most of all, because I was a different person then. It's amazing what a few years and a few life changing events will do to, or rather, for your psyche. I didn't start feeling "old" until 2010...especially when I was at a bar right before my 27th birthday and some 60-year-old dude looked me up and down and said, "damn, you look good for 26." Um, what? I wasn't aware that comment was applicable when you were still in your 20s. BAH!

The subsequent purging of said tiny clothes I was wearing in the pictures happened earlier tonight too. Over and over again, I held up a scrap of fabric from the bottom drawer, had a fond flashback of me wearing it to a party freshman year when a guy I liked from one of my classes came up and talked to me or something along those lines...then remembered that I hadn't worn it since, came to the conclusion that I might have a problem, then tossed it in a goodwill pile. I'll let somebody smaller and younger make some memories with it now.

- Oh the sorority-tasticness. Black and gold kites and pansies out the ass. Apparently I kept every single motherfucking thing I ever received that was sorority related. You should see my collection of t-shirts, which are now cut up and laid out on my living room floor while I attempt to fashion them into a jankety ass, sewn together mess of a blanket. I can't remember when I've had more fun. Balls.

- A tiny tube of toothpaste my friend Whitney and I stole from the hotel room of some British soccer players we met in Reno one summer.

- A couple of journals — one full of extremely embarrassing rants that I promptly ripped up and literally put through the shredder and one that was full of poems, some of which were actually good. I kept that one.

- Cards from various occasions. The ones from graduation made me cry.

However, what I enjoyed most were the hoards and hoards of love letters. I had forgotten how much I made the boys swoon in my day. Riiiiiiiight. Anyway, a few were cards from the guy I lived with a few years ago in which the relationship ended in a fiery, explode-y, painful car crash of douchebaggery. The sentiments back then were quite the opposite though.

Most of them were actual love letters from the Marine I dated on and off from the time I was 19 to 21. I remember writing letters back and forth like we were old souls with him on the East coast and me in the middle of nowhere Kansas. Some of the words were just sickening and made me want to projectile vomit on the wall and smack myself in the face, but a lot of it was pretty damn adorable. He'd draw hilarious pictures in the margins and send me little gifts along with the letters. I remember being disgustingly head over heels for this guy, as he was for me, but it was one of those innocent, juvenile kind of loves. The kind where you run off and elope at 19, then wake up a few years later, pregnant, staring at the cracked ceiling of your double wide (or in this case, base housing) and say, "What the fuck happened to my life?" Divorce comes next along with the mourning of your wasted youth. I'm just glad I was smart enough to stay in school rather than become a military wife. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's definitely not the life for me.

We eventually drifted apart like the fate of most extreme long distance relationships, I found out he slept with somebody else, then I said, bye dude. But, I have nothing, but good memories of the whole thing. He's married now and I hope he's happy...whatever he's doing.

I'm keeping most of those letters...Remi and my kids will get a kick out of them. They'll be all, 'how cute, is that how guys treated women back then? Serenaded them with love letters?' Then I'll recall all of the times guys ever so romantically asked me out via text message among so many other douchey moves and I'll respond, 'nope, he was a rare breed.' That is unless my future husband takes a damn hint. Of course he's probably not going to be so amused by those letters...

Towards the end of my dig, I found a Valentine's Day card from the boyfriend I had senior year. I've lost touch with him, but he was a decent, nice human being, so I can't make fun of him too much. But, I have to share. We had maybe been dating two or three weeks at the time, so the awkwardness of V-Day obligations was painfully obvious. First of all, he mentioned that he bought the card on Valentine's Day about three seconds before he came over...yada, yada....then the last couple of lines read:

"If you like me as much as I like you, well then I'm a pretty lucky fella. Happy Valentine's Day, bub."

I flung myself backwards in hysterical laughter. No, "Bub" was not a nickname he had for me. This was just "bub" as in "You got that right, bub." Or "hey bub, get out of my way." Really? I wonder if he gave me a good night handshake or pat on the back at the end of that night. I don't recall.

I think the funniest part was I could actually see and hear him saying this as I read it. It was so typically him, which is probably why we didn't work out. Well, if he ever reads this: I hope you're happy, bub.

Well, I've only made a small dent in the purging process so far, I'm afraid. Why, oh why do I have so much crap? Priceless, hilarious, awesome crap?


Ellie said...

It took me three years after moving day to knuckle down and go through my crap... I purged from about twenty boxes to two. It's like being reborn :) (or so I imagine)

Dave said...

It's always good to have some crap like that around. Good memories. But yeah, there comes a time when you realize that you don't really need some of it.

That said, don't you DARE try to throw away any of my wife's original Strawberry Shortcake figurines. She still looked cute back then; now she just looks like the result of some Lisa Frank acid trip.

Strawberry Shortcake, that is...

nova said...

I've started to take these kinds of things and put them in one single scrap book. Completely out of context and out of order. Cut up journal entries, pictures, weird things I've picked up along the's like an art project of my life.

Megs said...

Can't stop laughing about the bub. I didn't know people younger than 70 actually used that word.

I feel like immediately after reading the card, a giant Vaudevillean hook should come out of nowhere and the guy should tap dance off stage.

Luna said...

lol i have lots of crap too. sometimes when i search through it i find stuff i forgot that i had. i usually do cleaning more when i move. i do a lot of that so i always have crap to throw away.

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

Seriously I love purging- it's like a cleanse or something- aahh..feels so good! Everybody should be required to move every 4 years, just to get the clutter out.

Amy said...

I have love letters still from that boy too :) Although, he was not a marine when I knew him! They too were complete with doodles and nonsense and trinkets. The jumbled scrapbook idea of nova's is a good one! And since I haven't told you, CONGRATS on the COLORADO THING, BUB!


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