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Stuff and all that stuff

  • Tagged The pregnancies, The possessions
  • Commenters Drew, Sandy, Amy Karatz, caroline

Apparently this kid wants his own room already. I guess this means guest room has to go. (Sorry, guests.) It also means his parents need to own up to all the crap they’ve been keeping in there, and preferably move it somewhere else, like, say, the dumpster, in preparation for the accumulation of a whole new dimension of crap, both literal and otherwise.

Much has been said here before about my unflattering habits of rat-packiness. It’s pretty terrible. But the last time I had to confront it head-on was 4.5 years ago, when we moved, and since then the overflowing bins of nostalgia have been safely tucked away in the nooks of our guest room. Meanwhile, I have spent those years slowly shedding those notions of quantity-over-quality. When it came time to purge, which it finally did last week, I was ready to go Soviet force.

I was ruthless. I was completely without ruth. I whittled down those mountains of crap to little molehills of concentrated nostalgia. It took a while to do, partly because of the pure volume, but also because I was forced to stop every few minutes and marvel at the things I found. They ranged from the banal (elementary school workbooks, preserved wholly) to the amazing (receipt for my bris — $75 [cheap!]) to the absurd (a gold-plated pinkie ring, a bar mitzvah gift). I kept the best stuff, the stuff I want my kids to remember me by, but threw out a good 80-90% of it.

Some of the stuff that didn’t make the cut:

  • A pin from the Jack Kemp for President campaign, coupled with a note: “I couldn’t have done it without you.” It = lost the election? Happy to help.
  • Newspaper covers from after the Bulls’ fifth and sixth championships. You know, because of my magnificent love of basketball.
  • A bale of announcements of my birth, which my parents printed in newspaper format. I kept a few, but really: a bale.
  • A kaleidoscope with my bar mitzvah invitation embedded inside. Add this to the category of “I kept this for almost TWENTY YEARS? Christ.”
  • Another bar mitzvah gift: a piece of granite with some Hebrew on it. Sat in a box all these years. Same category as previous.
  • Two programs from the Atlanta Olympics. Enshrouded in a quilted pounch. Each of these weighs like 3 pounds. I had two.
  • Literally thousands of photographs, many blurry and/or of people I have no memory of. I kept hundreds of good ones, and all the negatives, for once bulk negative scanning gets cheap, but man, I must be saving the foundation of our building with the amount I’m throwing out.

The best stuff, of course, I saved, and hope to put online in the coming years. I’ve got enough to fuel its own blog for years (not that I would do that, promise). There are some real gems. For now, it’s all packed neatly into little boxes that sit patiently on the top shelf of the closet. And we both feel a little less burdened by stuff.

This was all done in preparation of Perquackey’s arrival, ostensibly to clear out the space for a pleasantly uncluttered nursery. The truth, of course, is that as soon as that kid starts making memories of his own, all that nostalgic asceticism will go out the window. How long before the “Baby’s Memories” bin outweighs all of ours put together? I put it at one year, max.


Amy Karatz

Mar 26 / 22:21


Mar 31 / 10:20
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