Heck yeah, I need it. That’s what I thought, anyway. At the age of nine I hadn’t reached the heights of sarcastic repartee I now possess.
“I’ll bet some kid in an orphanage would play with it more than you do.” She arched a judgemental brow. “You have lots of things. They don’t.”
Guilt reared its nasty head and we both looked around my well-stocked bedroom of stuffed animals, games and Barbie dolls. A moment later, I waved goodbye as Mr. Iceberg disappeared down the hallway, on his way to be shipped away with other “clutter” my mother wanted out of the house.
Now that I’m an adult and homeowner, I understand where Mom was coming from. Yet the scars of the long-lost Mr. Iceberg incident are still with me. Yet when it comes to what stays and goes, the buck stops with me.
One thing I’ve had for thirty-four years is a Snoopy soup mug. Received as a Christmas gift back in ‘79, it still sits in the forefront of my kitchen cabinet. When I use it, I think about my old college roommate who, upon my return from winter break with the mug in tow, expressed her love for cartoon beagle. Our never-ending Joe Cool jokes became the source of endless laughter. The mug also makes me remember being away from home for the first time, missing both my boyfriend and my dog. If my daughters are present when I us this mug, I remind them that it’s special and I don’t expect it to go to Goodwill when I die. More likely, I’d expect to see it on Antique Roadshow.
Another treasured memento, one I still use weekly and have had for over thirty years, is a coffee cup I purchased on a weekend trip to Boston. Drawn to the adorable dog image, the French words also held great appeal. I’m pretty sure there are primates who have better foreign language abilities than me. That mug taught me a few words of French! Now when I fill it with steamy coffee, I think about those visits to Boston and that stage of my life while working at my first job after college.
My mother once tossed my W-2’s in the garbage during tax season. Another time she threw out a check that my step-dad thought would serve us better if deposited at the bank. Sure, I respect that her house is neater than mine, yet I wonder if she ever pauses to ask herself, “Is this a trinket, trash or treasure?” before she decides something needs to go.
What’s in your closets?