I like stuff. Stuff=memories. I have a framed Tiffany’s bag from NYC, a jar full of river rocks from a perfectly ordinary afternoon spent skipping rocks long ago. I have ticket stubs and old, colorful tourist maps. The chair from my first apartment is in my den. My grandmothers tea cups sit high on a shelf. I have an iron bed from my grandmothers house and an old quilt that is almost threadbare that I love. There are concert tickets, restaurant coasters and sea shells tucked away all over my home. I like stuff. I like the memories stuffinvokes.
Sometimes stuff outlives its usefulness and gets casually tossed into the box labeled garage sale. Those are the things that once held sweet or special memories that have gradually dulled or been replaced with newer memories. Those are easy to toss into the box of things to sell. It’s not sad, it’s not bad-it’s just time. You won’t ache when a stranger picks it up and asks if you’ll take less then the quarter printed on the sale sticker.
Something’s aren’t quite as easy to toss aside. You pick it up and start to toss but suddenly a memory comes flooding back and you squeeze the item tight to your chest as if to squeeze every sweet memory from the object you hold. These things don’t get tossed into the box. They go a bit higher on the shelf or tucked a little further back in the cabinet where you won’t see it everyday. Those memories aren’t quite dulled so it’s not yet time to say goodbye.
There are also so some things that suddenly ring false. Items that held special memories that have gotten tarnished. Those things get quickly tossed into the box to give away. Out of sight, out of mind. You can’t bare to watch a stranger pick this item up, examine it and then ask you to take less then what it’s marked. You no longer want the memories but you aren’t willing to someone else walk away with them. So you give it away to some charity where it’s no longer yours but you don’t have to watch it go away.
I have each of these kinds of things.
I’ve had this bunny since college. It’s survived no less than 10 moves (yes-10). Each time I packed the mink bunny with its sweet and special memories had a space. The bunny made me smile. It made me remember. It reminded me that I was special. The bunny sat on the bed of my first apartment. It sat on the bed in my sons nursery. It made it to my daughters nursery and years later into the pink painted room if my baby girl. I held it tight when I was lonely and cried more then once into the sweet fur.
Tonight as I was tossing some things into a box the bunny caught my eye. I didn’t smile. I wasn’t overcome with nostalgia. It didn’t make me happy or content. The mink bunny sat forlornly in the corner. What it once was, it was no more. After 20+ years the bunny didn’t hold happy memories. The memories it did hold were suddenly ones that made me sad. The bunny got tossed into the box. The box labeled GIVE AWAY.