Friday, June 22, 2007

Packrats Anonymous Inc.

Alright. So I'll admit it - I'm a packrat. I hoard onto stuff. Even when it's seemingly meaningless and worthless to the rest of the world. As long as it holds some sentimental meaning to me, I'll keep it. And the awful part about being me is when you've moved and changed addresses several times over the years, it becomes harder and harder holding on to everything you collect. Sometimes you end up having to let go, and that can be quite a traumatic experience as any true blood packrat will tell you.

It all started out with just one small shoebox and a collection of greeting cards. Next thing I knew, the one shoebox just wasn't big enough to contain all the little snippets of memories I had collected along the way. The one small shoebox divided itself into two, the two small shoeboxes fused into one bigger shoebox, which then morphed into a much bigger cardboard box, and the last time I checked, the big cardboard box has now given birth to a litter of many more boxes, all containing items dear and near to my heart, which I swear will come useful at some later date.

So in pledging my loyalty to Packrats Anonymous Inc., I thought I'd share my list of random items that I've cherished at some point or the other that have made their way in (and perhaps not yet out of) my shoebox-formerly-labeled-as-"Memories":

1. A small cork-stoppered glass bottle, with an even smaller rolled parchment inside, scribbled with a scrawny "I LOVE YOU" handwritten by the love of my life, given to me as a valentine's gift nine years ago.

Yeeeaaaah. Who knew we'd still be together almost a decade later? It's validation of my good judgment even back then. ;)

2. Stones.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking - who collects stones?! I do. You know, the real smooth, peculiar shaped, interesting colored ones that stick out in the sand. I used to collect them every time I walked along the shores of Lake Michigan. But then when you consider I walked there several times a week, that's a lot of stones, and I filled up a lot of glass jars, and then every time I moved, and it was annoying to haul stones. So I stopped collecting them. Well, technically. I still do, but only if they look really, really interesting.

3. A baby tooth from my dog Charlie
My dog, Charlie
.

What?! Don't look at me like that. You'd have to know him to see why I'd do that. He's not even a dog...he's...he's..well, he is a dog, but not a doggy dog...he's just so darn human like. I'd say he's my baby but then I don't want to sound like the annoying Paris Hilton type of girl who dresses her dog in hideous pink outfits. Uggh. :{

4. Greeting cards.

I'm the queen of sentimentalism. I used to save every card that anyone ever gave me - birthday, christmas, congratulations, thankyous...and seeing how horribly addicted I was to it, if any of my enemies had sent me a "I hate you" card, I'd still have saved that too. I broke that habit when I left Kenya...now I don't save every random card that anyone sends to me, I only save the extra-mushy ones that are oozing with sentiments.

5. The geeky academic little knick knacks and nerdy humor stuff from atop my desk when I was pursuing my PhD a year ago.

I quit halfway. And I just don't have the heart to give away or get rid of the geeky knick knacks because they represent a very memorable phase of my life - a time at which I was doing exactly what I had dreamed of doing all my life, but suddenly found myself hating the whole experience...a very passionate yet agonizing moment in my life. Goes to show you, you don't always know what you want from life until you have it in your hands.

Ahem. Enough of the philosophizing. Moving on...

6. Fridge magnets and Postcards.

I have a fridge magnet and/or a postcard for every single place I have ever traveled to (well, almost every place I've ever traveled to - I don't have one for the small villages I visited in Africa but it doesn't even matter because they don't even know what fridge magnets are and it's not like they'd ever object to their lack of representation in my collection). That's just my thing. People buy T-shirts and other souvenirs. I buy a fridge magnet and a postcard. If you were to visit me, my fridge and all the magnets on it from all sorts of places would make interesting conversations. There's a story attached to each one.

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. That's it. I'm in recovery now.

~vagabond~ © 2007

2 comments:

Diane said...

You write very well.

Cuckoo said...

Didn't I say you are like me in more than one way ?

I also collect stones & cards.

it would be nice if you post a picture of your fridge with all those magnets.