Sam started going through his “memory box” to find something, then opened mine. He found it, and we framed it—the cover of his novel now hangs in our home, as it should have quite a while back.
While it was out, I went through my box and threw out a lot of stuff—why do I have so many of Katie’s old school papers, again? As much as I absolutely adore my child, I really can’t save absolutely every coloring page and drawing and card she’s made. I saved a few things from each year and tossed a bunch of cards and other things accumulated over the years.
I tossed out correspondence from old SOs, too. When you can’t remember just who Raul and Michael are, letters professing their undying love aren’t terribly important. I was trying to figure out why I had that stuff, though. It was odd to remember, as if it was something about someone else, that there was a time when I enjoyed looking at these mementos of past involvements when I was feeling lonely. They made me feel wanted and desirable. Now, they’re just paper. I’m sure I cared about those people at some point, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t meet them in person. They were online “romances” as far as I can tell, and from the dates, they happened in the first year that I was really online.
There’s a box of photos around here somewhere. I’m just not sure where it is. But there are lots of photos in there that need to be put in albums or something. Maybe I can remember the names of the people IN the pictures! I hope so. Ever since we started getting boxes of stuff that belonged to Wayne from Katie’s grandparents, with stacks of photos with no labels or dates or names and no way at all to know who those people are, the fact that my pictures are in the same state has bugged me. I mean, the man is dead, so no matter how important that stuff might have been to him, we have no context at all for it.
Some of the stuff in the memory box was odd. There was a copy of a school newspaper from the quarter I spent at Agnes Scott. I was trying to figure out why I kept it, and I wrote an article that was published there. Huh? I don’t recall any involvement with the paper. But there it was. My student ID was in there, too—I might scan it in later.
There was also a box of little pins and medals and ribbons and such from band and chorus and debate and Junior Achievement and Junior Civitan and Beta Club and National Honor Society and all manner of organizations that I was involved with in high school. I even found my Brownie and Girl Scout pins!
There were maps and such from my trip to Europe for spring break in 1983. There were folders of truly horrific poetry I wrote in middle and high school—I can’t believe I saved those! I’m not sure what purpose they could have other than to make me SO very happy that my teen years are long past and that I will not ever have to live through puberty again.
There were, however, reminders of people I’d like to talk to again. Doug Edwards, Leigh Ann Whatley Lauinger, and Anne-Mireille Tyson—if you’re out there, I’m thinking of you and I’m sorry we’ve lost touch with each other. I’m a horrible correspondent. I’d love to know how Augie Buono is doing. There are people from way back in high school, like Melissa Bonner and Tona Fenters, who I wonder about. There are plenty of others, of course, but I came across their names today and was thinking of them.