It is amazing the things you don’t remember.
In the process of moving, I am forcing myself to go though stuff and throw it away. I heard a thing on NPR this week about hoarders (maybe last week). The guest was saying that for a lot of people, they hang onto stuff because they are afraid that they will forget about the experience. And if they dont remember they were there, who else would? What follows below is a narrative about some of the stuff I have come across during the move…. if you’re not into long slow walks down Memory Lane, you probably should click away.
So I have come across some interesting finds. When I went off to college, it was kind of a big deal. My mom kept a stack of postcards on her that were stamped and addressed to me. Whenever she was at the soccer field or work or wherever she saw someone and they asked about me, she’d offer them a postcard to drop me a note. I saved them. All. Girls I played ball with… my brother’s teammates…people I met through work. That is pretty cool. I also have a collection of letters from the smartest person I ever met in real life (JED). I had the fortune of attending FMHS with him. We seem to have kept in touch pretty well… I hope that I wrote him as much as he wrote me… and that they were half as entertaining as his were…they were mostly about stupid people and the like, including several written as though they were British Military communications (you’d have to know JED).
I came across an envelope that contained a bunch of flourescent stars (the kind you put on the walls of your room) as well as a printed copy of Corinthians 9: 24-25. Also written onto a piece of paper: “You must either conquer and rule or serve and lose; suffer or triumph, be the anvil on the hammer.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe.
I also had one of the signs from our dorm hallway “Absolutely No Males Beyond This Point!!!” and a small printed picture of a very young Elvis Prestley… that I had taped to something. Someone I cared about gave it to me, which is why I kept it… but I can’t remember who now. I also have a note from my bestfriend/roommate ELF apologizing for stealing a paper that I had been working on. She hid it in our room and had meant to give it back to me… but forgot. Apparently, I had gotten mad at her? (I do not even remember this situation). I also found a letter explaining that I was on chapel probation, Spring Semester of my freshman year. You got on probation when your attendance dropped below 75% for the semester (this definitely sounds like me).
The best find from this box of memoribilia? A letter from my sister:
Hey dork. How are you. Everything is fine here. We made it home at about 230 in the morning. How in hell did we turn a 12 hour trip into 16 ______ hours? Dad was being so annoying. He kept wanting me to read aloud from his book. (My cue to start reading: he would start singing “read me a story… read me a story…” Needless to say, I didnt get my book for English read. Ms. Miller made me take the test Friday. I think I did pretty good for not actually reading the stupid book. So anyway, when is your court date? Are you going because you are going to contest the ticket or because you have to? Did you give plasma again? I told Tawnya about that and she laughed until she got kicked out of Mr. Cunningham’s class. I got 2Qs 4U:
1) Why did you even tell Mom, it’s not like you are a minor? 2) Are you going to take BB’s Money? He must be really rich or really stupid or really in love with ELF. Which is it? Anyway, how are things with your other problem? Did you get your demerits under 50?
Anyway, I have the best idea for you RS, JS and ELF. Ok. You’ve gotten in trouble at school, so you don’t want to risk sneaking out, but you still want to go clubbin. Here is what you do… first you sign out, like you are going home (that way you wont be in trouble for curfew. Second, you go clubbin…. have a blast… blah, blah, blah. Then, whenever you get back you sneak into your room. When you are asked, why you are back, just say you changed your mind about going home. Isn’t that the best idea ever?”
Seriously? I had to get advice from my 17 year old sister on how to sneak out of a dorm? Really? In defense of me: She refers to the single worst/best weekend of my LIFE…. it started out crazy. I dont know if you have gathered from the letter from NLB, but Lee was a little bit strict about girls/guys being unsupervised together. Apparently, I had a little problem with “authority” my freshman year, because I thought the rules didnt apply to me. So ELF and I snuck into the boys dorm Friday night. Simmer down now. It was early (like 8pm). And it was Lee weekend, so we took that to mean that rules weren’t on… in any case, we were on the first floor with some of the guys from the basketball team… listening to music, discussing plans to go out. When we got busted. Totally got in trouble.
So I freak out a little…am sure that I am getting tossed from the team. So I lay low on Saturday. Sunday ELF and I decide to go cliff diving with another group of friends (the kind that typically didnt get in trouble ever.) We go up to Charleston to jump off of cliffs into a river (HOLY HELL? WHAT? HOW is this ever a good idea?) It was pretty fun… the group we are with decides that it would be fun to go jump of a railroad trestle further down the river. When we got there, I decided it was way too far (50 feet, maybe, instead of the 20 or so the cliffs had been). So ELF and I decide not to jump… but we are hanging out. Then the cops come and start writing tickets for trespassing. Now, none of us have IDs. And rather than lying to get out of the ticket. I give them my real name? WHAT? What is wrong with me?
The amount of the ticket ended up being the cost for the Aerosmith ticket that ELF’s friend BB had gotten for us, to go with him (he offered to pay the trespassing tickets so that we could still go). And since I couldnt do both- I ended up paying the trespassing ticket. And missed Aerosmith. Yeah, the tour right after the movie Armageddon came out. Remember how hot the soundtrack was? Aerosmith and ZZ Top all over it?
So this little trip down memory lane reminded me 1) how gullible/easily influenced I used to be 2) how NOT hardcore I was and 3) I still haven’t seen Aerosmith live.