all in a shoebox

My mother came for a visit this weekend. She warned me that she had some stuff of mine that she was ready to get out of the basement. I was curious to see just exactly what this “stuff” was. I have never been much of a pack rat. Searching my brain I could not even think of much that I had left behind. I knew my wedding dress was there and thought there might be another box of random things from college.

Turns out I had two boxes of random things from high school and college, the aforementioned wedding dress and three oh-so-beautiful prom/fancy dresses.

I now have that wedding dress, the fancy dresses (the girls didn’t want me to get rid of them and I decided they might make fun costumes of some sort), and a shoebox.

Yep I reduced all those left behind memories to one shoebox – and it’s not even that full. Oh technically there is also a small bag holding four or five plaques but if they would have been the size that fit in a shoebox there is plenty of room for them in there.

My young adult self thought I’d want to keep the files and notes from my favorite college classes. It was fun to skim the comments from my professors – even the one that said my paper would have been an A+ except “in hindsight her question trapped me into a faulty argument” which doesn’t seem fair at all. Perhaps I should have kept them just for a day when I might need an ego boost. But really, what is the point in saving my notes from Western European Economics? Or my papers all about the hidden evils of children’s literature? It was fun to wave my math notebook in K’s face as proof that I really did know how to do some very complicated math (I quickly glossed over the fact that it all looked like hieroglyphics now). All of it went straight to the recycling bin.

Newspapers declaring the start of the Gulf War – gone. High school standardized test scores – gone. High school report cards – gone.

I kept a handful of pictures. Some ticket stubs that still bring smiles to my face. I kept the plaques commemorating my academic achievements – if for no other reason than to show my nearly teenage children that I am not a complete moron. And a handful of things that I brought back from my high school trip to Europe. That’s it. Those “treasures” have now moved from my mother’s basement to mine. I suppose I’ll look at them again someday or my children will stumble on them and get a good laugh at my big hair. I doubt my wedding dress will ever leave its carefully preserved packaging.

I wonder if someday I’ll regret my lack of sentimentality? If I do, at least I’ll have a shoebox that will be easy to carry out of the basement and only contains enough material to bore my future grandchildren for about five minutes.


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