Packrat-itis

I suspect this will be a multiple part series.

Things I have gotten rid of today:

  • 28 cassette tapes (all mixes except The Cure: Standing on a Beach the Singles which I have had since junior high). We don’t own a cassette player – haven’t for years.
  • 41 theatre playbills, viagra 60mg programs for choral concerts I participated in (dating back to the 80s) – for most of which I have no memory.
  • Piles of random, capsule painfully dated-looking, gynecologist blank postcards. Many I had taped to my binder in elementary school including one of a goth-punk girl that says “Hi Dad” that I thought was so edgy at the time. (Anyone collect postcards, they are all blank and are being recycled at the end of the week if no one wants them.)
  • An “I Love My Dalmatian” bumper sticker that I was sure I would put on my car when I was an adult even though the Dalmatian I did love died 18 years ago.
  • A box of letters, too many to count. Mostly they were from penpals I made while at basic training for the Air Cadets. Some of those people turned into penpals for years – lasting much longer than my 1.5 years as an Air Cadet. Others were people I met at summer camp. That box was full of stuff, I didn’t even bother to count the number of letters in there. I miss letter writing but since I haven’t heard from any of those people since before I graduated from high school (maybe even junior high for some of them) I tossed them all.
  • Birthday cards & Christmas cards! Dating back to my pre-teens – why do I still have these? Two were from my orthodontist for gawds sake! Some were full of names I have long forgotten and have little memory of but are signed with the obligatory “friends forever”.

Things I had forgotten/hilarious finds:

  • I was awarded the “Heart-Breaker” award at Choral Kathaumixw in 1990. I would have been 14-years old. To the best of my memory I don’t recall breaking any hearts in the sprawling metropolis of Powell River, B.C.
  • Another choir trip award: “Miss Sultry Eyes of San Francisco”. Could it have been my giant black monobrow making me look sultry? (I soon learned the art of eyebrow plucking because Janice Covey told me if I didn’t do something about my eyebrows she would.)
  • A homemade Christmas card from an elementary school friend with a picture of Cory Haim and Cory Feldman on it – I was always insisting on watching The Goonies when I was over at her house and so she signed the card, “p.s. Cory F says Hi!”
  • For my 20th birthday my brother and sister gave me the same birthday card. They both picked it up (seperately) at Shopper’s Drug Mart which used to be the only store open on New Year’s Day. The card says:

Rock breaks scissors.
Scissors cuts paper.
Paper covers rock.

And inside: Card covers birthday.

I remember my sister’s present (an extra large box of dark Pot of Gold chocolate – I don’t like the dark ones) came with an Aquarius Star Scroll. I’m a Capricorn.

  • A typed up “love” letter from a friend admiting he has had a crush on me since the 4th grade. It was on his “business letterhead.” Grade 9.
  • A rare Christmas card from the Mister the Christmas after we were in Scotland on tour and an even rarer letter from him the following summer when I was in Nova Scotia with my sister for two months. I haven’t read the letter yet – I’m waiting until we go to bed so we can have a good laugh over it.

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For any letter writers (or former letter writers) out there – did you keep your letters? What is your criteria for saving things like letters and cards? My problem is that I think I am going to be able to make a story out of everything even though the memories surrounding all of this stuff are long gone.

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