Tag Archives: memories

oh christmas crap

The solution to the Christmas accumulation conundrum was to buy a small fake pine, about S.’s size, a package of mixed mini candy canes, some small santa koalas from the dollar store and about three other little trinkets. In total this decoration cost about $45, plus the $50 that flew out of my pocket somewhere in my neighborhood while I was walking home with the tree. (Happy Christmas, stranger who finds it!) The fact that I lost something bothers me more than the cost. Accumulator, I am.

Nonetheless, the little tree, not particularly well photographed here, was fun to decorate, only took a few minutes suiting S’s attention span, and part of it is edible. You can’t beat that. Or maybe you can. Tell me: do you other COH’s have a problem with Christmas decorations?

D. told me he couldn’t care less if there was a tree or not. I felt I needed one to get in the mood since it’s summer here. I put on some rocking Christmas tunes (including Elvis’s “Blue Christmas” and some more shameful hits), and genuinely enjoyed the time with our daughter. She was mostly interested in playing with the koalas, but she did dance a bit and asked for more Christmas songs. Frosty the Snowman was a big hit.

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hoarding others’ memories

Last week I discovered that D.’s ex-wife has been blogging her memories. D., quite respectfully, has said that they divorced a long time ago and he is not interested in reading it. I, however, cannot help myself. It’s like watching an autopsy in which the pathologist is mutilating the corpse, and I simply cannot look away. I can list a hundred excuses why I’m reading the perspective of this woman I’ve never really met (it’s even related to my field of research!), but it feels more like a sickness in me than anything else.

What’s fascinating me most, though, is her willingness or desire to rehash the past. She goes at it with a hoarder’s eye for detail, recounting textures and senses, shadow and light, with precision that doesn’t seem possible for memories that are as many as 40 years old. She has overtly taken a stab at scientific observation and objectivity, trying not to speculate on stories that are not her own, but the complex images she draws only lead me to believe that these are well-rehearsed memories. I don’t believe scenes from our childhood or even five years ago can remain vivid if they are not continually conjured. This leads me to an even more sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as she has just begun to blog about meeting, dating, and living with D. Her project, which is reading as a journey into finding and heeding an inner voice, is setting up their entire relationship as a big misstep. I cannot read it without thinking about my own first marriage which I would certainly recount as something I should not have done but that taught me a number of important lessons. But would I take the time to go down the paths of memory and recount excessive details of meeting him and so on? The very thought makes me shudder with nausea. It just simply isn’t a consideration – I have a beautiful life right now, even when it’s difficult. D. turned out to be the love of my life. We have a beautiful daughter, successful careers, and a love between us that I had given up believing in when I was still a teenager. One person’s trash, another’s treasure? From your hoard to mine?

It’s excruciating to watch someone else dissect the person you love so deeply and to have no control over how they put those words out into the world. I’m only thankful that he turned out not to be the perfect person for her, because he really is the perfect man for me.

you couldn’t if you tried

Remember how hoarding is all the rage? I forgot to tell another Housewives story to further convince you of my very bad taste in TV.

About two weeks ago on the Real Housewives of Orange County, Tamra received a truckload of stuff from the movers into her new home. Her boyfriend was there to help her unload. He kept opening up the boxes that happened to have her wedding glasses, wedding dress, and old photos in them. Eddie asked her, “Why do you keep all this stuff?”

Tamra defended herself saying it just went straight from the old house into the truck, but she also said you can’t just get rid of all the memories. Eddie aptly responded, “You couldn’t get rid of them if you tried.”

Eddie left to let her deal with her crap on her own, and Tamra wiped a few tears away as she gently placed the wedding glasses into the dumpster.