Blast from the Past

Before tonight’s post, two important details to attend to:
1. The guitar-kitten (aka Dad’s Christmas present): While Dad never believed we had a kitten hiding in the back room for him, by Christmas day he had completely confused himself and forgotten all notions of getting the guitar back as a gift. He was surprised, slightly, but mostly he was very grateful and moved. A good thing all around, without a doubt.
2. The website, which is now live, that has been sucking parts of my brain into cyberspace for two days. It’s my first attempt, and many thanks to Britt for help with the main graphics. Feedback welcome and appreciated – I’m trying to hold a presence on the web for editors, etc. so while the site is up, it is being worked on daily and not all pages are finished. Check it out at: or click here for a direct link.

My family and I spent the day moving boxes from our Oregon life out of the storage unit in SmallTown, NC and into the new house up Shuford Creek. The mission was simple: downsize. The task, however, was grand. I worked in the side room and sorted things into five piles: throw away (homework from high school classes, rugby plays sketched out on graph paper from college, dried rose from someone’s wedding whom I can’t remember), donate (stuffed animals, odd porcelain keepsakes that don’t matter any more), use now (Tupperware’s, nut cracker, miso soup chinaware from Japan), store for use someday when I own my own home (gold painted chinaware from Japan, large framed artwork), and “too sentimental to sort quickly.” The latter category being, of course, the most interesting.

Too sentimental to sort quickly: notes from middle school, yearbooks, photos galore, eleven years of soccer trophies, etc. I will quote a key example to demonstrate my point and the usefulness of this fifth pile of sorted items (given the fact that I am a nonfiction/memoir writer). Here it is, no shame, verbatim as scrawled in my loopy seventh grade cursive on a love note to my boyfriend at the time Tony. He played clarinet. I play Baritone. We liked each other’s smiles and were both shy. Yet somehow it began. After Tony, I wouldn’t have another boyfriend until freshman year of college. Good thing I didn’t know that then.

Dear Tony,
I know you must be embarrassed about how I walk and that I’m overweight. Starting tomorrow I’m going to change my eating habits and try to get more exercise. About my walking, I don’t even know why I walk that way but it’s something I can’t change.
[I was severely pigeon-toed] I know what it’s like to be embarrassed, people call me “wobbler” and “Darkwing Duck” and all these names and I just try to ignore them. But after a while I just get tired of it. Then I start wondering if anything I do is right, if i deserve the wonderful friends I have. And i just feel really bad. I guess that’s what I’m feeling like now.
I love you a lot and I don’t want to lose you because I’m going through a hard time. That is why I was wondering if you still liked me, I don’t know why I asked you that on the phone but I guess I shouldn’t have.
At some points in my life I just feel really pressured and uncomfortable with my life. I’m just so worried that I’m going to lose you and that will be the end of it. I don’t know why I think that because I know it’s not true. I guess what I just wanted to say is I’ve been kind of weird lately and it’s because of the way I’ve been feeling. I don’t want you to think I’m mad at you.
I hope you understand and accept my apology for being weird and embarrassing you.
P.S. Please write soon.

[Note that the letter was never delivered, seeing as how I’ve found it 14 years later, 3,000 miles across the country, in my own hands.]

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