joy magnetism: What makes a keepsake, a keepsake?

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Friday, October 1, 2010

What makes a keepsake, a keepsake?

Magnet #952 - Smurfs

Today, I've entered the next stage of clearing out the clutter in my life. Or, my apartment, really. Closet, if you want to get specifical.

Ya'll know I've been a little worried that I'm exhibiting signs of a Hoarder. Not like those crazies on television...but close, as it would seem. Instead of collecting random odds and ends like those people on tv, I'm a big hoarder of my life.

Odds and ends that remind me of places, people, events and things. Ticket stubs and tchotkes, programs and cards. Lots and lots of cards. (That's a whole other magnetpost, it seems.)

Just some of the things I've found:
  • My cousin's birth announcement. Hint. She's old enough for Facebook.
  • The registry for my friend's wedding. Hint. They're celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks.
  • The Student Caller for my senior year. Of high school.
  • My very first paycheck stub from Putnam Berkley, here in NYC. The job that made me want to run out to Madison and 36th, and throw my beret (if I had one, I'll never tell) up in the air, and sing, "You're gonna make it after all!"
  • The office invitation I got on my first day of work - for office party to celebrate the launch of Tom Clancy's Op Center. Book one, ya'll.
  • Letters, notes, Christmas and birthday cards dating as far back as 1995, when I moved to NY.
  • The cheesy fangurl letter I wrote to all the Loveswept authors when I first started.
  • The sweet letters and cards and notes that the Loveswept authors sent to welcome me on board.
  • The cheesy fangurl letter I wrote to all the Loveswept authors when I left.
  • Two boxes of old checkbooks, ATM receipts and random purchases - dated anywhere between 1995-2001. Hello, paper shredder.
  • The Sears receipt for the first and only tv I've ever bought or owned - a tiny Sony 20" box TV, $352.44 in 1996. (No, I'm not giving her up until she breaks. She's served me well, I won't give her up for a prettier, newer flatscreen model!)
  • A whole photo album that I forgot about. It included this funny picture from Halloween 1994 with my college roommate. I was Jokey Smurf. Though, really, maybe I was ahead of my time and really part of the Blue Man Group? Once you see that picture, you'll know why I picked today's magnet.

So, as I've picked through the last 20 years of my life, the question that's been running through my head all day is, What makes a keepsake, a keepsake?

Example, the plastic winecup with "Iris 2/4" markered on it. What's that even mean? (Toss. Sorry, Iris, you were wonderful to work with, but I can't remember why I'd keep a winecup...)

Another example, the plastic alligator from one of the many, many nights I spent at any number of Brother Jimmy's back in the late 1990s. (Keep. I drank a FISHBOWL of liquor to get one of those.)

In the end, my answer to myself is this:

If you're looking at something and you don't remember the memory (or the person) it's attached to - toss.

If you're looking at something and you get warm fuzzies from it - keep.

After all, you're keeping something for the sake of a good memory!
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