For various reasons, I am currently in the process or purging my childhood collections. Much must go. Clay ashtrays. High school agendas. Audio tapes.
Not actually my dog, but not unlike my dog. From Jen Maruska Design.

But surely not the stuffies? Not the well-loved ones, with their bald patches and button eyes, all smelling vaguely of saliva and dust? They have to stay.

The older a thing is, the harder it is to lose.

Stuff from the 90s is easier to part with. The Soul Asylum cassette I bought when I was 13 because I heard some "cool" girls discussing the song "The Sun Maid" -- this can go. Also easy to leave behind is the double cassette version of Smashing Pumpkin's mid-90s epic Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I can hold the memory of listening to "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" over and over again in my closet in the dark, rewinding obsessively between plays without a physical reminder.
In my adult life, I've become the sort of person who lets thing go easily. Stuff is not so important anymore. Relationships that aren't working are easy to abandon. I am quick to delete people from Facebook if they bore or annoy me. I am better at leaving things behind. I would recommend this course to anyone. The past is important, but not primarily important. Some things are important, but not all things.

But what this purge has shown me is what a magpie I used to be. Once upon a time, I kept everything. It all seemed so necessary. And that hoarding tendency seeped into my relationships and my work. I couldn't let go. I was afraid of loss.
I suppose I still am, to some extent. But I try to keep that tendency from boxing me into spaces and places that aren't much good.

Some talismans will stay: My great grandmother's pink marble egg; my collection of 1967 centennial pennies (an early indication of my love of birds); my wedding ring, which was my grandmother's and her mother's before her, my bronze cross, the strange little velvet sombrero Patty brought me from Mexico when we were six.
These things must stay, not because they're valuable, not because they're especially important, but because they make me happy. If you use that benchmark -- does it make you happy? -- it's easy to know what to keep. 

So proud


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Yet another new, free local "magazine" arrived on my doorstep this week. There are a million of these publications, all of them excellent.

Sorry. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Let's be honest: NOT ONE of these ubiquitous publications is excellent. Each is only a slight variation of the next, filled with trite, badly-written advertorial copy written by 19 year old "journalists" and small local business owners playing at journalism in order to promote their personal ventures.

Most of the time, I put every one of these rags right into the trash, but when a new one arrives, I can't help but flip through it (once, with hope in my naive little heart), looking for something ... better.

Today was just such a day. On my doorstep was the newly minted Village Living magazine, Issue 1, Volume 1.  As always, as I've said, I had hope. I had the tiniest glimmer of hope, which was, predictably, dashed on page 5, where, below the masthead, appears the following disclaimer:

"Village Living accepts no liability of any kind, written or implied, regarding the contents of the magazine and expressly disclaims any warranty regarding the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein."



Well. We're married.

Not "we" as in me and you and not the royal we. "We" as in me and THIS guy.

And slowly, but surely, we are recovering. The balloons have deflated, the flowers are dead, and there are only about a dozen cupcakes left in the freezer. (Okay, two dozen.) I intend to wash them down with left over champagne. In front of the television. Wearing pyjamas.

Here's what I'm calling our "official wedding photo" from City Hall. (Not pictured: our witnesses Patty and Gid, and the lovely Officiant, George).
I've been pretty lax in my blogging duties over this period, but I promise to get back to it this coming week. In the meantime, here are a couple of amusing search phrases that have brought visitors to the site in the last couple of weeks:
  • conch penis
  • creepy weirdos
  • vintage children and french
  • a certain amount of purposelessness is necessary to lead a full life
  • does kale make you poop
Believe it.