September 4, 2011

letting go

tonight while in the garage, putting something away, i decided to combine the contents of the last two remaining boxes of my toys.

a little over a year ago i briefly mentioned letting of nearly all of my childhood barbies and other various toys.

in the above entry, as well as a few others, i discussed how parting with most of my saved childhood toys had been rather positive.

i may have come right out and said, or alluded to the fact, that it also sucked.

we were in the "beginning to be serious about buying a bigger house" stage and my mom decided that i needed all of the stuff that was still being stored at my old house (which happened to be her house now). most of the crap i kept there was due to the circumstances of my move and losing 2/3rds of the square footage i was used to in the process.  throughout the years i'd drop by and clear some of it out of the shed but i never thought there was an urgency for me to get it all out. the house itself was a place i never wanted to live again but when i moved out, i just sort of imagined my stuff would magically live in the shed, not bothering anyone, forever and ever amen.

anyhow, we're in the middle of purging 10-25% of the stuff we're storing in our garage and my mom stops by one day and notices the tiniest of tiny bit of space has opened up. don't envision your worst hoarders nightmare. we had a teeny two-car garage that we managed to park in despite storing stuff i never unpacked, stuff awesome papa rarely needed, bikes, strollers, outdoor toys, whatever. we were preparing to get a storage unit, or maybe we already had, there basically was no space that my mom was excitedly telling me there was, but our garage wasn't packed floor to ceiling, overflowing with stuff, either. my mom insisted, though, that the space we cleared could be used to store plastic bins full of my dolls. i asked if she could continue to keep them until 1. i actually clear adequate space for them after we take some stuff to teh storage unit or better yet 2. we actually move into a place big enough to accommodate such storage and i am better able to focus on what all that entails.

if i remember correctly she got in her car and drove off.

later that day my husband called me to see if i knew what all the boxes on our back porch were.

i was like, um, no? i'm not shopping online like a mad woman anymore, and besides, UPS never leaves stuff on the back porch.

no, he says. not packages, i mean like plastic boxes, big bins...there's a purple one.

godfuckingdamnit. she brought them over while i was taking bean to the doctor's.

they're my dolls. my barbies. my uttercrap-ton of fucking barbies.

all in all there were two large rubbermaid-like bins and maybe three smaller ones. the largest was 3-4 ft long so maybe that's huge? i don't know but i am well aware that by most people's standards i had an excessive amount of barbies. some of them were vintage. many were handed-down. some were purchased by myself as an adult collector. a whole bunch of them were purchased for me by my grandmother. all of them i felt guilted into hanging on to, seriously thinking that i'd sell them off one day.

i had no desire to get all upcycled trendy and make jewelry out of barbie parts but the truth was, most were in horrible condition and would have not been valuable otherwise.

for whatever reason, i didn't let them take up all of 8 cubic feet they may have so that i could wait and go through them when i was mentally and emotionally prepared. or just plain focused on that task. nope, i didn't wait long at all. i was so pissed. so hurt, but mostly pissed, that my mom had been so inconsiderate. or whatever i thought. i still don't even think i was being selfish by asking to her wait just a few more months since the first time i even knew keeping my stuff there was a problem was just a few months prior, right before my wedding. it wasn't like behavior like this was out of character for my mother. rather, it was just like her but when i asked her to wait, just a few more months, i didn't expect her to completely disregard my valid request.

i know, that all sounds so completely one-sided doesn't it? yeah.

anyhow that's how it felt and to this day i can still get worked up about it but now i can process it all, too. see, i had already acknowledged that i pretty much didn't care about or need any of the stuff in that shed. each time i'd go over to part with stuff in the shed it was easy to get rid of bags full. nearly all that remained were these (few but sizable) bins with all of my barbies and my favorite, select few dolls and other random fun bits. more of my brother's stuff, at this point, sat in the shed but i knew that whatever remained and belonged to mattered and needed some care and attention to sort through. it felt like it had just been dumped on me, out of nowhere, and i didn't want to deal with it so much that i didn't feel like saving it. i felt like it needed my somewhat urgent attention. i couldn't just let it wait longer. it was in my face, on my porch.

so i let it sit there for a few days, i was that pissed, that i wanted nothing to do with it at first, despite wanting to get to it before anything else. finally i decided to go through it all kamikaze style. going through the barbies brought very few happy emotions so they were easy to part with. i matched each doll to her or his original outfit, allowing me to sort through all the clothing, too. i didn't feel like selling them in one large lot for dimes on ebay or dealing with the hassle of selling in smaller lots, so in my haste, doll after doll went in the resale shop pile. i held a skipper doll in my hand and knew the shirt she was wearing wasn't hers. it matched her tutu but it wasn't a barbie brand shirt. i couldn't for the life of my think of who it belonged to, though, so i sent her away, too.

later, when combining all my saved childhood toys, i combined my strawberry shortcakes to the single remaining bin of toys from my mom's. my strawberry shortcakes had always meant so much that i kept them with me every time i moved into a smaller place. they were always in my closet. i decided to take a peek at them and instantly saw the topless pie man.

that teal shirt skipper was wearing was his. i went back to the resale shop even though it had been a few days since i'd been there. i hoped that skipper would still be on the shelf, all lonely, so i could buy her back. i'd kept her friend stacie, afterall, and i sort of missed having the pair.

of course she wasn't there.

and tonight i'm in the garage and i'm okay when i see the one tiny little box i have with a handful of barbies and three extra outfits. i empty two other plastic bins. (i'm on a roll with the not storing crap in plastic bins for no reason, nowadays). i open one to combine the contents of it with that of another and i see my big plastic strawberry. the one that holds the few strawberry shortcake dolls that i have and i feel upset all over again.

i know it was my own short-sightedness and inability to see past my anger that created my hasty actions and honestly, i didn't want to have to move three or four big bins to the storage unit, then the new house, and then go through everything slowly when i'd have a chance to get all sentimental and make excuses for why i had to keep barbie and the rocker and rocker ken, with their matted, tangled hair and stretched out lycra clothing with rubbed off metallic stars. i didn't need all that stuff. i didn't need to carry it throughout my entire life up until the point and i'm glad i'm not still having to deal with.

but i do wish that i had the pie man's shirt.

what is that?

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