I threw out the dirty curtains from my childhood room on Sunday. It’s very rare that I’m home during daylight but when I am, I notice how dusty everything is and end up cleaning.
As I was shoving the curtains into a couple trash bags, Daddy asked, “What, are you cleaning them?”
“No, I’m throwing them away,” I replied tersely. I was on a warpath.
“You know, they can be washed…”
“Daddy, they’re 30 years old.”
That actually shut him up. I mean, I don’t know for sure what normal people do, but I think they redecorate like once a decade? Curtains aren’t family heirlooms, right?
I didn’t doubt my decision as I threw the trash bags on the curb, cursing “Fuck!” loud enough for the neighbors to hear, because some little metal piece had stabbed me in the thigh.
I didn’t doubt my decision until yesterday when I was relaying this tale to a coworker and she mentioned something about having my old curtains for my (as-yet-nonexistent) children. That’s not a thing, is it?
I started thinking about how I used to lie awake at night as a kid, for what seemed like hours, because I have always been a night owl and could never sleep. In the folds of my curtains, I pictured a child-sized mouse curled up in a ball napping. Not a scary, real life mouse. Like a cartoon mouse, with a hat. (Shrug) I don’t know, it’s an early memory.
I don’t think I made the wrong decision, but I guess part of me feels wistful about throwing that memory away. “Bad!” I slap myself on the hand. I guess these are the hoarder genes that I get from my dad.
Want to know something even more bizarre that I’m sorry my (hypothetical) kids will never get to see?
Because It’s a swirly circle thing now. What a stupid thing to be nostalgic about.
What else am I going to miss when they’re gone?
- Paper books? For sure. Even though I own a Kindle so I’m part of the problem.
- Libraries. God, I hope libraries never go away.
- Card catalogs? Daddy really misses card catalogs and I sort of get that.
Where does this unnecessary nostalgia come from? What evolutionary purpose does it serve? I’m guessing that the urge to hoard food/water/supplies gave early humans an advantage back in cave times. I would have done well.
I just try to remember this advice from the now-cancelled TV show Clean House, which I’m paraphrasing: You get to keep the memories. You don’t need the stuff.