An Unhealthy Curtain Attachment

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?

lord of the rings heirlooms

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.

(as opposed to hoarder jeans) credit

(as opposed to hoarder jeans)

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.


also why dogs bury bones?
credit: Travelers commercial

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.

Ever get attached to stuff??


  1. Good for you, Jilly! You don’t pass curtains that have been hanging for 30 years & not washed for quite some time, down to non-existent children! Besides which, those were balloon shades & the string mechanisms broke the last time I washed them, which was more than 13 years ago… so you did the right thing! If you want to be nostalgic – get your as-yet-to-be-existent children curtains that make you think of your childhood ones. How’s that? <3

  2. Oh my god, I just spent all of spring break getting rid of stuff from my childhood. I am very, very bad at it. What works for me, silly as it sounds, is that I take a picture of it before getting rid of it. Because most of the time, I don’t need the actual thing, I just need a reminder of the thing. And actually, most of the time I don’t even really need that–but knowing I have the picture and could go back and look at it if I ever wanted to again allows me to throw it out.

  3. Throw

    I’m totally on board with your decision, obviously ;)
    Stephanie recently posted…A Different Kind of HeroMy Profile

    • Totally. I get in moods where I’m like everything’s gotta go. And when the mood strikes, I run with it, and have rarely regretted it.
      And then sometimes I’m just like… wahh, I want to stay in the same place in time forever. And nap a lot.

  4. SarahJean says:

    Unless you are Scarlett O’Hara, you don’t need to keep your old curtains.

  5. God, I am the same way. Me and my gal. We have stupid sentimental attachments to stuff that is long overdue to get chucked. I usually go on a cleaning rampage once a year and get rid of stuff. Just get rid of it!
    Phil recently posted…Mac & Cheesy Mac & Cheese in Brooklyn!My Profile

  6. Rachel Brandel says:

    I’m so proud of you! I miss Clean Sweep and Clean House. Those shows were so cathartic without me doing anything. You know how much I like purging old crap. If you ever need help, you know who to ask…

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