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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome the authors of Breathless Press - DC Juris

My Box of Silly by DC Juris

I'll admit it – I'm a neat freak. Everything has a specific place where it belongs, and it belongs there. Part of that comes naturally from my father, who was the same way (at least until he married my mother LOL) and part of that comes as rebellion against my mother, who was a hoarder.  I'm a practical person when it comes to what I keep. For example, I don't keep things "because I might use it one day," because – let's face it – one day isn't ever going to come. I don't keep broken things "because I might fix it." No, I won't. I know I won't. I don't place attachments on things. I'm the king of "just because so-and-so gave that to you doesn't mean you have to like it or keep it."

So it might surprise you to learn I have a Box of Silly. My Box of Silly contains a lot of random crap. Valentines from second grade, with names on them I no longer recognize. Pictures I drew when I was five for my now-deceased grandmother. A bottle cap (? No clue why!). A blue marble I got from somewhere. An old toy car. A teensy-tiny puzzle that fits in a matchbox, and is from somewhere I've never heard of, with suspiciously Russian-looking writing on it.

There's tons of things like these in the box, and I have no idea where some of them even came from.  But there are some more emotional things in there, as well.

There's a piece of blue ribbon. It's one of a pair of ribbons, and the other one belonged to my best friend, Lisa. I don't remember what her attachment was to the ribbon – I think she just liked that it was shiny and silky. Mine's not shiny anymore (it's been hauled around all over the place, and has so far survived 5 moves), but it's still important to me. It's a bittersweet importance, because it reminds me of my childhood, which wasn't all that great, but it also reminds me of a heartfelt bond, and balmy summer nights spent driving too fast down the highway, singing Nirvana at the top of our lungs, and believing that Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" was written for nobody but us. It reminds me of meeting friends at Barnes and Noble, cramming ourselves into tiny booths, crowding around tinier tables, and getting yelled at for being too loud and rowdy whilst belting out "Tainted Love," as a group. Albeit a badly out of tune group.

There's a red glass rose bud. It's the top half of a Christmas ornament (a glass rose in a glass vase) a dear friend sent me about nine or so years ago. I'm terrible with glass objects, but I protected this thing with my life for years, until a couple years ago, when I dropped it and it skidded across the bar and landed on the floor in two pieces. My husband carefully and kindly glued it back together for me, amidst me wringing my hands and swiping at tears. I broke it again a year later, and we decided that perhaps I ought to just keep the top…and put the damned thing away. It makes me tear up though, because I lost touch with Alex Corey, the man who gave it to me, shortly after I moved to New York State. Alex was a dear friend, and I've tried to find him to no avail. I miss him more than words can express.  Alex, if you're out there, Mighty Mag misses Purple Pru.

There's also a few keepsakes from my furbabies: a collection of plastic amber medicine bottles, each holding teeth (they either lost them naturally, as babies, or they were pulled as adults, but I've kept them all), one of Wallace's little shirts from when he was a baby and needed shirts to cover his broken leg sutures, various collars, and the surrender papers for the very first pet I ever legally owned, a big, beautiful Maine Coon named Oscar, whom I was forced to give up.

You might think I'm odd, but apparently this kind of thing isn't all that unusual. Just today a co-worker and I were discussing the same kind of random silly things she keeps in a drawer. And another said he keeps such items in an old, tattered over-stuffed shoebox (which once held a brand new shiny pair of shoes his father saved for months to buy) held closed by three threadbare rubber bands.

One of them said it's human nature to keep that kind of stuff, and I guess they're right. I suppose my Box of Silly isn't all that silly, in reality.  It's really a box of emotion. A box of happiness and sadness, a box of triumphs and failures. A box of forgotten moments, moments I'd rather forget, and moments I fear forgetting.

So what about you? Do you have a Box of Silly? If so, what's in it?


Liz said...

my entire office is a Box of Silly I think....nice post!

Raven McAllan said...

AH D.C. A box of silly is a box of important. We all need one... from my kids first shoes, to a card I made my mum in 2nd year (aged 6) to the first note my hubby sent me.. all have an ahh moment.
Keep your box of memories, cos sometimes, it's memories that hold us, cuddle us, keep us safe and give us the push to go on.

DC Juris said...

LOL Liz! Thanks :-)

Raven - I have another box full of stuff relating to my Hubby - all sorts of little things that he probably wouldn't even have a clue what their meaning was. LOL But that's so true - sometimes memories are everything.

Wendi Zwaduk said...

I didn't realize how important a box of silly was until I got older. Mom was/is a hoarder and she's got stuff I don't even remember MAKING. So I don't keep lots of stuff. But there's stuff from my real baby, stuff from the fur babies who know they are also my real babies. I can't bear to part with the food dish that belonged to my very first cat (he was runt heinz 57 that no one wanted but DH so he became ours). Just can't do it. So silly isn't really silly. Keep up the silly and the great work. :-)