Swanky Lady Living

Retro style for the modern girl!

Sentimental Fool December 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — swankylady @ 11:27 pm

Whacha got there?

This is the view from my desk chair as I type and enjoy a tasty snack.

Maybe if I stretch and look cute she'll gimme somethin!

Today was a genuinely good day. Because I worked my usual day off this Tuesday as a favor for my boss, I got today off instead. It was a dreary dark morning and I slept in until almost 10(!).  I got up, showered, put on my face,  and got back into bed with a cup of coffee and watched tv. Sommersby was on so I watched it out of nostalgia, then remembered why I’ve never watched in all the years since I watched it with Mandy in her mom’s friends camper. I despise sad endings. Damnit, man, why couldn’t you have just admitted you weren’t Jack Sommersby! I’d rather be poor and ruined but happy with my love than dignified but dead. Bah!

After crying my makeup off, I picked myself up and made lunch. Yes, by then it was time for lunch. Lay off me.

After toiling away at making myself a Cup O Noodles, crackers, and a diet Dr. Pepper, I finished making the ornament wreath I have been making for about three days. I am just not good at craft projects anymore. I have to do them in stages, with each stage lasting one to two days. The natural lighting was terrible today so I plan on taking photographic proof of my handi-work tomorrow.

When Paul got home from work, I managed to convince him to go with me on a quick thrift run. Actually, he pretty much offered!  We made three stops in all- two Goodwills and one Salvation Army- and I found some goodies! The main finds were: a brass reindeer, a retro cheese board/cloche, a giant glass jar with “Snacks” printed on it, a globular Danish mod teak condiment server with matching spoon, a green 1960’s crewel embroidery pillow that is embroidered with all different kinds of bright flowers, two brass quails, two 1940’s photographs-one of a WW2 army man and his pretty wifey, another of the same woman and her two daughters, and a black record album full of old 1940’s records. I found the photographs and the record album on the same shelf, which made me think the records belonged to the man and his wife. It made me sad.

It made me miss my Grandpa and all his stories of his wonderful forgotten era. Though I never knew it, I miss the era of big bands and orchestras, of the foxtrot and the waltz, of red lipstick and cufflinks, of bread baking in the oven and laundry fluttering on the line. When I buy things like those photographs and that album, I feel like I am rescuing a piece of history. I feel that by treasuring something that has been discarded or misplaced, I am somehow keeping the past alive, keeping a part of that person going. I know it’s nonsense but I actually feel that way.

Whenever I step into my Grandpa’s little room, the one where he had his desk, his record player and music and old papers, I want to grab a hold of everything I see and take it home with me. I want to touch everything he touched. The rocks and feathers on the windowsill that he picked up in his gardens. The ancient bird field guides, his handwritten notebook journals, his old  flannel shirts, worn as soft as a baby blanket, still hanging in his closet. Because it belonged to him, it is priceless to me. A relic, a national treasure, deserving of preservation and love.

I don’t know how people can throw out or even give away things of their parents or grandparents, such as old pictures. I realize you can’t keep EVERYthing, but c’mon! Old photos? What a crime. It makes my heart ache, truly it does. I know not everyone sees it the way I do, but to me it’s like throwing the past in a wastebasket and saying “eh, it’s not valuable to me”.

At the same time, I know I have the tendency to cling to the past too much at times, dwelling on old memories, rehashing things that happened years ago. People from my past float in and out of my mind like ghosts, though they are still living, separate from me now. We all have stories to tell and our lives are stories in the making. The past is valuable but so is the present, because in the present there is possibility, there is empty space waiting to be filled. I am still living my story and I want to make it more colorful, more rich, more worthy of photos that some silly, nostalgic girl will cabbage onto some day as she sifts through abandoned memories in a second-hand store.

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4 Responses to “Sentimental Fool”

  1. Colee Says:

    I absolutely love the way you write 🙂

  2. swankylady Says:

    oh, thanks luv! 🙂

  3. I’m reading about that right now in that book about strange children. The grandpa dies and his grandson wants to keep all of his things, but the Dad wants to toss it all out. The people that throw out the pictures are probably grandkids, sad to say, that don’t have that wonderful connection to their grandparents and their lives before kids and grandkids came into the picture. I’ll be like that when that time comes, wanting to keep all of their thins and being able to let o of what was theirs because each piece is a memory. I got so mad at Ebin a couple years ago when he broke a piece off of the old Victrola because I remember playing dress up in the basement where it was and we’d crank the lever and the music would cycle out the funnel and I would dance with my grandpa, just stand on his feet and it was truly wonderful.

    • swankylady Says:

      I want to read that book! It sounds really unique and enthralling. I’m glad you have the good memories with your grandparents…they really are what you’ll treasure the most after they are gone.


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