Monday, January 18, 2010

Packing and Purging (?)

With Parker at the sitters and Josh home because of a Federal Holiday, we decided to once again begin the packing process.

When I was pregnant with Pman we (unsuccessfully) put our house on the market. In an attempt to make our house look "less lived in" (although we did actually live in it, so…what?) we packed up quite a bit of our stuff and we never really unpacked any of it- thankfully.

First, J and I tackled our own closet and dressers. Between the two of us, we purged 5 garbage bags of clothes and shoes (and possibly a small woodland creature). I may have gotten rid of stuff I will regret later, but right now, I already feel lighter and that makes my insides happy.

Then, since Pjunk was out of the house, I tackled his room and Josh took the Room O Randomness next to his. I created a playlist on the computer of Moving Out music and we began the process.

Items we deemed junk were flying out of our respective doorways. Occasionally we would call the other one in with an "Oh my God, look what I found!" treasures and, at least on my end, some items would be a cause for pause as I reflected back on my past. Packing is a pain, but I also like the memories that inevitably come up.

I am a huge I Love Lucy fan. You may be able to find someone who likes Lucille Ball as much as me, but not more than me. When I was 20 I went with my mom, dad and younger sister to Florida for my sister's soccer tournament. While we were there we went to Universal Studios. I saw actors dressed up as Lucy and the Marx brothers. I could not help myself and ran over to them, squished myself in the middle of their group and made my mom take a picture. Then, I told the fake Lucy that I loved her. Looking back, my reaction to the knock-off Lucy was quite embarrassing- thankfully I have a photo capturing my cheesy ear to ear- I REALLY Love Lucy-grin.

I told you that so you understand what I am about to tell you. In my packing up of P's closet I came across my collection of I Love Lucy tapes- VHS tapes- as in requiring a VCR. I have at least 40 of these. I did not throw them out, instead I put them in a milk crate and I know I will tuck them away somewhere in the new house. Also, we do not own a VCR, nor do we have plans to buy one, so these tapes and generally useless.

In the depths of Pman's closet I also found a very large Tupperware container full, and I mean FULL of grilling accessories. Unused, grilling accessories. We think we got them as a wedding gift.

Finally, I came across something that I thought I felt one way about, but after a conversation with Josh, my feelings may be changing.

My wedding dress.

Like many ladies, I love my wedding dress. It made me look beautiful on a very special and important day in my life. The dress was, well is, very pretty, but it's more about what it symbolizes that makes it exceptional.

Confession: I never had my dress properly preserved or ever even dry cleaned after my wedding. I put it back in the dress bag it came in, folded it in thirds and placed it in a silver plastic tub. I wrote "wedding dress" in black marker on the top and shoved it in, what is now, P's closet.

While packing my closet, I came across my wedding shoes- $15 blue flats from Payless- and thought I would put them with my dress.

I opened the tub and sat there. For some reason I feel the need to mention there was no veil- I went veil-less on my wedding day.

Where in the new house do I foresee putting this? Crawl space in our new closet that is above the garage…maybe?

On our way to pick up P I mentioned this to Josh. He asked in a very practical, genuinely nonjudgmental tone, "Well, why are you keeping it? Do you check on it once a week and try it on?"

No. Honsetly, this is the first I have even considered or remembered it since I packed it up. While my dress is/was lovely, it is not the sort of material that would make any kind of cozy baby blanket or Baptism gown.
After a beat or two of thoughtful silence, with shaky confidence I replied, "Maybe if we had a daughter she would wear it one day."

Josh said, again in a very tender and sweet voice, "No daughter wants to wear her mother's wedding dress. They typically want their own, right?"

Generally speaking, he is right. He suggested donating it.

After some thought, I am open to this possibility. My dress served me well and would likely do the same for another bride to be.

I have heard of people trashing their dresses. This involves having a photographer take pictures as the bride jumps in the ocean, hikes, bikes, runs, jumps et al all in her gown. While I think the pictures are both entertaining and usually creative, I cannot bear to do this to my dress.

I need to think about this some more because this is not an item I want to donate, just because I am in a purging mood. The dress deserves more consideration than that.


Nancy C said...

My dress is also hanging in a random closet, unpreserved. I put it on a few months after I had Owen, to see if it still fit. It did.

We should TOTALLY have a dress happy hour where we all wear our dresses...then, I agree, we should donate them. That would be a really nice thing to do.

Minivan Lover said...

Nancy, I'm not sure my dress would be in any condition to donate after a happy hour. I'm willing to give it a shot though