One of my coworkers has recently moved here from the south. Talking with her has me remembering what it was like to make that transition, as I moved here from North Carolina five years ago. One of the things that took some getting used to was how much “stuff” you need. If you want to be active and do fun stuff outdoors, you need a lot of gear. I think it's especially true for women because nine months of cold weather is a long time to be stuck wearing just a single coat and hat! When this winter began to set in, I gave her a couple of my older coats and a pair of like new hiking shoes that hurt my toes. My new friend has been very appreciative of my hand me downs. I’ve gotten a lot of joy out of sharing now only my things but my experiences.
Over the weekend I went into my storage closet to dig out some sheets to give her for her new guest bed. I had a full bed when I lived alone but got rid of it when I moved in with my boyfriend and we now only have queen mattresses. I’ve boxed up a lot of my things left over from my single days that I don’t have use for but haven’t wanted to get rid of. Initially I was glad that I could pass on my nice comforter set but as I pulled it from its box, I remembered how much I like it and a dreadful thought came to me: What if Reggie and I split up and I have to live by myself again? I was flooded with the memories of living on my own after my divorce and how proud I was of myself as I bought myself new things and made a life on my own. I was overwhelmed by a sense of panic: I don’t want to go through all that again!, I don’t want to get rid of my things! I love my things! Panic!
“I can’t decide what to do about my sheets”, I said to Reggie sheepishly as we folded laundry together later in the evening. He looked puzzled. What didn’t I know? Either I give them away or I don't, right? So I explained myself: I have X number of sheet sets, dust ruffles and comforters. We have no use for them right now and I want to help my friend by giving them to her “But what if I have to live along again someday?” I sniffled, “I’ll want to have my things.”
No amount of comforting from my boyfriend could ever convince me that I’ll never be single again. No one knows for sure what’s going to happen. I understand that and I honestly think I’m okay with it, as much as one really can be with the ever looming sense of the unknown.It’s just amazing to me how much emotion can be entwined with the objects we hold dear. Sure it’s a bedding set that can be easily replaced. But what it represents to me is so much more. So much history and it makes me feel better to know it’s tucked away.