When I was packing everything for the big move I ended up with one pile of stuff that I didn’t really want to pack but was sort of afraid not to — because we had history, this stuff and I. One morning as I dropped Jackson off I was telling another mom, Lorraine, about how I felt as though packing this stuff would be like strapping a bunch of tombstones to my back, and she gave me a great suggestion for getting rid of something to which your attachment is primarily sentimental. “Take a picture of the thing you want to give away but can’t,” she said, “and then give it [the thing, not the picture] to someone who’ll appreciate it.”
Well, “someone” mostly turned out to be the Salvation Army. But here are a few of the pictures.
I remember my mom shopping for this at a woman’s store on South Broadway in Denver, sometime in the seventies when she’d lost a bunch of weight and was rewarding herself with some new outfits. I snagged it from her closet about twenty years ago and I think I wore it once to a party with some black pegged jeans. I love the garish colors and the gold thread, but it also hung on me like a burlap sack, so into the Sally bag it went. But still, I think half the reason I kept it was for the label:
Is Bobbie June still around, urging women to think young? When I Google “Bobbie June” I get a lot of obituaries, so maybe not.
A souvenir of the Las Vegas airport. There’s something about spending time in Vegas that makes you think wearing a hat like this is a good idea.
Jack’s going to kill me when he finds out I gave my leather pants away, but I’m too old for these, people. The last time I wore them was to an Eddie Izzard show in L.A., the summer before I got pregnant with Jackson. They still fit, but I’m a mom now, for chrissake.
I got this sweatshirt at Forrest Yoga down in Santa Monica after we’d done a photo shoot with Ana Forrest for the goddamn magazine I used to work for. Can you see what she’s doing? She’s balancing on her hands with her legs in splits. It’s one of her signature poses. We photographed her doing it, which meant she had to hold it for a couple of minutes while we dealt with our puny logistics. At one point I had to adjust the crotch of her leotard very carefully because some pubic hair was bushing out. Boy, she didn’t flinch.
A grey cardigan my mom knit for me. I loved this sweater and I wore it to death. It’s a fair isle, but instead of using contrasting colors for the yoke she just varied her stitches. Fantastic work, mom, but this thing was so full of holes it was pretty much unfixable.
Pregnancy jeans! I wore this pair of 40-waist Levi’s for my entire pregnancy. I was lucky to have been working in an office where shorts and flip flops were de rigeur. I think I spent about $50.00 on pregnancy clothes: two pairs of giant Levi’s and a bunch of big-belly shirts from Target.
One day I was digging through a sale basket at a lingerie store in the East Village that I used to like when I came across these boxer shorts. I had to buy them because they were designed by a woman I dated for about a week in college. I used them to sleep in when I had my period. Finally, the elastic lost all its stretch and they ended up in a wad in the back of my closet, but I always loved those two shades of blue fabric.
Another find from my mom’s closet, this time a negligee. This must be fifty years old. Scratchy.
Here’s my old neighbor Lance accepting an ancient Wilson T-2000 tennis racquet. Lance is a tennis pro and he collects old racquets. My dad won this one in a sales contest back around 1976 and gave it to me after my wooden racquet broke in the middle of a match against a girl in the fourteen-and-under age bracket (I was in the twelve-and-under). I knew I was going to lose, so after my racket snapped returning one of her serves and I had to borrow a replacement to finish the match, I started pretending that my wrist was really sore and rubbing it between (losing) points, the implication being: (1) Quit hitting the ball so hard, I’m injured; (2) Look, everyone! I’m injured! So don’t expect me to win this thing; (3) My coach is an asshole for making me play a bigger, stronger kid who has INJURED ME.
My best friend in high school, Tamara, gave me this sweater; her grandmother had knitted it for her dad, whose name was Skip. I could write 2,000 words on Skip alone, but here are a few facts: he went to Williams and was Donald Hollinger‘s roommate. He taught law at CU Boulder, and he represented the ACLU in their fight to get the Christmas decorations off the lawn of the Denver City Hall. (“There needs to be a clear division betwen church and state!” I remember Tamara shouting once at dinner at her house. Since our family didn’t really talk at dinner, Tamara’s house was high drama for me.) Once when we came in from school Skip was making pot brownies in the kitchen, but he wouldn’t let us have any. Sometimes when I spent the night we’d wake up to Skip playing bongos in the basement and singing along with Stevie Wonder records. Skip wore love beads. I once went on a beach vacation with Tamara’s family and got sun poisoning. The night before we left I drank a pina colada from a slushy machine and danced with Skip on the beach. He came up to about my collarbone. He had a blurry little tattoo of St. Anthony’s crutch on his shoulder, and after he died Tamara told me he’d always wan
ted to turn it into an apple tree. When I heard that, I realized that was the tattoo I wanted to get (as some of you know, my first name isn’t “Mrs.”, it’s Eden.) I got an apple tree tattooed on my shoulder and when I went to Tamara’s wedding I showed it to her mom and she kind of laughed and cried at the same time.
A sweater my parents brought back from Copenhagen. The yarn pilled up a lot, and though it was soft it always looked kind of weird on me so I rarely wore it.
You know what? This is kind of exhausting. I have some more, I’ll do them later.