The Sentimentalist

No, it’s not a new television show, though maybe I should develop it?

Yesterday was Twelfth Night, and traditionally I bake a cake with a sixpence in it. For years and years I used the same sixpence, and I went on a hunt for it last night before remembering that it was also the same sixpence I’d worn in my shoe on my wedding day and that it is now encased in a glass shadowbox commemorating the event.

We used a nickel because I didn’t have another sixpence handy.

But during the hunt, I found myself going through many boxes of things. Because, you see, I keep things. Not junk, mind, I’m no hoarder. But items of sentimental value. I can’t bear to part with them. All my old report cards and school papers, copies of just about everything I’ve ever written (no matter how awful), [almost] every letter and card from a friend (so long as it had a note and not just a signature), postcards, diaries and datebooks, magazines with interesting articles that I might want to reference . . . And, of course, a lot of old photographs. It’s a cinch that, should a historian ever want to research me, he or she will have plenty of material.

And only some of it is here, where I live. My parents complain constantly about the huge amount of stuff I’ve left for them to store.

I know I need to go through it all. I know I need to pare it down to the bare bones of my memories. I need to make room for my future after all. And it’s amazing how much I looked at last night and thought, I don’t remember this at all, or, I’d forgotten about that! If I haven’t missed it, shouldn’t I toss it?

But no. Because finding it again is such a treasure in itself.

Published by

M

Writer/Screenwriter

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