Thursday, May 19, 2011

These Are A Few Of My Oldest Things

One of the (few) ongoing disagreements in our house is about the value of new things vs. old things. My husband likes new things. He enjoys wearing new clothes, purchasing current-year guide books to take on vacation, and riding a brand-new bike. I, on the other hand, would rather not replace something of mine that is still good enough. I prefer to buy something that I will use forever. Part of this stems from the fact that I don't like to spend money. I find it physically painful sometimes to pay more than I think something is worth, or that I think is wasteful. But another part is that I just like old things. I often even like old better than new.

Let me introduce you to a few of my oldest things. In order to qualify for this blog post, the Thing has to be something I've owned since before I went to college and more-or-less in use since that time. So, my wooden rocking horse that I played with as a baby and that my kids now throw around the house doesn't count, because it's been in a closet for most of the past 20 years. Readers who have known me since high school or college will probably recognize one or more of these.

My furry blanket
I don't know how old I was when all of the kids in my family were given a furry blanket. Maybe 10? I remember that my cousin Oliver had the same one pictured below and my brother Duncan had one with some green on it - maybe a monkey on his? This blanket has been everywhere with me. I remember sitting in the grass outside my aunt Paula's house next to Oliver, both of us wrapped in our furry blankets, pretending to meditate (and then fall backwards into the grass, overcome by...something mystical, I guess). It's followed me through all of my dorm rooms, apartments, and rental houses to be the blanket that I used to stay warm while nursing my children. How can I ever give this up?

My Jean Auel Books
I read these for the first time as a teenager - I might have been 15? Actually, I'm surprised that my parents let me read them, with their mature themes (aka graphic sex scenes), but they might not have known, now that I think about it more. These books are old friends; I've visited with them many times over the years. You can see that Valley of the Horses was probably my favorite. The cover hasn't survived. I actually have a lot of books from my childhood, including many children and young adult titles that I hope to read with the kids one day. So this is more of a category than a discussion of any particular book.

Locust Valley Fire Department shirt
I have a LOT of old clothes. E Ben is constantly trying to get me to give away my old clothes and buy new ones, but I resist. Just recently, as I lost a lot of weight after Ada was born, I was able to pull out a bunch of clothes that fit me 5+ years ago and start wearing them again, which really annoys E Ben (he says it gives me justification to never get rid of anything). This shirt is a particular favorite, as I wore it all through high school and college and beyond. It's a bit too threadbare for me now, but E Ben uses it as a race shirt, so it really has been in use for almost 20 years. Not bad for a shirt that my dad bought on a whim at some fire department event in 1993.

My Bear
I'm not much of a stuffed animal person, at least not compared with my sister who always had an army of bears, puppies, and dolls on her bed. Somehow, this bear wormed his way into my life, and has been my companion for as long as I can remember. He's been through a lot with me. He lost his nose a while back and had to be sewn back together (with no replacement button) to avoid losing all of his stuffing. He ended up getting burns across his face and belly from the radiator at my apartment in Hillsboro. I probably should have named him at some point, and maybe now that the kids love him that will happen.

My hairbrush
It is gross that I've been using the same hairbrush for 20+ years? I remember the day that my mom came home with two matching wooden hairbrushes for me and Margaret. I took the lighter one, and she took the darker one. To make sure that I didn't steal her hairbrush, she wrote her name in black indelible ink on the back of hers, and you can still see it today if you look closely (yes, I did end up stealing hers, so her fear was justified). I have no idea what happened to the other one. Maybe Margaret has it?

Do you have any really old Things? What do you think about the old vs. new debate? Do you have any stories about my old things?
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peg said...

I also know that you still have the gold coast equestrian shirts from high school which have been washed a thousand times, at least!! I also sent out the giraffe picture in Ada's room which i purchased in 1970 while in Africa before you were born!!! Ah, memories. love AMA/MOM

LibraryHungry said...

I remember when I sewed up the bear because he was losing his stuffing. That was in Mission Park, so it must have been sophomore year. We totally should have given him a new button nose.

And I have my own ancient, tattered Clan of the Cave Bear books. Besides books, though, I don't have a lot of in-use ancient stuff. I have the same backpack I had in high school, but it has actually been destroyed and replaced (free!) several times by LL Bean over the years.

Amber said...

I can't say that I'm as diligent as you at saving old things! But, I had to comment b/c I read the Clan of the Cave Bear series in high school too and loved them!! Your post spurred me to check if the next book ever came out. Well, after 7 years of waiting I found out that The Land of the Painted Caves is out. If you read it soon (or have already), let me know if it's a good one!