I’m Still Standing

Sorry about the big gap in witty entries, here, but you know? Sometimes even I can’t find life amusing.

And I have been working on something special for you all, really I have. My little scanner and I have been very busy with this project.

It started two weekends ago, when I went north to the home territories for my Auntie Em’s birthday. The RLA and I planned to go up for her party, and come straight home, not getting sucked in to working on the parental units’  home dismantling project. But then my brother came by and poked around in a cabinet in the garage that I hadn’t gotten to yet and he discovered a major lode of vintage photos of family members we had never seen. Both the family members and the photos. Neither were ever mentioned. Of course, that set off a new push in the genealogy*.

But he also found three large boxes of other stuff. My childhood stuff, to be precise. My Barbies. My lavender Ken doll case. Watch for that bad boy on E-bay. And two things which I thought had been lost forever in the mists of time and parental tossing of childhood crap, and another two things which I have no idea why they were even or ever saved.

Item 1: A twenty-foot chain of chewing gum wrappers (why?)

Item 2: A small box of Creepy Crawlers, made one vacation when the Sistergirlfriendgirl got a Creepy Crawler maker for Christmas. I had a lovely color sense even then, let me tell you. The black newt with the red tail is very nice, and so is the yellow and lime green caterpillar.

Item 3: My collection of Beatles trading cards. Almost a complete set of Series 3 (black and white). Memory does not play me false, as I have more John Lennon pictures than anyone else, so I wasn’t impressed with Sir Paul-The-Cute-One even at the age of 10. Although this discovery got me excited, a quick perusal of E-Bay reveals that this is one more Boomer toy that is more valuable in theory than in practice. Guess I’ll be keeping those.

It is Item 4 which turned my world upside down. I thought this object lost forever. I had searched for it for years. There is only one other thing I could find in the house which would make me as elated by its discovery: and that is the drawing of “My Father’s Store” that I did when maybe 7 years old and which features the shoe window (every pair different and includes a pair of bunny slippers) and a view of my father through the doors (where he is fitting a pair of shoes)**

No. What I found, and what I have been scanning in for the greater edification of my readers, is a small box that originally contained coconut patties. I didn’t and don’t much like coconut patties, but my Great Uncle Nat did, and he gave this particular box to my mother when we went to Europe in 1966. I may have mentioned that trip before?***

What the box contains now, and what it held all during that Grand Tour was my special collection of European souvenirs. What I chose to collect, and why, has been the subject of debate around the office since my discovery. My boss, and the PDB both consider this to be a major marker of my mental instability and innate peculiarities (Hello?? Mr. Pot, I’d like you to meet Mr. Kettle). OK, OK, so get to the point already, right? What was it that I collected that long ago summer when I was 11?

Toilet paper.

I had never seen anything quite like the variety and quality of European toilet paper, and I knew that none of my friends would believe me when I told them that on a Swiss train, the paper was hot pink/magenta and as thick and textured as a paper towel. Or that in a French hotel (a four-star hotel, no less) the toilet paper was pre-cut into little squares and the paper itself was thin, stiff and crinkly like tracing paper, or waxed on one side… No wonder the French are always pissed off about something.

So I collected samples, labeled them assiduously and saved them in that little coconut pattie box. They were a hit with all my friends. I haven’t seen that box in 20 years at least, and lamented its loss every time I thought about it.

I’ve been scanning them in, and will post them soon, I promise.

* The Rubes. From Yonkers. They were my maternal Grandmother’s family. Also cousins/uncles to my maternal Grandfather. Somehow. I think through his mother. Is it any wonder that certain members of my family have 6 toes?

**Shoes. Go figure.

*** Yeah, like one or two HUNDRED times.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 10:23 AM in Maudlin Crap Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 10:23 AM in Random Crap

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