Friday, August 12, 2005

Why The Velveteen Rabbit Can Kiss My Big White Butt

Reading Laurenbove’s post about her blender brought to mind my own issues with throwing out useful things that have reached their untimely end.

Long ago, when I was just a little plum, we didn’t have any neighbors with kids. I was an only child and learned to keep myself entertained in ways that seem sad now, but were really fun at the time. I’d sing and read out loud to myself. I’d do silly dances in the mirror. I’d build pillow forts and tear them down. I'd climb the 4 story tree in the backyard, hang from a branch uspide down by my knees and wave to Mama Spurious on the 2nd floor, just to make her shriek. That sort of thing.

I even used play hide and go seek with myself. I remember Mama Spurious peeking into the linen closet and asking me what I was doing, curled up on top of the sheets with a picture book and a flashlight.

“I’m hiding.” I sniffed, like she should know.

“Are you hiding from me?” Mama Spurious asked.

“Uh, no. I’m hiding from ME.”

Oh. The fun child psychologists could have with that.

Shortly after that, I was plunked into pre-school and started visiting other kid’s houses on play-dates, presumably to get some age appropriate contact. But I never forgot what it was like to be by myself.

One afternoon, sometime after Halloween, I was eating my daily ration of post-holiday candy (5 pieces a day - of my choice) when Mama and Papa Spurious saw me tying the wrappers together in a little knot. Mama Spurious was curious, “What are you doing that for?”

“I’m tying them together, so the wrappers won’t get lonely in the dump.”

Jesus. I was a moron.

Which brings us back to the original topic. Reading Laurenbove’s post (in which she gets sweetly sentimental about a blender she can’t bear to part with), forces me to admit that I feel the same way about inanimate objects. Fortunately I’ve found a way to cope. Everytime something fizzles out, gets burnt beyond all recognition or just generally outlives its usefulness, I put it out in the front yard and take a picture of it. Then I can chuck it, since it's officially been immortalized. In this way, my own personal Gallery of Lost Souls was created. Behold:

The lonely timer that stopped working, which we used when I was a small plum at Mama and Papa Spurious' house.


The wedding present teapot that burned the shit out of me and its own handle, and which would never, EVER be clean.


I'd like to thank the Velveteen Rabbit for convincing me that EVERY-DAMN-THING has a soul. What is it with bunnies and fiction? I'm not even going to mention the crap that happened in my dorky little mind when I read Watership Down. Damn bunnies.
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Random Fruit Fact: The Cuachilote

"This highly ornamental tree is a conversation piece due to the interesting shape of its leaves and the greenish-cream flowers that grow directly from the stem or branch tips. The 12" long fruit resembles a greenish-yellow cucumber. The fibrous fruit is juicy with a sweet flavour similar to sugar cane."

Having your daughter hanging from the tree in the backyard is a conversation piece too... Learn more about the cuachilote, here.

Posted by Spurious Nurse at 8/12/2005 07:16:00 PM

14 Comments

  1. Blogger Squirl posted at 7:42 PM  
    It's hard for me to comprehend being a lonely, only child. I grew up in a family of five children. And there were always kids around somewhere to play with.

    I treat machinery like it has a personality sometimes. I don't like to get pissed at my computer, as if it would stop working because I got mad at it. Go figure.
  2. Blogger mrtl posted at 10:10 PM  
    How sweet. I'm sure your neighbors don't realize how lucky they were that you didn't just leave the stuff out there, some sort of appliance graveyard.
  3. Blogger Caroline posted at 12:41 AM  
    I'm the same way with holding onto stuff, only I keep it hidden at my mom's house in her crawl space, because I'm a sexy ass hoarder like that. She never goes in there anyway, so she doesn't know. Shhh...
  4. Blogger bluewyvern posted at 2:00 PM  
    This is an amazing ritual. I love how the items are placed on backgrounds of fallen leaves and snow, capturing the death and winter that mark the end of their lives. Do you have more pictures? It would make a wonderful and touching gallery...

    I have a strange empathy for objects, too. The thought of them being under some sort of pressure or strain has always vaguely disturbed me -- a compressed spring, a computer or fan or light that are never turned off -- I have always felt that these things need to rest somehow.
  5. Blogger kilowatthour posted at 9:11 PM  
    this reminds me of that ikea commercial where the red lamp is being thrown out, and the swedish guy goes "you feel bad for the lamp!" (which i did)

    see the commercial: here.
  6. Blogger Daphne posted at 2:18 PM  
    Smart approach, that. I like the resulting pictures and, for me, the ability to hold onto the memory of the thing and the stories that go with it. It appears you have well-organized pictures to help you deal with this and that I would need to develop before I can utilize this method.

    What a silly sentence.

    Anyway: I am not an only child but I often played like one. My partner is an only child and he played violin for his stuffed animals and similar games. He wants to have only one child. Me, I'm for zero or two. The verdict is not yet in.
  7. Anonymous lawbrat posted at 4:36 AM  
    That is so sweet. Very cool idea.
    There are times I wish I was an only child, but it didnt work out that way. I have 2 other sisters...

    And, I do get mad at inanimate objects...like they really did something wrong. I'm sure its just user error.
  8. Blogger Squirll posted at 9:35 AM  
    I can totally relate to the joys of being an only child in a neighborhood of no kids...

    i started doing this for my mother, taking pictures of broken things she couldent part with. we now have an album of the "past memories" it was the best way to deal with her packratabilities.
  9. Blogger laurenbove posted at 10:28 AM  
    All I can say is: I feel so close to you right now, Plummy.

    I'm so glad I didn't read the friggin' Velvateen Rabbit until I was an adult (it's twoo!) and old enough to handle it (yeah, right, I cried.) When or if you and M have kiddos, never ever read "the kissing hand" before his/her first day of school. They'll have to scoop you up off the floor with a shovel.

    I have been called a "Pack Rat" for this reason and I think you can understand (probably crystally so)why I have so much trouble throwing anythng out. Even if it's broken.

    I would never ever get rid of that timer from your childhood. It symbolizes and preciptates memories of the food, the family and the moments of your youth. Sometimes a picture just wont do!

    I'm not saying keep every darn thing. You have to weed out. I always make J do it. I just can't. I get sick.

    I still have the blender out on the counter.
  10. Blogger Nessa posted at 11:31 AM  
    you are adorable & your young self sounds a lot like my Miss B - at least now I am sure that she will turn out all right!!
  11. Blogger Circus Kelli posted at 1:53 PM  
    What you need here is a dissenting opinion. Hey! I got one of those!

    It's a blender, teapot, and PLASTIC TIMER, people. An inanimate object! NOT REAL. NO SOUL.

    I wanted to take Mabel the Buick out to the front lawn and shoot her (with something other than a camera), but Hubby wouldn't let me.

    After seeing Toy Story, though, I have a hard time getting rid of/throwing away broken/old toys.
  12. Anonymous buttergun posted at 3:31 PM  
    I used to be crazy about the silverware when I was doing dishes as a kid. I would invent a biography for each piece. Was it a girl or a boy? Age? Personality type? In the end they were all strategically grouped in the tray to insure plenty of romance, safety and comfort through the long trip into the wet, dark, scrubbing.
  13. Blogger Spurious Plum posted at 10:40 PM  
    Squirl- I treat cars like that. Like they'll wreak their automotive wrath on me if I talk any trash...

    MRTL- People have plenty of much more interesting things on their lawns in my hood. A teapot and a timer would be the least of their worries. At least the teapot's not on blocks.

    Caroline- I blove you for making hoarding sexy.

    Bluewyvern- Thanks for visiting! I feel you on the perpetual motion thing, but please don't take my rituals too seriously...PLEASE.

    Kilowatthour- I felt bad for the lamp too. I couldn't get your linky thing to work, though...

    Daphne- I liked your silly sentence.

    Lawbrizzy- No! Never admit user error! In my family, when you stub your toe at night, we say 'the furniture jumped out and bit me'. Accept no responsibility!

    Squirll- I love the word 'packratabilities'. Did you mean for it to be one word? Cause I think it should be a word.

    Laurenbove- Thank YOU for the inspiration! Give your blender a little pat for me.

    Sillyness- Of course Miss B will turn out right! She's got wonderful YOU for a Mama.

    CK- I know. I'm a tool. And Mabel doesn't count though, cause she DESERVED to be shot.

    Buttergun- Silverware romance? Were we separated at birth?
  14. Blogger bluewyvern posted at 11:15 AM  
    Don't worry -- I probably sounded far more dreamy and sentimental there than I intended. Rest assured, I am a thorough cynic, with an appreciation for poetic ideas.

    I don't have packrat problems at all -- I love those refreshing periods every year or so where I say to myself, "This stuff has got to GO" -- and then gleefully pack into garbage bags and dispose of (give away, if I can) everything I can't see myself ever using again. These periods actually happen a little less frequently now. I'm running out of stuff.

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