Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Accumulator

Hi. My name is Lucie, and I...

...I accumulate things.

That movie ticket stub from four years ago? Got it.
Oh, remember that note you passed me in Chem class back in 10th grade? Have that too.

But it gets worse. See, I had actually forgotten about how much of an accumulator I really am, until I came back to Illinois for part of the Summer. I have two things to accomplish before I leave: learn to drive (that's a topic for another day) and declutter. This last part has been lingering around for a few years now, and I'm finally ready to get on with it.

This is how I realized maybe, just maybe, my food obsession started a long time ago.

Exhibit A: A mini box of Frosted Flakes from a trip to Mexico when I was eight. That is, nearly sixteen years ago. Cereal is great, and even better when the box is in Spanish, but really? Oh, and believe me, I held on to this like a treasure for years.

Exhibit B: Let's delve even deeper into the weirdness. Back in the late 90s, I went to a restaurant with my parents where I must have ordered some sort of salad. In between two bites, I noticed a bright blue-green caterpillar staring at me from my plate, and I guess I was pretty shocked.

Stunned enough, at least, to document the event on a packet of sugar and keep it for over a decade. I really wonder what went through my mind at that point. "A caterpillar! Woah! I have to keep a trace of this moment with some sugar and store it in my vault!"

The vault in question. It may be dusty but it kept that sugar safe from harm.

Exhibit C: Now this is priceless. A cookie credit card that actually gave me a free cookie every time I went to Jewel grocery store. Don't you wish that 1/ credit cards actually let you get things for free and 2/ that these still existed for the over 10 year old crowd? You can bet that's plastic I'd be whipping out in a flash.

And, finally, I bring you Exhibit D, found in the red "vault".

Apparently, keeping a printed drawing of Caligula--you know, the very dead, very mean Roman emperor--was vault-worthy. Nine year old girls wanting to be swept away by one of those is normal, right? Just say yes. We'll get along better that way.

Anyway, maybe this way you can understand why I might not be posting and/or commenting as much these days. Decluttering takes time, patience, and a pretty good sense of humor when looking back at how so impossibly weird I've always been.
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Eleni said...

You're learning to drive!?

0023 said...

notes from 10th grade chem from ... me??!! I know you got some notes from me in there :) Found "the journal" in my closet when in CU ... oh decluttering.

PS - you are a FABULOUS writer!!!

Anonymous said...

WHOOOHOO I'm not the only accumulator type. In fact I just cleared out my handbag which is such an accomplishment! :) Love the cookies from ur previous post btw!

Mary said...

I'm laughing so hard my side hurts. Now understand I'm laughing with not at you. I loved this post. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Paris Pastry said...

Have you tried opening the Cornflakes mini box? I would be scared to see what's inside! Well I can't really say "me too" because I looove decluttering! I love the feeling I get when I throw old things away. Decluttering gets me high!

♥ Danielle

Lucie said...

Vicky: I have the same handbag problem--I find things from 3 years ago whenever I switch!

Danielle: I didn't try opening it, although I bet with all those preservatives maybe it looked like new...!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

My name is Reeni and I accumulate things. I have odd things saved too. I like to keep keepsakes of places I go to. Sometimes I don't remember where their from. Like an empty moon pie box. A library card from when I was 7. But that picture of Caligula is cracking me up!

Barbara said...

Do you think the caterpillar or any of his distant relatives could be living in that cereal box? Yikes!
Great post! Good luck with your de-cluttering.
I am not an accumulator, but moving from a home into an apartment probably had a lot to do with it. I do, however, have a storage place that is rather appalling.

grace said...

this is hilarious--i'm the same way! i have sugar packets from high school dates, ticket stubs, chicken-scratched notes, and on it goes. i DREAD the thought of decluttering because i know i'll throw most of it out and that's sad. plus, you know, it'll take a lot of time and energy. :) have fun reminiscing!

ImplausibleYarn said...

If it makes you feel better you aren't alone. I found things like a packet of sugar that had a sailing ship on it. Or not just one but like the whole set of them. Just because I had never seen them before.

claudia said...

I have a daughter just like you!

K8teebug said...

That vault is from Grandma and Grandpa, yes? I still have mine too :)