Yes, 'tis true -- I am a lifetime member of a special club: The Pack Rat Club. Whatever my status -- single or married, young or old, daughter, wife or mother -- I have been a member in good standing for well over three decades.
Lookin' for a Fiddler on the Roof Broadway show ticket from August 25, 1990? Yes, I have it. Seeking that university essay on "Biblical Imagery in THE STONE ANGEL"? Yup, I've got that, too. I even have a list of favorite boys' names and girls' names that I compiled many many years ago, names that I thought that I might one day name any children that I might have. I think at least one of those names got picked when I gave birth.
I have all, and I mean ALL, the letters that were received from an American penpal while I was in my early to mid-teens. Maybe I have to thank G-d that the friendship (which averaged two letters per month) fell by the wayside after a few years. Who knows? I might've had to add an exclusive "letter room" to my house.
Is being a pack rat a sickness, an obsession, a form of entertainment or just a conversation piece? I don't know -- I've always just thought myself to be nostalgic, or called myself a sentimental fool.
Over the past few years, along with my husband's help and some heavy-handedness on my part, I've learned to comb through my "treasures," salvage what is REALLY important, and discard the rest.
I'm actually one of those moms who has kept EVERY little piece of art that my children brought home, not displaying every piece on the fridge door, mind you, but stashing the creativity in a bag. But those bags accumulated -- what with having three children -- so with hubby's help I saved "the best" and tossed the rest. SO who cares if I have 3 mock seder plates, or 3 Megillat Esthers, or 3 "Bruchim HaBaim" signs for my sukkah. Only problem? These days I have to find which bag I stored them in!
Yes, I'm still a member of this not-so-exclusive club, but I'm not keeping up so much with the other lifetime members; I don't go to so many of their meetings anymore, either. If I did, I'd just have to save the programs...and who's got room for those!?
Just a little poll:
If anyone out there has been reading this, do you think I have some start-up material here for a personal essay to be submitted to a daily newspaper? I'd up the humor, up the examples, etc. Would you find such a piece entertaining to read in a local or national newspaper?