Monday, January 18, 2010


One thing I've noticed about packing and moving is that you find a lot of things you haven't seen in years…things you don't even remember having.

Even though we've already moved, I still haven't packed up everything in our former home. In fact, it probably will take me another year or so to finish going through everything. My problem is that instead of just packing, I sit back and read every old card or letter I find. And if I come across a box of photos, I have to study every one of them.

And speaking of photos, while cleaning out my file cabinet the other day, I came across an envelope of photos I'd taken years ago during yet another diet. Before I actually began the diet, I'd posed for a "before" photo while wearing a sleeveless blue leotard.

Then, every time I dropped 10 pounds, I'd pose for another photo. There were nine photos in all, beginning at 231 lbs. and ending at 145. They reminded me of that old movie, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman."

The photos, however, also made me look like the Incredible Aging Woman. The more weight I lost, the more my face sagged, until I pretty much resembled a basset hound in a leotard. My knees also looked like a couple of deflated balloons.

It was enough to make me want to rush out and buy a box of Twinkies.

I also found my senior prom photo. Immediately my thoughts drifted back to that night - one of the worst in all my years at school.

The guy I was supposed to go to the prom with, George, called me a few days before the prom and said he wouldn't be able to go because his parents were splitting up and he had to move out of state with his father.

So that left me with a gown, matching shoes, new jewelry, a satin purse, and nowhere to wear them. I did manage, at the last minute, to find another date for the prom, but let's just say he wasn't the man of my dreams. He was 18 but looked about 40. He'd already lost his driver's license. And he was loud and obnoxious.

Yes, I was desperate.

As I studied the prom photo, I had to chuckle at the expression on my face. It was similar to the look someone might have during an acute attack of appendicitis. Not surprisingly, I think I was the only person at the prom who was home long before midnight.

Packing also has led to the discovery of some of my husband's things, many of which are puzzling.

For example, I found eight wallets, all worn out, with long-expired credit cards and driver's licenses in each one. One wallet was so old, it still had a photo of his ex-girlfriend in the photo section…his petite, slender, bosomy ex-girlfriend.

Funny, but she didn't look too great and her body parts not so perky after I shoved her photo through the paper shredder. The way I figure it, if my husband ever wants to see the photo again, he can try to glue it back together. Ever since he retired, he's been complaining that he needs a hobby, so I think I actually did him a favor and gave him one.

I also found keys to every car he's owned since his 1969 VW Beetle. Why he never tossed out any of them after he got rid of the cars is beyond me. Maybe he intends to buy one of those big key rings and hang it on his belt so he can look like a mall security guard.

I doubt it word work, though. All of those keys would weigh so much, he'd have to wear suspenders to keep his pants from falling down around his ankles.

Then in his closet, I found a big, puffy fur hat with furry ear flaps. It was made of some kind of real animal fur that fell out in clumps the moment I touched it. The hat looked like something Russians would wear in Siberia.

I thought it was a strange thing for my husband to have because he's always hot. I mean, he currently is still wearing his thin, spring jacket because he doesn't think it's been cold enough yet to dig out his winter one.

So where or when, I wondered, would he ever wear this Grizzly Adams hat? Heck, if he ever did put it on, our dogs probably would catch a whiff of it and attack him.

So, solely for the purpose of saving his life, I decided to toss it out.

You know, I've discovered an interesting thing about packing. Most of my stuff is nice, valuable stuff that's being carefully transported to the new house…while most of my husband's stuff is just junk that's heading straight to the dump.

Funny how that works.