Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Consensus: Not defective

I wanted to thank those of you who took the time to comment on my post about stuff. I had been thinking about it for quite some time before I wrote it, and I talked to Dan about it after I wrote it, and he helped me to clarify some things in my head.

It's not that I don't like stuff. It's that I'm just not into stuff that doesn't have a personal meaning FOR ME. As Dan pointed out in his post (along with photographic evidence), pretty much everything we have by way of decor has a personal significance to one or both of us. So maybe when I see the photos on the design and style blogs, I generally feel "meh" because the stuff they show doesn't have any personal meaning or significance for me. I have a hard time imagining how most "stuff" will enrich or enhance my living experience unless I have some sort of personal tie to it, I suppose.

Our living quarters are not the only way in which this personal style, for lack of a better term, seems to manifest itself. Virtually every detail of our wedding, for example, was something that was personally significant to at least one of us. I started to make a list in my head and realized if I wrote it all down, anyone reading this would fall asleep - the venue, the decor, the apparel, the officiant, and just about everything else other than the date (March 29 was pretty much the only date we could do it taking into account the schedules of everyone involved plus our venue) meant something. On the site where I did a bunch of venting about wedding planning, there was a thread called "Repository of meaningful details", and I never did get around to posting about ours there because it would read like a laundry list.

The funny thing about weddings, or home decor, or what have you, is that nobody really knows or cares about the stories behind the choices you make. Or at least, nobody will ever care as much as you will. I kind of like that I can look at the shelf in our living room and tell you what everything is, why we have it, and where we got it/who gave it to us. Maybe it runs in my family, because my Aunt Edy has a story about just about everything in her home as well. I even now have a few things that were hers, including a lithograph on silk depicting an Irish wedding from the turn of the previous century. I like the idea of everything having a story, and hope someday that I'll have a kid (or two) who want to know the stories behind the things that we have.

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We spent a good chunk of Saturday going through and culling stuff, including 3 boxes of books and some kitchen things we don't need/want anymore. It felt really good, and freeing, to know that just because we have something, just because someone gave something to us, or because we bought it, doesn't mean we have to keep it. And just about everything we're giving away or getting rid of is something that can be replaced later if we decide, down the line, that we can't live without it.

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One of the projects I have in the queue is a t-shirt quilt for Dan, kind of like the one I made Oldest Friend for her 30th birthday. It's a perfect project for my current mindset: a way to preserve old memories for posterity, in a way that is productive and useful, and rids us of a whole lotta stuff we don't need. Maybe I'll start on that this weekend.

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