{SQT} What I’m Taking To The Grave

I’m going through my twice yearly spaz feast, also known as, reorganize the house to distract myself from all that is my life. I’m faced with a glut of presents. Plus, on going home improvement projects designed to make our house less of a death trap to objects that are not in power mobility devices, has created a need to purge all that is not nailed down. Everyone is making sacrifices and preparing bags and boxes for delivery to Goodwill. All will be well for a couple of weeks while I enjoy the small addition of space before rearranging everything again to make room for the cumbersome plastic toys Santa vomits all over my house.

However, despite all my efforts to downsize and declutter, and the three moves we’ve made through the years, some items always make the cut. I often give my husband a rough time because we’ve been moving around from closet to basement to storage space several old video game systems, Transformers, original beat up Star Wars action figures and 20-year-old D&D manuals. But that makes me a dirty, dirty pot because I’ve got my own stash of ridiculous keepsakes that never see the light of day. (Yes, there’s even more to my collection than the lamp and the vase.) You see where this is headed right? This weeks quick takes are a stroll down memory lane brought to you by the letters WTH? and the number seven.

1. My grandmother’s antique dressform.


Every spooky attic in every story of merit I’ve ever read has contained a dress form. I inherited this one after my grandmother died eleven years ago. I can’t figure out how to actually use it but man, doesn’t it look artsy and stuff? Email for rental rates if your first year photography student is interested.

2. A set of Raggedy Ann and Andy candles.I can never, ever burn them! And if the kids see them, they’ll want to touch them or worse, play with them, so into the back of my closet they go.

Me and the candles sharing a private moment.

3. A Crazy Eddy t-shirt. His prices, and this entire shirt, is insane. Unfortunately, the fit is circa. 16-year-old Kelly so I don’t don this particular shirt very often unless I’m fishing for muffin top comments.

Pulled away from the torso to eliminate cling and paired with my own version of the Crazy Eddie face.

4. My tap shoes. I know, it’s just a whole ‘nother side of me you didn’t know existed. I never became a Rockette, but I refuse to part with these shoes, if only to amaze my kids with a little soft-shoe every couple years or so.

I can do a shuffle, flap toe heel combo like you’ve never seen.

5. A pair of purple velvet Doc Martin boots, rivaled in awesomeness by my knee-high white Doc Martin wedding boots. Yes, this Catechism thumping traddy once had a wild side; one that blew her entire back to school budget on a pair of Doc Martin boots. And then, because I hate dancing in high heels, I bought an even more expensive pair for my wedding. Every so often I consider selling them on Ebay, and every time I wind up stroking them in tears saying, it’s okay, mommy didn’t mean it. I still love you. And then I wear them, realize I look like a very uncool thirtysomething in Doc Martin’s and we forget one another for a while again.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong. That thing is me. I’m the uncool thing that doesn’t belong.

6. My grandmother’s gaudy costume jewelry. I only wish I had more cocktail parties and black tie affairs to wear this stuff to. Don’t get me wrong, at every church potluck I’m breaking out the bling, but my denim jumper just doesn’t do it justice. But despite the fact that I really can’t pull off wearing it anywhere, I can’t let it go. I keep hoping that because my grandmother was fashionable, that style is genetic and that there is indeed hope for me.

7. My black leather motorcycle jacket. So this one time at band camp…actually, it was on a high school band trip to Toronto I was so convinced that the exchange rate made everything practically free I bought this jacket with all the spending money I had on hand, like, the second day of a week-long trip. And it was hot. The jacket and the weather. I stopped wearing it within a year but I can’t part with it. I tried ebaying it once and when I didn’t get close to the reserve (which was a sentimental $40 Canadian, eh) I decided I’d hold onto it and force one of the kids to be Fonzie for Halloween…eventually.

Look, I’m a Kardashian! Sporting both costume jewelry and the motorcycle jacket.

And this list doesn’t include the bins of old newspapers and 3×5 discs containing every published article I ever wrote during my brief stint as a reporter before launching full time into motherhood or my portfolio of photo school prints, a.k.a. the year of black and white self portraits and deep meaningful stuff I shouldn’t have to explain to you. Is this just me? Please leave a comment detailing frivolous items you hold onto so when I feel the need to either wear or sell my tap shoes, I’ll know I’m not alone in my struggles.

Now that I’ve put everything back in its cryogenically sealed vault, I’m headed over to Jen’s for more Quick Takes. Won’t you join me?

Join the Conversation


  1. This post justifies my ‘stuff!’ Loved every word. I actually still had the 1st pair of Docs I ever owned until last year. I got them at age 14 and I just turned 38. Does that make you feel better? I love that you wore white DMs for your wedding. That’s good stuff. I still have a few cassette tapes hanging around (angst-ridden 90s ‘alternative’ music), tons of gigantic costume jewelry from The Limited, circa late 90s, and every.driver.license.i.have.ever.owned. Until my last move, I had photos of your cousin, Joel, with long hair. Ha!

  2. ok kelly I must confess, every year I go through the shoes in my closet and lovingly pick up my split heel wrestling shoes ( yes I did say wrestling. once upon a time they were really cool, i swear.) and think why am I saving these? Like I am ever seriously going to wear them out of the house again. But to date they still sit in the back of my closet colecting dust right next to my irish dance shoes. 🙂

  3. I just got rid of what I lovingly called my Knee High Hooker Boots just a few months ago when we purged. They were one of the last relics of my goth club bellydance days.

    I just realised a few weeks ago that I have tons of beads and findings and chain links, but I am sure I will eventually have enough time to go back to making jewelry, so I don’t need to get rid of it, right?

    I’m never pitching my five or six elaborately decorated bellydance hip scarves because I will go back to class some day. I will. And then I’ll need them. Besides, they look pretty and spangly and I put them on top of bookshelves.

    1. Um, hello, goth club bellydance days?! I just checked your site and I don’t see ANY posts about this. Could you get to work on writing one?

  4. I’m really bad at the pointing the finger at my husband for the things he keeps and shouldn’t but insisting my own “treasures” can’t be parted with. He not only keeps all his old game systems but also the boxes they came in. An entire shelf in the garage full of empty boxes. While our real “stuff” is in boxes on the floor because there is no room on the shelves. But upstairs in the guest room are two large plastic storage tubs filled with every one of my childhood stuffed animals. Just can’t seem to part with them. We are both hopeless packrats!

  5. I still have my figure skates from high school, my racing spikes from college track, and my tap shoes too! I wish I had my brown suede granny laced boots, circa 1971, because my daughter would love them. She happily wears my college Frye boots.

    1. I should probably let my daughters rummage through my closet a bit more. I obtained most of my favorite items by doing just that in old family houses. Otherwise, how else can I hope to pass on my love of “collecting”? Glad to know appreciation for the finer things could be hereditary.

      1. My daughter found her wedding dress in her grandmother’s attic – it was a cocktail dress made by her great-grandmother. A bit of cleaning and alterations and a cool leather sash she found on etsy, and she was done.

  6. Oh my goodness. I love that dress form. And you. You are so awesome. I finally got rid of my Pez collection last year…but the teal sequined one shoulder mermaidesque homecoming dress is going NOWHERE.

    1. I ALSO HAD A PEZ COLLECTION!!! I used to display them all in a glass case until I realized how much I hated dusting them or looking at dusty Pez. Into a plastic bag they went. I did mange to get rid of them a few years back, however my grandmother buys me new Pez at Christmas every. year. without fail.

  7. I’m actually attempting to purge things from the bedroom and finding that a lot of it isn’t even mine. Like grandma’s pottery (and sweaters…shoes…). I seriously have a pair of ceramic squirrels from ’71 looking at me from across the room.

    Until a few days ago, I had a dress bought in high school that I intended to be a wedding dress. I knew how it would look on me because I wore that same dress (in another color) to prom.

    I’m not much of a packrat, but half of my closet consists of clothes I’ve never been able to fit into, but won’t part with because I insist that one day I’ll fit into them for an entire five minutes and the years of waiting will be worth it.

  8. Ladies, I’ve loved reading all your comments! Not only do I feel so much better holding onto these items, I’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about you all!

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