Sunday, May 15, 2011

Toy Story Guilt

Over Easter, I went to visit my sister M in northern Michigan.  My mom also came.  Much to my surprise, she had completely loaded her Mustang with garbage bags containing my childhood.  My varsity letter jacket, clothing, toys, all of the crap that has been stored in her basement for probably around the past 20 years.  She wants it out, which is fair.  I just hadn't realized she was going to dump it all on me that weekend.

I fit as much as I could into my car -- surprisingly, a Mustang has much more trunk space than a BMW 3 series -- and brought it all home.  I won't lie -- I was pissed.  I had planned on going through it all this summer at her house.  Instead I had to load it all into my car, then drag it all into my house, go through it, then drag most of it back out to my car and drive it over to Salvation Army.

Some things were easy -- clothing from 1991 was tossed, my varsity jacket, my rowing jersey, my high school graduation gown were kept.  Some knick knacks and trophys were kept, others were tossed.  The many CD cases (I have all my CDs in big books now, and I though I had all the cases here with me, but apparently not) I'm keeping for now until I figure out what to do with all my CDs.  I guess I will at some point make sure they are all digitally loaded on my computer and then give them all away.  This is like 500 CDs.  Ridiculous.

The most difficult thing to deal with are the Cabbage Patch Kids and other stuffed animals.  There are serious, serious memories attached to these things.  It was fun pulling them out of the garbage bag and staring at them.  I remember all of their names -- Elinor Idelle, Frank Ross, Russell Daniel (my crazy preemie with the tuft of hair), Nicky Peggy, Felicia Cara, and Cheesecake the pet, who is currently wearing a Detroit Tigers uniform.  They are frozen in time, in the last outfit I put on them before they got put in a box, where they've sat for over twenty years.  Looking at their faces made me feel guilty, but they are still smiling.

Right now they are lined up in my living room watching TV.

I know this makes me look like a crazy person.  Last weekend I forgot they were there and brought some friends home after the bars, and they were like "um..."  After I explained the mom dumpoff of childhood things, they all got it.  But I still felt a little silly, like I've turned into a doll hoarder overnight or something.

I also have two Santa Bears (Hudson's made these every year) and an Afghan dog stuffed animal that we bought on clearance at Kiddie Land when they were going out of business.  I loved that Afghan dog.  He was my favorite stuffed animal for years, until Monkey came along.  Monkey was also in the garbage bag.  He was Gund and soft until I loaned him to a girl from school for the night and came back a little natty.  I think her dog had some fun with him.  But still, he was Monkey and I adore him.

So what the hell do I do with these toys?  It doesn't help that I just watched Toy Story 3 on cable, and feel that they have feelings.  (Dumb, I know.)  All I know is that I'm not ready to give them away.  But now I also feel bad about putting them back in a garbage bag and tossing them in my basement.  Maybe I will buy a special plastic container for them.  I don't know.  I hadn't thought about any of these toys in years, but now that they are here, I can't forget them.  For now, they are lined up, watching TV.    


  1. I currently have tw0 stuffed animals sitting on the end of my bed. I'm 27. One is my big teddy bear I've had since I was 5. One is a teddy bear made out of a bunch of my dad's old shirts (a family friend made one for me & one for my sister after he passed away when I was 13.

    I think I finally went through all the dolls & animals that are packed up in boxes at my parent's house. I got rid of all the Barbie that weren't in their boxes, and I think the only doll I kept was my Americal Girl Molly w/ the mangled hand (my dog got ahold of her...). But I know what you mean about the emotional attachment to these things. Even though they are just things, they contain so many memories.

  2. Ugh, it's so hard. I think two stuffed animals is fine, even at 27. I mean, they are so cute, right?

  3. I still have a bunch of stuffed animals and some dolls I had when I was little (like American Girls dolls). They're tidy in a box in a closet.
    I got crazy and sold all my She-Ra, Jem & Thundercats dolls on eBay a long time ago. I totally regret it. If you're unsure what to do with them, I'd just keep em in a box for a while with some cedar blocks in your garage. They won't be bothering anything there.

    Oh, I took all my CDs to a record store that buys em. You could get a nice chunk of change for those!