Buried treasure.

Here’s a good recipe for overcoming materialism: Pack up all of your worldly belongings, move to a new city, relocate within that city four or five times over the course of a year for good measure, and then, once you’ve arrived in an apartment in which you think you’ll be staying for awhile… Finally unpack everything.

I’ve been wishing for a lot of things — a lot of material things — lately, but I’ve discovered it’s a lot less expensive to open an old suitcase and rediscover things that you completely forgot that you had.


• The afghan my great-grandmother made for my mom when she went off to college in 1973. My tastes weren’t sophisticated enough in my younger years to appreciate the color palette. Then one day a few years ago, I walked into my parents’ room, saw this in their armoire and was like, “Uhhhh… this is amazing. Can I have it?” To which my mom said, “Yes.” This has been in storage since the winter for obvious reasons. It may be a little too early to bring it out again, but I don’t care. It will be making an appearance on my bed shortly.

• One of the hardest parts about moving was trying to decide which books to bring along. I ended up bringing a conglomerate of new books, old favorites… and some real wild cards, such as The Elements of Journalism (a college textbook I never sold back), Telling True Stories (another remnant from my college days) and, embarrassingly, Your First Novel, which I’ve never read. I picked up the Donald Miller book earlier this year (pretty good) as well as the Shakespeare ($1 at a library sale). The copy of McSweeney’s Thrilling Tales was a loan from a friend with whom I’ve been long out of touch. There are plenty more where these came from, too.

• My first job in New York was at a very popular and profitable computer store in SoHo. That job had a lot of nice little perks, including but not limited to the guarantee that every few weeks or so, like clockwork, all employees received a set of new T-shirts. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is my employee wardrobe: 10 T-shirts, two thermal T-shirts and a fleece pullover, all accrued in the course of less than five months. And this isn’t even all of them: After I took this picture, I realized that I was wearing one, and then I found another fleece pullover in a pile. So, yeah. I guess you could say I was, and still am, well-outfitted from my time there.


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One Response to “Buried treasure.”

  1. Mom Says:

    Irene is no doubt happy to know her great-granddaughter is enjoying the fruits of her labor circa 1973. I spent many a night snuggled under that afghan. It has seen a lot of history. I hugged it when I was homesick, escaped under it when I was sad, and found comfort in it realizing that the same hands that made it also helped form my heart. I am glad it has found a safe home with you.

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