Instagram WISHES It Was This Cool, And Other Things I Learned From A Box of Pictures

I don’t think I’ve shared this on the blog, but I am not currently employed full-time. Or part-time. Or even at all. I hope it won’t stay this way for long but that’s the way it is right now.

So while my kids are at school, I find myself in a strange place where there usually isn’t anything pressing that needs to be done. When you have younger children, there is always – ALWAYS – something that absolutely has to be done, but once the kids are older, the day-to-day urgency of chores lessens a bit. This is all a very long way of getting to my point which is that sometimes I have enjoyable stretches of time to do what I want.

I try to use these found hours to do things I’ve long put off. One project I’ve meant to take on forever is going through my boxes of letters and mementos and seeing what’s actually there.

Today I pulled out a couple of boxes of “special things” and ended up on an all expenses paid tour of Memoryland (Memory Lane is just one small street) that sort of blew my mind. You guys. Here’s what I realized: kids today – yes, I just wrote that – will probably never know the joys of finding a box that contains stacks of pictures and letters and cards. It just won’t happen. Coming across time-stamped and organized emails from your first boyfriend will never be the same as opening a yellowed envelope, holding a letter in your hands, remembering the handwriting. Swiping your fingers across your phone, gazing at the faces of lost loves will never be the same as finding a snapshot tucked into a book. Kids still give each other cards and things (wait, do they?) but there was something truly magic about opening up a box to find a disorganized jumble of memories. Here are a few I found today.

IMG_1538

Proof that I’ve always been an excellent speller, as if I needed that. And wouldn’t you know? They misspelled my name. 

 

IMG_1543

First concert. Awww, yeeeeah.

IMG_1547

My granny was my hero when I was a kid. She was hilarious, salty, and fun – everything I aspire to be! In this picture, Granny is posing next to picket signs made by her neighbors after she hosted a party and didn’t invite them. What a bunch of fun drunks.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls before they discover boys. A lovely example.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls in those years before they discover boys. This is a lovely example.

IMG_1537

My dad and me at my high school graduation. He was actually very handsome, even though he’s making a weird face here. I don’t have many pictures of us together so this is a treasure. Sidenote: It makes me want to cry that I thought I was fat then.

Double exposures! A roll of film in which a baseball game showed through in pictures of my wedding. Instagram WISHES it could do this.

Double exposure! A roll of film on which pictures of a baseball game, a backyard pool party AND my wedding were shot. Instagram WISHES it was this cool.

More after the jump.

I've told myself that I did not used to be a "challenging" or "complicated" person. Turns out SOME people thought I was both of those things way back when.

I’ve told myself that I did not used to be a “challenging” or “complicated” person. Turns out SOME people thought I was both of those things way back when.

After my dad's death, my friend Carlye made me another amazing little scrapbook.

After my dad’s death, my friend Carlye made me another amazing little scrapbook.

Among mementos from my wedding, I found this card. Somehow "good luck" seems the wrong wish on a wedding day.

Among mementos from my wedding, I found this card. Is it me, or is “best of luck” a bleak wish on someone’s wedding day? Realistic, I guess…

 

Special to me because it has the handwriting of both my mom and my little brother, when he was actually little.

Special to me because it has the handwriting of both my mom and my little brother, when he was actually little.

 

And to prove I've always been obsessed with celebrities, here is one of several (really: a bunch) clippings related to my first love, Mick Jagger. I took his engagement to Jerry Hall very hard.

And to prove I’ve always been obsessed with celebrities, here is one of several (really, you guys: a ton) clippings related to my first love, Mick Jagger. I took his engagement to Jerry Hall verrry hard.

Digital memories may be perfectly preserved, but they will never deliver the tactile punch that bins of paper memories do.

Do you have a box like this? Go through it. Right now!

9 thoughts on “Instagram WISHES It Was This Cool, And Other Things I Learned From A Box of Pictures

  1. Mary Anne says:

    I loved my parents photo box and letters? So many!

  2. Lisa says:

    In my humble opinion this is your very best blog ever!!! Dear to my heart since you know about my “huge” stash of keepsakes. So thoughtful & well written xxoo

    • reallyrealatlantahousewife says:

      haha! yes, i do know about your stash of memories! today was the first time I ever realized that “memory boxes” are almost a thing of the past…

  3. Roxanne says:

    I have to agree with Lisa, and not just because my scrapbook is featured. You described so well the incomparable sensation of holding something in your hands that you held 20-30 years ago and feeling the emotions of those moments all over again. It’s one life’s greatest pleasures. I love this piece and am inspired to go through my memory boxes as well. Some of my best treasures will be courtesy of Lib, I guarantee it!

  4. Emma says:

    OMG!.. You know people have told me that I hold on to the past a little to hard, and that I don’t let go of it. I still have a box full of letters that I wrote to my husband (then boyfriend) when I was in High School. I think I wrote to him daily. In Art class his name was plastered all over my drawings, I still hold on to them. Just this past Easter I asked my mom to bring all her old pictures because I wanted to show my kids my grandmother’s home like I remember it. Well, inside the big photo album my mom had news letters from her High School and clippings from events they held for graduation project and the tickets they sold for those same events. And in one photograph, there in the back when my mom was 17, you can see a huge picture of horses, that today hangs in my living room, my grandma gave it to me back in december.
    Thank you for sharing your memories, you are a sucker like me. And that is why I love your blogs!

  5. Lucie says:

    Lib, such a great post. Your writing is getting better and better!

  6. I love this. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were going through boxes of old stuff. Even now, when I visit my grandparents, I try to steal away for a few minutes and open dresser drawers to find all the treasures that haven’t been organized in decades.

Talk to me.

%d bloggers like this: