While vacuuming my hallway, I noticed I still have up a relic of my past. A framed, counted-cross stitch slogan stating "Love, Honor, & Negotiate." Amazing how these things can hang on the wall for years without notice, having been hung at one time when applicable. My life has changed enough in the past few years where such a statement is completely irrelavent, so I took it down and tossed it in the Good Will box.
As it clunked in atop some dated cookbooks and rummage sale flatware, I noticed the back was inscribed. This particular piece of craft was a hand-made wedding present from my former mother-in-law, who always tried to be "Mom" to me and inscribed nearly every gift she gave. "Karen and Jeremy, Follow this advice and your marriage will be a success, Love Mom." (I feel I should mention "Mom" was on her fifth marriage at the time of our divorce, but no one's perfect.) Needless to say, ours was a marriage of growing pains and blame games with little room for negotiation. Eventually, the steam from love peetered out and the marriage disintegrated along with it.
None of that changes how giving this thing to Good Will has taken on a new implication: not only was it a gift from the former mother-in-law, but an inscribed gift. Imagine browsing the trinkets at Good Will and finding something hand made with such a personalized note! I would never be able to buy something with so much energy from someone else. It will probably sit on the shelf, collect dust and be subjected to the fondling of cheap trinket seekers. Not a terribly bright future.
But is that a worse future than sitting in my attic along with all the other wedding relics? The wedding memory book, veil, cake topper, all sitting in a warped cardboard box labeled "wedding crap" so I know ever to open it. As of this moment, I don't know what I will do with this thing. The Good Will box isn't full enough to bring down just yet, so I have some time to think about it.
Sorry, "Mom," I just can't keep it on the wall.