Hello dollies…thanks for joining me for this month’s Where Bloggers Live 05.2021: Let it Go. The title of today’s post might have you singing Disney songs, “Let it Go” from Frozen, in particular. But today, the ladies and I are talking about an article of clothing or something in our home that is past its life expectancy but for sentimental reasons we are unable to part with. Something we need to say ‘sayonara’ to but can’t.
If we are new friends, allow me an explanation about this series. Where Bloggers Live is kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…with bloggers! Each month I am always happy to see that my Where Bloggers Live posts are among my most popular. Probably because we are all a little curious about other people’s homes and lives. You can read my last Where Bloggers Live post, here, where we talked about places that are like home. Before that, in March, we shared some of our DIY projects. Of course, I featured my ever-loving mosaic for that edition. But guess what?? I finally finished that mosaic. Thank you, #100DayProject.
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WHERE BLOGGERS LIVE 05.2021
My home is filled with things that could easily satisfy the prompt for Where Bloggers Live 05.2021. There’s my dad’s wooden tennis racket (he died in 2012 and I haven’t played tennis in years). My mom’s childhood toys: a wooden gun, a tea set and little play oven. A rather flamboyant storytelling box filled with puppets for the stories I no longer tell in the library where I no longer work. The pieces I want to share with you though, in more detail, are two dollar store bride and groom figurines. Here’s their story.
Not Quite a Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, I met, at our apartment complex pool, a soldier who was also the single parent for his 4 year-old daughter. We became friends, and even babysat for each other when one of us would go out for a date or needed a little down time from parenting. Over the summer months, we got to know each other better and began a relationship which meant our daughters were tossed into relationships with each other.
There were plenty of red flags that this relationship was never going to thrive but I think both of us adults ignored them. The warnings were probably clearer to the kids and to everyone else looking in. After dating for about two years, we married. Had a little ceremony in the small house we bought together. Our girls in matching peach lace Jessica McClintock dresses, our parents and siblings looking on.
We had reserved a room at a fancy-for-us hotel and his mother agreed to keep his daughter overnight at our house and my parents agreed to watch my girls at their hotel. After a little reception with cake and goodies, we opened presents and then left for our honeymoon night.
My brother Kevin relayed the story of what happened next sometime the following day. He reported that when they took the girls back to the hotel where he, my sister and parents were staying, Brennyn and Lauren began crying. Or they were at least very upset because it seemed to them that everyone but them had given us a wedding gift. Ours was the first wedding they had attended and so they weren’t well versed in wedding etiquette.
My brother bundled up my daughters and took them to a dollar store to pick out a present with their allowance. Brennyn was 7 and Lauren was 5 so their piggy banks were not exceedingly full. They could afford these little bride and groom figurines when Kevin kicked in the tax.
They make me smile even now, 30 years later. Brennyn selected the more serious bride and groom which made sense because she was older and more grown-up. Lauren chose the more playful figurines. They remind me of her sweet innocence.
I kept these ceramic pieces on a shelf attached to a blanket rack that hung in the hallway leading to our master bedroom. Along with other keepsakes and mementos the girls had given me over time. I hung my grandmother’s patchwork quilts from the rack.
One night as we were sitting down to dinner there was a load crash and the sound of breaking glass. We never figured out how but the blanket rack fell from the wall where it was hanging. Most of the other fragile ceramic things that had been on the shelf broke when they hit the tile floor. However, these figurines did not. Not even a chip.
Our marriage was not so fortunate, though. It wasn’t too much longer after that we separated. And we were divorced shortly before our tenth wedding anniversary.
Hind sight is 20-20 and looking back now, knowing things I didn’t realize then, we should never have married in the first place. My hope that we could blend into one happy family was never to be. While we did have some happy days, and there was a good deal of love, it wasn’t enough to overcome the obstacles.
Let It Go
One of the goals I set for myself this year was to begin to part with things. Stuff that is just sitting about on shelves in my bedroom, and my loft. Most of it little trinkets I have been given by my daughters, students and friends. I’ve read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. And for several years now, have signed up for Taylor’s 52 Weeks to an Organized Home. I would argue that our home is pretty well organized and generally tidy most of the time. ‘Tis the season where I currently find myself in the process of spring cleaning every room from top to bottom. Starting with our bedroom.
Today these little figurines sit on a wrought iron shelf in the corner of the master bedroom I share with my Prince C.
They don’t take up much space and aren’t difficult to dust.
If memory serves, I believe Brennyn was a little concerned that the bride on her pair of newlyweds is blonde. And I haven’t been blonde for about 60 years.
Likewise, Lauren’s bride is quite a bit younger than I was on that long ago wedding day. Hopefully, a little more pleasantly plump, too.
Their gold paint makes them look ‘fancy’ and expensive, don’t you think? Even if they aren’t, they are worth so much to me. Priceless gifts of love. They make me smile.
This spring, as I began my room-by-room cleaning, I considered ‘decluttering’ our master bedroom by giving these figurines away. After all, they are mementos of another lifetime. One I don’t relish remembering. One that probably never should have been.
Spark of Joy
When I pick up these keepsakes and hold them in my hands, in true Marie Kondo fashion, they do bring me joy.
They return me to a day of happiness when I was surrounded by loved ones, especially my darling daughters. They remind me that through it all, it has always been the 3 of us. Three girls on the boom-boom. As Lauren used to say when she wasn’t much older than her daughter Cami is now.
Another Year’s Reprieve
Held these little dolls in my hands again yesterday. Carefully wiped the dust from them and reminisced for a moment. Then returned them to their places on my book shelf. Giving them another year’s reprieve. They may have exceeded their life expectancy but I am not ready to say goodbye to them just yet.
Do you have a similar keepsake or maybe a favorite piece of clothing that you just can’t seem to let go of? You might remember the shoes I wore in my last Ageless Style post. Gifts from PC when we first started dating. They hold a special place in my heart just like these statuettes. And just like my bride and groom dolls, those strappy sandals won’t be going anywhere in the near future.
Hope you will run by to visit the blogs of my comadres for their Where Bloggers Live 05.2021 post. I am anxious to read what it is they just can’t let go of.
Glad for your visit. Hope you have something special planned for the weekend. We have baseball on Saturday and I am hoping to get back to church on Sunday.
Hugs and kisses,