Storm In A B-Cup

Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale

on May 16, 2013

On a weekend road trip, far away from home, you stumble upon a garage sale in a neighborhood you’re passing through. Astonished, you find an object among the belongings for sale that you recognize. Tell us about it.

Photographers, share an image that says MEMORY.

 

This is today’s daily prompt.  And I really had to think for a minute.  A LONG minute.  I suppose because I don’t really associate objects with memories so much as I do events or people.  But then I remembered something that would make me smile and take me back to a time in my life when things were…bittersweet.  Babysitters’ Club books.  Remember those?  A spunky group of young girls, who – when I look back on it now – were really too young to be babysitting? There was a girl in there who we could all relate to.  Probably more than one for most of us.

For me, Mary Ann was who I wanted to be.  She was pretty and smart, but quiet.  And she still had friends!  I wished I could be cool and edgy like Claudia.  I wished I was sophisticated like Stacey.  Dawn was so unique, and all of the others had something that some little girl out there just wanted to be.  And I wished I was all of them!

I so looked forward each month to the day that I would receive my new books in the mail, and when they arrived I would devour them that day.  I adored these books.

I started reading these books long after they were first released in the 80s.  It would have been the mid 90s when I started reading them, I was about 6 or 7.  The second grade.  It was a time in my life that was great, but when I look back on it now, I wasn’t exactly the happiest of kids.  It was a stressful time for my whole family, my youngest brother had just been born, and we were adjusting to life as not only a family of 6, but a family of a child with a disability.

My sister was still at preschool, my “middle” brother between 18 months and 2 years old.  We were busy, and as the oldest child I was expected to entertain myself a lot of the time, as well as at least my sister sometimes.  I was a very shy kid, something that wasn’t helped by my bully of a teacher who used to send me for reading time in the storeroom because my reading level was higher than that of the other kids and she didn’t want them feeling inferior.  Who put me on detention day in and day out because there was no school bus, and my mum had trouble getting all four of us out the door and into the car on time.  Who singled me out every day for one reason or another.

One day, because (as a 6 or 7 year old, mind you) I couldn’t spell tomorrow without help.  Another because I was wearing Christmas earrings – she stood me in a corner with my arms pointed above my head, telling me I looked like a Christmas tree.  Yet another time because I went over some of my letters twice.

She was a small, petty woman.  But at a time that I was so impressionable, and that my family was in such a time of stress anyway, it made a big impact on me.  I withdrew, became terrified of doing anything that might make me stand out or look different, became even more scared of making the smallest mistake.  I wouldn’t do anything without first looking for approval to make sure it was right.  And still seek approval more than I should, I think.

It was lasting, and I need to let it go.  For good.  Really.  But that whole year is something that is embedded in my personality and my psyche, and I’m not really sure how to let it go.

Anyway.  The Babysitters Club.  Those books were such an escape for me during this time that after that they became my “go to” books when I needed comfort.  I collected well over a hundred of them (were there a hundred? A lot, anyway), and after that moved on to the Sweet Valley High books (and yes, I fancied myself an Elizabeth Wakefield).  I didn’t pack any of those books away until I was about 16, and even now, they sit packed in a box.  Hopefully one day my own daughter/s will love them as much as I did (though hopefully not for the same reasons!)

PS.  Sorry that was such a long post, but it was actually rather cathartic!

What item takes you back to another time?

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7 responses to “Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale

  1. […] Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale | Storm In A B-Cup […]

  2. […] Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale | Storm In A B-Cup […]

  3. […] Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale | Storm In A B-Cup […]

  4. Lily Mugford says:

    Sometimes the telling of the story releases some of its power over us. I know that as I write some of my memoirs, I can feel a shift in my spirit, a letting of some of the negative feelings I harboured. I hope you find release too.

  5. […] Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale (storminabcup.wordpress.com) […]

  6. […] Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale | Storm In A B-Cup […]

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