Sunday, April 02, 2006

By Your Possessions Ye Shall Be Known

It’s amazing how much our possessions tell about ourselves. I can tell a great deal about a family from what’s put out at garage sales, but it’s at estate sales or major moving sales where the personalities really shines forth.

We went to a garage sale last week, given by a woman whose mother had just moved into an assisted living complex. She’d of course not had to leave everything behind, but it was possible to “picture her” based on what she’d not been able to take with her.

A twenty year span of exercise videos spoke to a life long struggle with weight. Her clothes – many suits of stylist stout variety showed that it was not a successful one.

She adored bridge and board games – there were piles and piles of playing cards and mugs adorned with the Ace of Spades or the Three of Clubs. Outburst, Pictionary, , Trivial Pursuit and multiple versions of Scrabble were piled high.

Old New Orleans cookbooks told of her early life in the Crescent City, however she did not appear to enjoy cooking since the only cookbooks dated back from the first days of her marriage. There was not a recent cookbook among the bunch. She also was not much of a reader, most of the books were of the Readers Digest variety.

She did however adore sewing. Bolts of fabric, trim and old patterns abounded.
Another shopper inquired about the sewing machine. Her daughter said she had taken it with her, she just couldn’t bare to part with it though she could no longer sew.

And among the books I found the reason why- the only book with a recent copyright date was entitled Parkinson’s Disease.


Tired Tunia said...

Hey, you would think looking at my stuff that I don't like to read either -- but it is so not true! I've been trying to declutter, and books have not been spared! We stopped buying them once we moved the collection about 5 times in as many years. And now I just get them out at the library, way too many of them at a time...And I have lots of cookbooks, but I hate to cook. Had pizza for the second time this week tonight. Oh well.

librarian pirate said...

That's so sad! If I lost the ability to sew, or crochet ...


Julie said...

Yeah, you wouldn't think I was a reader either. 90% of what I read comes from the library.

That was a really lovely post, Guusje.

sophie said...

Wonderful thoughts! As I have decluttered my life for my recent move, I wonder how my possessions portray me.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

I really loved this.

Although now I am looking at my stuff with a critical eye... did Bruce Lee himself own as many martial arts weapons? I think not. I really am peaceful, I am, but--- don't mess with the lady, as one of my students said.

I've got 'em buffaloed!