The Backward Glance

I’m relentlessly looking forward these days. Which has meant going through old stuff and selling it. Crap I no longer need that others may have thought essential to a proper life and so thrust upon me in some effort to make me legitimate. Like the weird set of silver utensils that weren’t enough to add up to a real place setting unless you had invited a random assortment of woodland creatures to tea. Which, would kind of be cool. Except they wouldn’t really be expecting silver. They’d be happy with crumb cake served in acorn caps. I found a bunch of old silver quarters. And the pearl necklace I’ll never wear, that I have no attachment to, that no jewelry store will buy because apparently there’s a glut in the pearl necklace market. Our grandmother’s world is gone.

Included in the hodge podge was my wedding ring. That, I certainly have no more use for. It only cost $50 when we bought it 20 years ago. Thin and 14 carat gold, it served its purpose. The engagement ring, which had been my grandmother’s, I’ll keep. Not entirely sure where that is but I won’t sell it.

I made enough money to buy some Xmas gifts for the girls. I stopped by the consignment store and discovered I had a bit of money there too. On Sunday we hauled all the old metal barn roof pieces to the recycling place in the city and came away with a small amount of pocket change.

I’m not getting rich but I’m feeling lighter. There’s less stuff around, less junk, less of the past that I have no use for. It’s a good feeling. That anxiety over money and “how is this all going to work and what if calamity falls” feeling is dissipating. Next week, papers will be filed and then eventually signed and I will be a single person. I haven’t really been unattached since I was 16 except for a six-week period between boyfriends when I was recuperating from surgery. One of my boyfriends actually broke up with me after I got out of the hospital. I know that happens all the time – people are assholes like that – but it was a new experience to me and it pissed me off.

I suppose shallow people, faced with real life, bail out as soon as they can. Ironically, that same guy had said over and over during our relationship that we weren’t actually dating, weren’t actually a couple, decidedly NOT boyfriend and girlfriend. I’d driven my VW Bug into a snowdrift that served as a parking spot to meet him at the restaurant so he could give me back my stuff I’d kept in his bachelor room. So he could tell me we were done.

Oh, you’re done? Well, so am I. I’m done with a lot. With the vestiges of a life my mother felt was the only one worth living, a life filled with useless silver and china plates. Done with jewelry I’ll never wear and all the odds and ends that suddenly mean nothing.

I’ve glanced back and seen only detritus. Time to off load the baggage and move on.

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5 thoughts on “The Backward Glance

  1. So you used to date Newt Gingrich? Seriously, though, I pawned my wedding ring the same day my first husband walked out. It was liberating.

  2. You and me, both. Total parallel universes. In fact I am so done with all the vestiges tha when I move back to DC, I am not even taking my furniture. It will be personal items like clothes, kitchen gear, computer, TV, stereo, bird and cages, and that’s about it. Whatever fits in a cargo van and isn’t attached to memories of either ex-hub (not that I wish him ill, I wish him the best but I’m done with the furniture we bought in 2000 regardless) or ex-SO comes with me and the rest I will either sell or donate. I don’t even want Christmas ornaments I bought in NY. Leaving NY and my ex-SO in the dust.

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