Sentimentality in the Mundane

I’m an extremely sentimental person. I tend to tie my memories of people to mundane objects. Certain things bring back so many memories of the people I’ve known and loved. This time of year is particularly nostalgic for me. Everywhere I look I find something that brings a loved one to mind. My husband thinks it’s silly, but loves me enough to try to understand my ways. That’s how I roll, and I make no apologies.

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Ice cream cones make me think of Grandma P. She never turned down the opportunity to have ice cream and loved it best in a cone. One of my earliest memories is of her teaching me the proper way to eat the ice cream so it didn’t melt and run down the cone. She loved ice cream, but hated sticky hands.

Bells make me think of Mom. She crocheted bells for Christmas tree ornaments one winter and put jingle bells in the center so they would actually ring. She made them in several different colors, and we used a whole passel of them on our family Christmas tree for many years. Of course, I had to ring each one that I hung on our tree to be sure it worked. I have a red one that she gave me for my first Christmas tree, and still proudly display it every year. Yes, I still ring it before I hang it on the tree.

Every time I see lemon drops I’m reminded of Grandpa W. who kept a bag in the glove box of his truck when I was a small child. He told me they were only for good little girls, but he always let me have one whether I’d behaved well or not. Of course, he was my grandpa, so he probably believed I was an angel all the time.

I think of my cousin every time I see wrapping paper. She was in charge of wrapping presents one year, but forgot to do it. We were at our Christmas dinner when my aunt asked her where all the presents were. She recruited me as her assistant and we ran back to her house, which was within walking/running distance, and wrapped the presents in record time. It’s a memory I cherish because as we grew older, we grew apart. Sadly, we don’t even really know each other anymore.

My great-aunt gave me several dish towels when I moved into my first apartment many years ago. While I used most of them regularly, I kept a couple as “special occassion towels” and only use them during the holidays. Many people have questioned my attachment to a couple of dish towels, but they are much more than that to me. When I see their cheerful colors, I see my great-aunt’s face when she gave them to me. She didn’t want me wasting money on mundane things to outfit my first place because she was sure I would be paying “a king’s ransom” for utilities. Honestly, she wasn’t wrong.

I once had a boyfriend who told me that sentimentality was a waste of time and emotion. He explained that he wouldn’t have a single thing that I had given him once it outlived its usefulness because nothing was that important. He never kept birthday cards, souvenir pencils, or anything for the sake of preserving memories. Needless to say, that boyfriend didn’t become my husband.

I’m sentimental. I cry over sappy TV shows, and I get very attached to things and memories that go with them. I think that’s an integral part of who I am as a person. I wouldn’t change if I could.

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