Happy First of June! It’s Garage/Yard/Rummage/Estate Sale season, and Steve is prowling the streets looking for used books and anything else that strikes his fancy. He came home today excited by a “find” he had made and eager to get my reaction. It wasn’t what he hoped for. He dug a little deeper, and I burst into tears. Poor guy! It must be tough living with a hormonal woman after all those years as a bachelor.
So, what exactly were my emotions? That’s always an interesting question to ask when the gates are down and everything is flowing, so to speak. I recognize that my typical posture is self-denial. I defer, I sacrifice, I put others before me. I was taught that was how “good Christian women” behave. So I’ve been living with Steve for a year and a half now, in his duplex, with all his stuff, his book business and collections and whatnot, without so much as a closet for my own things. He promised me a closet a year ago. “My” closet is stacked 6 rows deep in his books. Still. My photographs, in albums and framed pictures, are in his storage unit because there’s no room for them here. I miss having them available to look at when I’m feeling sentimental. That’s one angle. Here’s another. My late husband was a lot more materialistic than I am, too. He liked to spend his earnings on toys and gadgets and things that struck his fancy. The stuff he brought home was not second-hand, garage sale-priced stuff. It was usually the latest thing. I rarely saw the need for these purchases or agreed to the justifications, but I practiced swallowing my opinions because, hey, it was his money.
What do I really care about? It’s not about stuff, really. It’s about identity. Who am I when my environment is being shaped by someone else? I am the lady who loves baby pictures of her grown-up kids. I am the lady with a collection of elephant-shaped things. I am the lady with a few very sentimental pieces of jewelry. I have a million stories illustrated by artifacts which are now hidden away. I would like to tell my stories, display my pictures, showcase my collections and clear away the stuff that overpowers them. Or at least blend them with my partner’s. Equally. Fortunately, equality is really important to Steve, and he loved putting together “our museum case”, and he loves it when I stop deferring and actually tell him how I feel. So I told him.
Here are some photos I took last Friday of the Dodge Antique store in Algoma, owned by “Tom”.
There’s a sausage press just like this one in the Schottler Summer Kitchen at Old World Wisconsin, where I work.