it’s not just “stuff”

by Rasika Mathur

And now, the really difficult part of this purge begins.

My sister has ordered me to downsize every bit of this house as much as I can. What I hear is, “get rid of every last shred of your existence.”

So whenever I look at this side of my now otherwise emptied out closet, I choke.

What is making this difficult for me, someone who gets easily attached to pieces of nostalgia (see last two entries publishing my childhood journals and dusting off an old win) is that I have become a slave to my own tendency to anthropomorphize the stuffed animal.

Holding their rightful place on the throne bed

L-R, That’s Teresa and Vanessa Gertz, they’re sisters, because look at the button noses. Yet two totally different manufacturers! There’s Heart, she came from Circus Circus in Vegas (from the unforgettable trip mentioned in my diary). Billy Bob and his son Bobber velcroed into his arms. Daisy, a Puppet, who is a Princess, and her best friend, Prince Mouse Jean, Spot and Lil’ Ripples, whose dad is Ruffles. But Ruffles wished not to be photographed, as my dog just chewed his face off yesterday.

You see, they all have family relations. They all have a personality, history, love matches, favorite interests, college majors. One summer, we even made them a Yearbook!

You know those summers where you were so bored, you cracked the 9th dimension of your own creative abilities? And I wouldn’t even find weed for another 20 years!

I’m not gonna lie. This is so cute.

Everyone was treated fairly, switching off nights to sleep with me. My sister and I saw the good, bad, and the ugly times with these wonderful companions. When they would put on plays and concerts and have interactions, I was unleashing and practicing 70 or so different character voices, fostering another early talent. When she outgrew them, I continued to lean on them for moral support through some of my bigger endeavors. Bringing along a few to the several big city adventures I’d go on would always make me feel like I had a piece of home with me. To Austin for college. To Chicago for my first job. To LA for….LA.

Hey, Melissa, Tom and Daphne (not pictured) even went with me to Burning )|( Man!

In Dust we trust!

Tom and Melissa renewed their vows there. And then, tragically, 4 years later, Melissa perished in the Thomas Fire. She was stuffed into a drawer that I didn’t get to empty. Tom now grieves quietly, stoically, sitting in the passenger seat of my car, so that he can go with me everywhere.

Please. Comment below and tell me how I am supposed to let go of these treasures. Make a bonfire, B)|(M style to ritualize the letting go? Give them away to some of the beloved children in my life? Give the ones I didn’t bond with that much to the neighborhood dogs who need to chew a face off?

I am owned by them, “The Gang.” My heart hurts even as I write this.

I am a prisoner of my own creation.

For more cute, follow Rasika on IG | @jalapenopopper2012

For more mind galactic, follow Rasika on IG | @funnyogini

3 thoughts on “it’s not just “stuff”

  1. Thank you for sharing these cutie pies, these memories. It’s tough letting go of them. When I’ve had to clean out and move on, I’ve done a a ritual as I’m letting go of things. I love your idea of giving some of them to kids and to pets… Keep just a few as cherished souvenirs…

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