Recently my freezer went on the fritz. I had a use it or lose it day and I made hamburgers and salmon patties and about ten pounds of fried chicken, three kinds of fancy frozen white potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean fries, cheese balls, and four pounds of little green butter beans. Oh, and a chicken bog, let’s not forget that. I used lemon pepper to season it, and it was delicious.
Tonight, I pulled from the storage ottoman beside my bed some stuff I had stuffed in there. I had one mascara, one eyeliner, and nine (Yes, NINE, I counted them, and I also have pictorial proof!) brand new eye shadow palettes. Some of them were about six months old, and some of them, I confess, had been in that ottoman for over a year. I’d bought those new shadows because I was tired of my old colors, which are now several years old, and no longer even vaguely fashionable. But for some reason, I felt like I had to use up all the old stuff first. All the old stuff. Every bit of every color in every palette I already had. People, it’s all frosted. It’s that old and that unfashionable. And no, I am not mistaking the word “frosted” for the word “glittery”. Today, frosted is foolish, but glittery is glam. My current mascara starts the morning on my lashes, but finishes the evening on my cheeks. So attractive. The new is waterproof! It was a shake my head moment. Tomorrow, I am wearing new. I’m going to own that stuff I bought.
Just so you know, I also keep my slinky nighties in that ottoman, but I won’t be wearing those any time soon. I share my room with my two youngest girls, and I have three young sons. Besides, I sleep alone. Well, I start out alone, but I usually have a girl child or two in the bed by morning. Negligees are not quite what I need to be wearing to bed these days, but I keep them close by because it makes me feel good to have them there. Miracles might still happen, after all. The kids *might* be visiting their dad the night Prince Charming leaps out of the picture in the storybook.
Now, like most women, I also have clothes in my closet with the tags still on. Nice things. Things I bought because I loved them, and they looked fabulous on me and I had to have them. And I hung them up and I looked at them every day, but I never wore them. And shoes. Oh my goodness, the shoes. I love shoes. I have three pairs of flip-flops, five pairs of sneakers, four pairs of clogs, four pairs of flats, eleven pairs of medium heels, thirteen pairs of how-do-you-even-walks and two pairs of house shoes. Unless I miscounted, and this is a distinct possibility. That’s a lot of shoes! But every day, I dress for school in jeans and sensible shoes for walking across campus really fast. But I have those shoes and clothes! They are “for special”, you see. I can’t risk getting them messed up. So, I leave the good stuff, even if it came from Goodwill, in the closet as if I, alone by myself doing the normal things that I do, am not special. They are mine, even if I don’t really own them. Well, from now on, it’s all going to come from Goodwill unless I have to have something very specific right now, and I am going to wear whatever I want, whenever I want (except the nighties, right?). I’m going to own my shoes and my clothes, and if I do spill on it or rip it or whatever, so what? It only cost five bucks or less, and someone will donate another one soon. It will be there when I need it or want it, just like all these other great pieces were.
But I started with the freezer, so let’s get on back to that. In the bottom of the freezer were two bags of boiled peanuts, one of which my grandmother had “put up” for me in 1987. Boiled peanuts do not last for twenty-five years in the freezer, not even if your Grandmother put them up. I heated them the next day, and we tried to eat them, and ended up throwing them away. Oh, I cried. If I had just eaten them when she gave them to me, I could have enjoyed them. I love boiled peanuts, and Grandmother knew that. She gave me a gift of her time and labor and I saved it until it spoiled. What a waste!
In the top of that freezer was a double chocolate cake that I had been saving for “special”, too. The kids and I ate it up tonight. In fact, I took a break from this writing so we could. It was good. They were happy. So was I. We owned that cake. Yes, it’s gone now, but we owned it, because how do you own what you never touch or wear or eat? That’s possession, and there is a difference.