Thinking today how exciting it is to find anything with real hand-writing on it when checking the mail. Usually there is none, except maybe when it's time for birthday or Christmas cards. Worse than none is the junk mail with fake handwriting to fool you into double-checking, then even more insulting because it tends to be an offer to buy an ugly house, which hurts my house's feelings. 

I used to be a big letter writer, as was my aunt and some of my friends, so over the years I accumulated a big heavy box packed solid with letters and postcards. I finally went through the box a couple years ago and got rid of all but a handful. It felt like a crime, all those thoughts and words going to the dumpster. But I reread them first, and they were words and thoughts meant to only be shared with me --my younger dumber self, not some person who is tasked with sorting and trashing my stuff after I'm gone. I thought about this while going through my mom's things last year, stopping to read some things and feeling intrusive.

The box also had lots of notes. Some as far back as junior high or taped on the doors of my first apartments or under the wipers of my car... How delightful it was to find a note shoved through the vents in my locker. I think the last one I ever got was just the hand-scrawled lyrics of  Journey's "Open Arms."  Too bad I always hated that song.

The rain is making things just cool enough finally to get a touch of the back-to-school horror/nostalgia in the air, paired with the fact that I looked at some prom and college pictures last night.  

I dyed my hair red, and I'm pretty sure I cut those donkey bangs myself.  My dad did not like to spring for "extras," so I found this inexpensive white dress that looked more like I was going to communion. My date wore sneakers and danced like a madman, both at the prom itself and later in a field where many of us hung out afterward and drank something horrific straight out of a bottle.

Prom was also my birthday, and work had assigned my mom to a late night stake-out type thing, so she was distressed to miss everything. My sister took these pics with my crappy camera for her. My mom and I did run into each other at about 2am when I staggered in and we sat on the cellar steps together for a few minutes. She made some jokes/comments that made it obvious she knew I was drunk, but she did not ever state the fact. I asked about her night, and she asked about mine.  Then she said, "Work will have to change. I can't miss anymore family things."  She did change to a desk job pretty soon after.

She also asked if I had wanted anything for my birthday, since there had been no time to acknowledge it at all. I said I had been wanting to make some homemade pudding, but that we were out of cornstarch. By the end of the next day there was a box of cornstarch on the kitchen table with a bow on top.


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