Day 14: Paper Chase

Work was good today - my computer turned on AND the software worked, which is rare enough that it bears a mention. But my headache is still lurking, and right now I kind of feel like this:

And I have to take my mom for blood work in the morning. And it's fasting, so she'll be hangry. *whimper*. To distract myself, I'm sorting through the mountain of papers that came out of the coffee table that used to live in our family room, until we moved it to the far end of the living room so our kids wouldn't bonk their heads on it, and that became its permanent home. Every once in a while in the intervening eighteen or so years I've opened the lid or one of the drawers to see if I could shove something in there, shuddered and backed away quietly. 

So the avalanche of newspapers, magazine pages and photographs on my kitchen table is proving to be a time capsule from my kids' early years. The heartbreaking optimism of the educational toy lists, Easter crafts and recipes. I'm employing a very methodical sorting system which consists of picking through six to eight items and plucking out things I still might want to read or cook (I MIGHT still make the flank steak with blueberry and gouda sauce, you don't know me!), and then grabbing the next thirty pages and flinging them into the recycling box. A while back I went through a bunch of clipped recipes and found the corresponding online counterparts to put in digital folders to make throwing them away easier. Then I carried on cooking the same four to six things I always do. It's good to have aspirations, right?

Sent this to our family chat:

There was a weird magazine book column that called A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews a beach read. 

There were lists of coolest record albums ever. Most of them I still haven't heard of.

There was a recipe for oysters on the half shell. Not sure what the heck was going through my head there - there's aspirational and then there's delusional. 

I don't know about you, but I always had visions of baking or doing crafts with my kids looking like this:

On very rare occasions, it actually did. More often it consisted of them painting topless or up on a chair buck naked smearing a bit of icing on a cupcake just so I could say they helped. 

Oh, here's a recipe so old it's called "Foil Pack Oriental Chicken Dinner" (the 'oriental' sauce is Kraft Chicken and Rib Bar-BQ sauce and peanut butter, naturally). Into the bin with the Flesh lipstick it goes.

 Obituaries for Charles Schulz and Katharine Hepburn. A letter from October 99, written on the back of a Direct Dial Information Center for the United States Postal Service... addressed to a couple named Beth and Sean, or possibly Glenn?

Guys.... is this my coffee table?


Nicole said…
Lol on teaching your child math! I have a folder full of magazine recipes and...I don't think I've made ANY of them! Good luck with your mom this morning.
StephLove said…
Beth continues to plow through papers and yesterday she left a pile of them on my pillow. It included yellowed, decades-old piece of composition paper with a written promise not to divulge any of the rules of a secret 5th grade club. It has my signature and those of my three best friends. I have no idea what to do with it
Ernie said…
I love your wondering whether or not this is your coffee table. I shudder when I look at the overflowing shelves in my study. Pretty sure I still have lists saved of all the books the kids should read when they were young. I also have spent so much time looking through and collecting recipes that I never end up using. Aspirations indeed.

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