Saturday, May 30, 2015
A Story About A Very Stupid (But Funny, Apparently) Bunch of Scrap Papers
Since my husband knew that his partners would find something about their company and clients funny he showed it to them, and he said there was more laughing and building on the whole thing.
Between my husband and me that little "book" (a bunch of lined paper stapled together and ripped on a corner or two) just kept being something we'd mention, or dig out, every so often; and crack up all over again.
Eventually the whole joke got old, and life went on. We adopted a child and had a child and moved, and when - years later- we were moving we found the "book" again and started cracking up all over again. (I can't say it enough: This thing was SO STUPID!)
I think it surface one more child and another move later, and then it was never found again.
Life went on, all kinds of difficult things went on (more difficult things than the marriage could withstand. There was illness, tragedies, all kinds of difficult challenges that most people (even those who have plenty of difficulties) don't have so many of for so long.
So, houses were bought and sold. Moves were made. Different bunches of stuff were put in different storage places. More moves were made, more time went on; and it was only within the last five or so months that my daughter was at one of the storage places, finally being re-united with some belongings that were from her childhood. My sons were there too, but it was my daughter who I was talking to a few days after they'd all been there, and who said she'd found this odd "thing" that she didn't know what it was. (She's in her late twenties now.) She said, "I think it looks kind of like your handwriting in some of it, but I'm not sure. It's really funny, though, but I don't know what is." (I had whipped up this thing so carelessly and fast my writing didn't always look like mine.") Anyway, as she described some of the "key words" in it I started to ask her a little more, and then I knew, for certain, she had found the "book".
She said, "Anyway, I have it. I'll bring it the next time I come." I just figured if she did I'd look at it again before deciding to toss it in the trash. This thing hadn't just survived time and travel and moves. It had survived "weather situations" and a few other things that some of her, her brothers', my, and/or their father's "real" belongings had. There was irony in the fact that of all we've all lost, and all the tragedy and sadness, this stupid little bunch of stapled-together sheets of paper had survived.
In any case, she brought it and some other things she'd gotten on her next visit. Her father happened to be here too, so when my daughter brought out the yellowed, lined-paper, "book" we all started looking at it; and although my daughter was laughing, her father and I were once again doubled over with the kind of laughter that makes a person worry she's going to pass out. As it all died down we started again - and again. I don't know how many times we'd start laughing all over again, which made my daughter laugh more as well.
Again, this " book" was SO STUPID, it's not as if I could make a story about what an amazingly skilled "comic-book" creator I am. You'd think I might feel sad to look at all those stupid cartoons I put together back when my husband I were just starting out. It didn't. It was mostly very strange to me to have my daughter find the thing, decide it might be worth saving, and then be there in the room laughing with us.
My daughter knew that it wasn't hers to keep, so she left it on the table. Her father didn't say he wanted it, so I placed in it a plastic bag and just put it away somewhere. Why I kept it, I don't know. Was it that we'd laughed so hard and so long and so often about this stupid thing so long ago? I don't think so. I think it was more because - with all we've been through, individually and as an "ex-couple" but also family; somehow that stupid and worn and yellowed "book" had survived, but so, too, had our ability to laugh at the very same thing that we laughed at back before so much had gone on.
I guess this story is about how sometimes amidst the ruins of one kind or another something that one would never expect could have survived just does. You know?
Posted by ME Whelan at 10:18 PM