OK, so I have been busy, busy, busy. Another day, another closet. Two weeks ago it was vases, last week it was soup bowls, then it was place mats and linen napkins.
So forgive me, but I am busy being a dutiful daughter, helping my mother clear out the big house on the Reservation in preparation for the move to her deluxe apartment in the sky.
And then we got to place cards.
‘Oh look,’ says mom.’We have to keep these! Your grandmother used them every Christmas for years. I love these! Just look at all the sequins!’ She spread them out on the dining room table.
‘But mom,’ I say. ‘These people are all dead.’
With the help of my doctor, I am trying to cultivate patience and serenity as character traits in 2012.
‘Not all of them, dear. They could still be useful. I think we should keep them.’
‘Uh Huh. How about we throw a luncheon out at Mount Olivet Cemetery?’ OK, so I’m not very good at patient and serene, yet. But I’m working on it.
‘Oh Harriet,’ she sighs. ‘You are so ruthless.’ And she hands them over for me to put in the trash. Then she pulls out the next box of place cards.
‘Huh. I forgot all about these. My parents bought them in Paris in the 1920s. I suppose we should throw them out as well.’
I open the box. ‘Hmmm… actually mom, I think I might like to have these for myself.’
And that’s how, in the time it took to open up the top drawer of a 19th century English sideboard, I became the envy of my considerable circle of gay friends here in Nashville: