27 May 2011

Thirty by thirty: family, #5-7

The introspection continues! So far we’ve got:

1. Start a blog
2. Sell our house
3. Organize important family paperwork
4. Stop taking birth control pills

And now for the rest of the “family” category:

#5: Send birthday cards to all immediate family members

I am an only child. My family is pretty small, especially if you are counting only blood relatives. My mom and stepdad are good at sending cards, but somehow I didn’t inherit the skill, and for most of my life I didn’t have immediate family to send a card to anyway. Except my mom. And she loves me anyway so I got away with a lot of shortcomings.

I married into a giant Catholic family. And they are a card-sending people. At any given time our mantel is decorated with a card from someone in Mr. P’s family. His sister is the winner, as she even sends cards for Valentine’s and Easter.

I’ve always wanted to be a card-sending person, especially when my immediate family grew to include a stepsister and her family. I even bought a slew of cards at the beginning of the year and tried to send them out in a timely manner, but I was usually late on the first few and then gave up. Now, I have even more family full of responsible card-sending people and I want to be one of them too! I realize that deciding to take on this task after acquiring even more family is ridiculous since I failed when my family had, like, one other person. But I want to try. My stepsister’s and nephew’s birthdays are in September, so hopefully I get my act together by then!

#6: Buy a new couch

This is a family item, you say? Well. You do not understand the issue this is for my family.

I’ve waffled on this item a few times because what I really think needs to be done is sell our current couch. I purchased it not long before I purchased my house, so it’s not that old. I loved how it was bold and red and had a giant comfy matching chair and even had a hideaway sleeper sofa, although the sleeping part turned out to be theoretical when I tried to open it out and the mattress remained stuck upwards at a 45 degree angle.

Nowadays I am less enamored with the red, but I still like it. And the matching chair is still an excellent place to curl up:

Excellent, right? Even in this old photo. In short, it’s fine with me.

But Mr. P hates the couch. HATES it. Somehow in the months since we got married, he has managed to wallow and squish and mis-shape all the pillows and make them super uncomfortable, especially for himself but also for me because now my sofa is all lumpy. It wasn’t the most comfortable couch to begin with, and now quite frankly I am tired of the constant pillow-fluffing. And the subtle complaints. And sitting across the room in my unsquished chair. When we move, I don’t think it will make the move with us. We spend most of the waking hours on the living room couch together, so we should really invest in one we both like.

#7: Design photo storage for old family photos

This is yet another disaster in the office closet. Guess where all my family's photos are?

I mentioned that I’m an only child. But I am also an only grandchild (discounting my step-cousins, who are most certainly my family but have an entirely different family tree). My mother had just one brother, and he didn’t have any kids of his own. Consequently all the old family photos have funneled down to me. You might think that because there wasn’t a large family to photograph, there wouldn’t be as many pictures. YOU WOULD BE INCORRECT. For instance, each of those white photo albums is basically Sarah’s First Five Years of Life, Volumes I-IX. And I’m as guilty as the rest of them, because that box at the bottom contains Every Random High School Event Sarah Attended, Plus Some Important Ones Jumbled In. Digital cameras came about a few years too late for me. Ooh, new reason to resent those kids with cameras in their phones!

You guys, I am still not sure what to do with all of this. I have a scanner, so I might start scanning them, but honestly I love the feel of old photos as much as the composition within so throwing them away kind of breaks my heart. Plus, my mom’s mother actually glued a lot of the photos into the albums, and removing those fifty-year-old photos would be troublesome. And then there’s the fact that even though it's been ten years since my dad passed away, I’m still a little clingy to any photo with him in it. My current solution is basically to haul all these photo albums around with me until I can burden my own children with them. I don’t really have a good alternate solution, but I'm going to try to figure one out.

Next are my "service" goals. And I realize you, the imaginary audience, are stunned by how much I'm dragging this list out. I promise I'll be writing about some things other than the list and myself and blah blah Sarah blah - although, uh, that actually drags out the list more. Um... sorry about that.