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To Replace or Not Replace, That Is the Question…

Mark Twain ApartmentsWell kids, a lot of you have been very patient with me in my discussions of what went down about a month ago at the Mark Twain Apartments.  I’ve been surprised by how many people I don’t know told me they read the post, and how many people tell me they understood what it was like.

Well, I’m just now getting almost to the beginning of getting ready for a new place.  I have been a little jerked around a few times in finding one, but I might get lucky this time.  If all goes as planned, I’ll be in a new place of my own by the beginning of September. But now, the problem emerges:  What do you replace?

I had lots of…stuff.  Books, DVDs, clothes and shoes,  pictures, a computer, a Wii and games, lots of pictures, a couple musical instruments, stereo equipment and the regular odds and ends.  But now, I have to ask myself:  Am I really going to try to replace…any of it?

I know there’s no way I can afford to try to replace a lot of the DVDs I had.  Many of them were “Region 2,” meaning they were only playable in European format (I had a region free dvd player).  Some were rare, some were imported.

I was an English Major in college.  A lot of the books I had were old copies from that era, complete with notes and scribblings in them.  I had been gifted a set of the complete Sandman comic series, and I had a couple of autographed books from people like David Sedaris and Lewis Black.

And the amount of time I spent trolling around websites like Modcloth to get certain clothes at a discount is just… insane.  The cute dresses and sweaters and shoes I had to match used to be something I was complimented on.  The music, I can’t even begin to think about the music.  I’ve always been such a nerd when it came to music.  I had gotten, lost, sold and rebought so many tapes, CDs and record albums that it’s just unfathomable.

So, now what?  Do I even try to replace some of the stuff that’s “not important?”  Is it really not that important?  I guess it feels unimportant next to the things you can’t replace.  I know I can’t replace things like my grandmother’s locket.  She had that back from before World War II, with a picture of her and her first husband, who died in the war.  I can’t replace my mother’s anniversary necklace.  I can’t replace the journals I wrote from the age of 11 to 18.  My friends have really come to bat for me, sending me replacement pictures of our good times, so I have that – but I can’t replace the dollar I won from my best friend that I framed.  You just can’t put that back.

So do I just try to forget? Should I concentrate about the stuff I can get replacements for? I have kind of started the process.  I’ve decided to get certain things – like a new Rock Band set.  Well, a new to me one.   I don’t think I’m going to get a new violin.  I don’t think I’m going to get a new footnoted copy of Allan Moore’s From Hell.   I don’t think I’m going to get a new set of The Kids in the Hall series.  I don’t think there are some things I even want to replace.  Will I just be looking at them, every time I see them, thinking, “The first one of those I had burned in front of me?”

Part of me doesn’t even want to try.  Maybe it should be a new start.  Just forget it all.  There’s no way I can afford to do it anyway.  I guess I should really be focusing on the positive again, and the fact that I have some things at all.  That’s the old guilt again, telling me that I’m just being an ingrate about “stuff.”

I don’t know if there was really a point to this post, I just wanted to…. I don’t know.  Get it off my mind? Maybe if I put it out there, people won’t forget about the others.  I’m sure the others from the apartments are still needing much more than I am.  Sure, churches and groups like the Red Cross and the United Way and the Salvation Army are helping, but if you can, keep your eyes and ears open for the others.

Several times, I have heard that many of the others haven’t accepted help from charities.  If you happen to encounter one of the others – if you can help them, if they need help, that is – I’d appreciate it.  Maybe I’d feel less guilty when I get my new place.  Either way, I’m sure my 14-year-old niece will be happy to have her room back.

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