Saturday, December 03, 2005

the shredder blues

We finally bought a shredder so I could get rid of the bills from 1992-1997. Good idea, right? So last night, after dinner, I sat down with a bunch of them and shredded away. Do you realize they used to put your entire credit card number on receipts, back then? I was doing fine till I got to the fat folder with the kids' tuition bills, college loan papers, and my repayment bills -- all with not only my social security number on them, but theirs. Strangely enough, the more I shredded, the sadder I felt. Weird, huh? I finally had to stop because I was feeling so depressed -- for unfathomable reasons. My husband said it was because it reminded me how poor and over-stretched I was in those days. I think it's just because I am a sentimental slob. Aren't they pretty? confetti!! Then, the moment I took this picture, I realized what I needed to do! So I took a handful or the stuff and got out the Wonder Under and played around. Here is a picture of the trimmed result (I thought the post office would trash it if I sent it through looking delightfully shaggy) The letters "LAKES H" are, coindidentally, from the bill from Great Lakes Higher Education, which lent me money so I could send Jessica to Univeristy of Michigan for 4 years. Worth every penny, just to give me a reason to visit Ann Arbor, which I love. So I have this whole bucket full of paper shards and can either dump the rest or do a few more in the college loan series. While I was at it, I made this postcard, complete with fake stamp. I was immensely more cheerful by the time I went to bed last night.

9 comments:

Lisa Call said...

I had a loan from Great Lakes Higher Education Corp - it paid for graduate school.

And a stereo. Which I still have.

Thank you Great Lakes!

lizzieb said...

you get the blues because you just can't stand to see the waste of all that paper...and by golly, you did something with it! I've got a lot more shredded paper if you want...
Liz

Rayna said...

Right, Lizzie --we can trade. I have enough paper for several lifetimes.

Lisa - I'm with you about Great Lakes. They were good to have when we needed 'em.

Frances said...

Rayna, if you have an old liquidiser that you are not going to use for food any more the shredded paper makes make great handmade paper and it looks even better if you sprinkle some fabric scraps on the surface and and no I'll stop but you can play lots,

love the postcard

Cathy Kleeman said...

Rayna - leave it to you to make art out of trash. I have a few old papers from way back when - salary contract from 1970 ($400 per month) and the receipt from my wedding reception - the dinner was $3.75 per person. Some things just shouldn't be thrown away.

Debra said...

Gee, I compost my shredder paper, but your solution is so much better. Art.

Still, if you have more than you ever want to use as art, it makes great mulch in your yard (assuming you don't live in an apartment or condo).

Rayna said...

Well, Cathy, you know me. Junk.
I wouldn't throw away my wedding stuff, either. I have it somewhere - my parents' bills for 1963. And my first teaching job - $4800 a year in 1963 - and that was GOOD!

Frances - I've never made paper, but my blender is broken so I'll have to find another way to try it. Thanks for the idea!

Pat's Place said...

What is it about "letting go" - even when we WANT to let the stuff go - that seems to bring on saddness or grief? It's easy to understand hanging on to the wedding receipts and special memorabilia... harder to grasp the significance behind the shredding of old bills/receipts. But all those pieces of paper record something of what we did or who we were at a given time/space... and they are now history. We are who we are, not because of what was, yet what was has influenced who we have become - no matter how small or simple a thing was or seemed to be.

Maybe the holidays invite reflective moodiness. I came back from one of the best ever Thanksgivings with our family hosted by our eldest in Vermont, and I've been weepy all week --- for unfathomable reasons. I didn't try to make art out of it, I simply allowed it to run its course. Then I made art!

Gerrie said...

I knew exactly where this was going when I started your post. Vintage Rayna. Find art in anything!!

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