80's Sitcoms Entry - 538 Words
|The Memory Chest
Emptying my mother’s house is harder than I anticipated. This intricate little box incites butterflies to float and dance in my stomach. The box, which is shaped like a pirate’s chest, is a deep plum purple and decorated with tiny green rhinestones and cut-out silver spoons. Mum was obsessed with spoons, I have already taken five complete sets to charity shops. I kept her favourite for myself. On top of the chest, Mum has written “Small Wonder”, her nickname given to me following my miraculous, if somewhat arduous, fifteen hour birth. It is a perfect title for the snippets of life I find inside. I lift the lid to a plethora of old photographs, newspaper cuttings and letters.
The photographs are bound together with a length of purple lace, so dark it reminds me of aubergines. I smile without trying when I see the first picture. It is taken at our old house, 227, Benson Road. Three girls, as yet untainted by the trauma of adulthood, smile awkwardly at the camera. On the reverse, Mum has written “Roseanne, Kate & Allie”, 1989. My smile falters when I look at the background scene. I see the looming figure of Mr Belvedere, our creepy next door neighbour. I could never understand how he made a living out of driving a taxi. He smelt of mildew and feet and was always watching us from his garden. One time, I ran straight into him when I was late for the school bus. I got to see his (not so) lazy eye study me carefully, it was too close for comfort. I was happy when we moved to our new house on Alf Tyler Street; our new neighbours, The Jeffersons, were much less intimidating and, as far as I know, they never once smelled of feet.
I dig deeper into the chest and find my mother has lovingly documented every stage of my growing pains, all my happy days. There is a newspaper cutting, which evokes the fondest feelings inside of me. The picture is of my two friends and me, this time we are smiling with all the confidence our new-found adulthood and sexuality has brought. The heading reads, “Three’s Company For This Homegrown All Girl Group” and underneath, the article continues, “The Golden Girls of Tucson land their first top ten hit.” Not just our first, but our only hit. I read the whole article, which gushes huge helpings of praise onto Saved By The Bell, a decidedly average song which, somehow, made it to Number 6 on the Billboard Chart. Mum almost burst from her pride in me, it was a magical time, a different world to the one I inhabit now. Today, I am married…with children. Three children, they are my world and I am a full time mother to them. My life is still full of cheers. My full house of loved ones is more rewarding than all the bright lights and fame in the world.
Even so, I think I’ll keep this treasure trove of memories. When they are old enough, I will show it to my children. Maybe I’ll create my own box and fill it with my new beautiful family ties.