Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

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The One

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?


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Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade

Crying is an Art

Do movies, songs, or other forms of artistic expression easily make you cry? Tell us about a recent tear-jerking experience!

I am a sucker for heart-wrenching angst. Maybe my life is so cut and dry without any drama that I seek it out through forms of artistic expression, because there are moments when I find myself craving a good dramatic movie, book, or song. As for the crying part of this question, that’s a little bit more difficult to answer.

How can I answer that without sounding completely robotic?

Well, I guess the short answer is that I can’t, because no matter how I phrase this following aspect it is going to sound emotionless; maybe in a way that is true though.

I can honestly say that I have never cried because of a movie or a song. I’m more emotional when it comes to the written word, but I still do not cry because of it.

At an early age I told myself not to cry. Like many people who grew up with the demands of “stop crying” and the notions that “crying is weak” I have learned to suppress my emotions. Now, many years later, it has become quite the problem.

I have friends who are on a mission to find the movie or book to make me lose it. Small displays of emotions make me feel unbalanced. While I have learned to comfort people who need a shoulder to cry on, I still cannot let myself be that vulnerable. It’s quite the wall I have built around me, and I fear that the more I hold off my emotions the higher this wall becomes.

I have aspirations of one day crying during a movie, but I’m hoping it will be in the solitude of my living room and not in some packed movie theater.

~J. Spade

The Find

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

It’s amazing how much a person can learn simply by looking at the material items a person possesses. There’s that saying revolving around ‘judging the contents of ones purse’ and it is so very true. A lot of people can be a bit obsessive when it comes to what’s theirs: do not look through their phone contents, their purse contents, or their wallet contents. It’s a matter of privacy in a world that is all too public.

Now saying that, I tend to be more on the border of “take a look at your own risk”. I don’t care if people look through my stuff, it will fall on them if they see something they don’t like.

If 500 years from now someone were to stumble upon the ruins of my home, I think they’d be in for a bit of a shock about how this 21st century girl lived her life. Crammed into a somewhat small living space I have the necessities: a bed, fridge, kettle, and clothes.

No big deal right?

Well, I think the most important thing she would learn about 21st century life is that we were extremely good at Tetris. At least I know I am. I have packed over twenty years of accumulating crap into one room that I still don’t even know how I managed it. My room’s some sort of whacked out version of Mary Poppins’ bag, I have so much junk. 

~J. Spade

Living Again

In a reversal of Big, the Tom Hanks classic from the 80s, your adult self is suddenly locked in the body of a 12-year-old kid. How do you survive your first day back in school?

At the age of twelve I would have been starting my school year in the 7th grade. Which is conveniently the start of a downward spiral for me. I can safely say that having my adult self locked into a twelve year old body would make the seventh grade go a whole lot differently.

First I would speak up, and often. I don’t care what I would speak up about – whether it be answers to questions or just opinions – I would make sure my voice was heard. Of course it would be to a certain extent. No seventh grader would spout off half the stuff I am known to prattle on about, so I would keep that in. For the most part I would just goof off and enjoy being a kid again. I would know that growing up is difficult and happens way too fast. How many times was I told that as a child and yet I laughed it off? No, I would know better at this rate. I would enjoy my year, even though being twelve has its own struggles.

I would take it one day at a time and try not to stress about the small stuff, like I have been prone to do my entire life.

~J. Spade

A World Without

Title: A World Without

Prompt: You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?


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New Dawn ♠

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).


At my previous job, I had to be up before sunrise everyday. The only rough part about it was that I was working split shifts, so not only would I have to roll out of bed at five in the morning, I usually never got to bed anywhere before midnight. It was taxing, and with school on top of that very stressful.

Now I sleep in a bit. I wake up around 7am every morning, if I get to bed at a reasonable hour (I’ve started counting 2am as a reasonable hour).

There is about one day every week that I will stay up until sunrise though. Not on purpose. I’m usually so engrossed in what I am doing (i.e. reading, writing, homework, or internet browsing) that I don’t really think about going to bed until the feeling of being up to long hits me in the face.

That’s just usually how it goes for me.

Overall, I don’t mind being awake before sunrise. I’m not a morning person by any means. I wouldn’t recommend starting a conversation with me until sometime after noon, but I don’t mind being awake to get things done early. It just depends on how late I get to bed usually.

~ JSpade♠

That Fateful Day

Title: That Fateful Day

Prompt: Take the first sentence out of a random page in a novel and use it to create a story.

Sentence: “His laughter followed me out into the night, like velvet rubbing along my spine.” – Club Vampyre, Laurell K Hamilton.


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