Look Inside My Memory Box
The things we keep say a lot about the people we are. It involves taking conscious decisions to discard certain objects and keep others. And ultimately, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
This week, we decided to give you a look into our memory boxes and explore the reasons why we keep what we keep, and any memories associated with them.
*DISCLAIMER: Although it may seem like it, the following people would like it to be known that they are not hoarders. Rather, they would like to be referred to as ‘keepers of precious mementos’.
I will start by saying I am not a hoarder*. I also feel obliged to tell you I suffer from a chronic case of denial. Now that we’ve scrutinised my vices, I find it only fitting to dive into my most personal memoirs – my memory box.
My memory box is a Laurenti wooden wine box because I strongly believe every good memory is built over a good glass of wine.
Upon opening my memory box – an assemblage of cards and letters dating back to 2009 pop out of the box. Birthday, Christmas, Valentine notes – all written to me by people who at some point or another meant the world to me. Each containing their own narrative and special wishings. Reading through them now and again takes me back to the day of receipt.
Alongside my letters, lay little trinkets of my childhood – my most cherished pacifier as a newborn, embarrassing yearbook photos, polaroids and most importantly – my collection of Pokemon cards. I was a skilled dealer at the time, I assure you…
But my most esteemed collection is the set of bus and concert tickets in my box. I still preserve the bus ticket I bought 4 years ago on the way to my first date with my boyfriend. To this day, I remember the butterflies flooding my stomach as I made my way to the date – the ticket still bares the creases from my jittering.
I’m a strong believer of enjoying the moment rather than struggling to capture it but I must admit all these little knick-knacks ignite in me a fire of reminiscence. I consider them to be my own personal form of legacy regardless of their minute scale.
I can safely say that I have spent more time trying to find objects for my memory box than I did writing this piece. That being said, after spending more time trying to find the necessary trinkets, than Nicolas Cage did trying to find the national treasure, here is a breakdown of all my possessions in the most heartbreaking way possible.
Object 1: Subbuteo Set.
For all those who loved football growing up, you might perhaps remember the Subbuteo set as the late 90’s version of a more family-friendly alternative to the FIFA series, except with considerably less swearing.
For all the uninitiated Subbuteo consisted of; players flicking their playing figures towards the ball, players controlling the keeper so as not to concede goals, and players wasting thirty minutes trying to find one of their missing player figures because they were too overzealous with their flick.
P.S. I used to love Subbuteo so much as a child, that I had to buy a second Subbuteo mat because the first one looked like it was tortured on Game of Thrones.
Object 2: Wrestling Sticker Album
I have quite fond memories of this sticker album mainly because it marked the first time I managed to collect all stickers for a sticker album, wrestling or otherwise.
Even though I still like wrestling today I tend not to say it out loud, mainly because when I do, people look at me as if I had just admitted to supporting ISIS. I find it weird that in this day and age, it’s more embarrassing telling people you like wrestling than it is walking around a shopping mall with a ‘Victoria’s Secret’ bag.
With that being said, it was incredibly fun being on the playing ground trying to peruse through your friends’ stickers and trying to see if they have a sticker that you don’t, and for that, the album goes in my memory box.
Object 3: Playstation 1 Controller
I have to admit that I have a slight inclination that if I were to switch on a PlayStation 1 system, my PS1 controller wouldn’t work. But I still have to put the controller in my memory box, and not the actual console, because the latter is far too big for a box.
The glorious PS1 days, back when character models looked so bad that not even Bill Cosby wouldn’t offer to buy them a drink. However, not taking graphics into consideration, it’s undeniable the amount of fun most people had playing with the PS1. So for that, and for forcing droves of people to become addicted to video games, the PS1 gets a spot in my box.
This is not the age of memories that hold their strength.
I’m an erasmus student from France and my memory box is composed of my memories of my erasmus experience in Malta. Months worth of objects, photos, tickets, which reminds me my life in another country.
It starts with these few photos. As a second hand trade enthusiast, I really wanted to try this in Malta. When I entered the garage of this old lady, I felt that I couldn’t get any closer to the Maltese culture. Seeing all her old objects, was like seeing her whole life. Holding a camera around my neck, she guessed that I was a photographer and handed me a box. I opened it and it was full of old analogues photographs. I started to look through all of them, they were full of emotions, and history. That’s how I found this series of photos of Paris. Photos of France taken by a Maltese. I liked the idea and the symbolism of the situation. I bought it deciding that it would be a nice emotional link to this island.
In this memory box, we can also find this flag. On this Maltese cross flag, all my friends wrote few words for my birthday. This has great sentimental value but it is also the object which is most representative of Malta for me : words written in a lot of different languages, even in different alphabets… it couldn’t possibly be a better representation of the diversity and the richness of cultural in this country.
As a photography lover, I couldn’t not put my polaroid photos in this box. I took polaroids of my best first moments in Malta. Polaroids photos have this power of being instantaneous. They are so much more powerful than a simple photo lost in the millions of photos we have on our cellphones that we only decide to print months after. These photos reminds me the exact moment when we took them, with all the defaults which made them even more beautiful.
My memory box is linked to a passion of mine that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember: theatre.
I saw my first professional show when I was eight. My grandparents took me on a trip to London, and it was my first time going abroad without my parents. On that trip, we watched Mary Poppins and the Lion King. From then on, I started collecting the programmes of any performance that I went to watch. And thus, the collection started.
There are two reasons as to why I buy these programmes. Firstly, I enjoy reading extra information about the performance, the creative process, and the individuals that were responsible for making the show happen. Secondly, they serve all little souvenirs of the performances that I have seen along the years.
From West End to Broadway. From plays to musicals. From concerts to festivals. From Maltese to Foreign. From Pantos to School Productions. They are all a reminder of the love that I have and have had for the performing arts, in whatever shape or form it manifests itself.
My memory box was born out of a need to declutter my room. I stuffed all the papers which I had no use for into an old shoebox and stored it at the back corner of my wardrobe. Little did I know that years later, I would be sifting through the notes and cards, reminiscing about times which have meant so much to me.
I can identify two types of memories which I have deemed of enough significance for me to store in this old shoebox ; memories related to music and travel (or both, together, which are the best kind for me).
The first paper in my memory box is the sheet music of the song “Smile” which my grandfather first taught me to play on piano. I kept it because it’s his favourite song, and he’s my favourite person. I found a concert ticket for the Libertines, which was the first concert I ever went to in the summer of 2014. I also have a Florence + the Machine setlist which I caught at a gig in Budapest!
I collect postcards from every country which I have travelled to, starting with a school trip to France in 2011 up until a holiday in Budapest last December, 2017. During these seven years, I kept postcards from cities all over Europe; Rome, Aosta Valley, Paris, Mont Saint Michel, Berlin, Budapest, Edinburgh, Lecce and Amsterdam. Along with my postcards, I also saved some train tickets from travelling around these cities and a couple of city guides.
I found a poem which I got during my three month Erasmus period in London, where I studied Literature at Goldsmiths University. The poem is called ‘Ode to London’ and I picked it up from a poet in Southbank, if I remember well. I also kept tickets from some of the gigs that I went to because in my opinion, this was one of the best things about living in London. And finally, I have a list of book recommendations from a friend of mine living in New York, which I have just started to delve in to.
We’ve told you about our memory boxes. Now we would like to hear from you. What’s the most interesting thing in your memory box?