my inner teenager decorates my office

Every time I have moved - many, many moves, more than I care to think about, over many decades - I have carefully removed from bulletin boards and walls dozens of buttons, cartoons, photos, quotes, and postcard images that seemed to define my life. I have saved almost all of these in shoe boxes, file folders, and manila envelopes, those then layered in plastic tubs that now live in our apartment storage. They don't take up a lot of space, and as old as they are, when I have occasion to look through them, I never feel that I can part with any.

When I think about it, it seems strange that I haven't outgrown this habit. It seems adolescent. But there it is, my inner adolescent. I print out a quote, or peel off a bumper sticker, and it goes on the wall or bulletin board or desk. I do much less of this than I used to; I used to cover huge spaces with this kind of stuff, and now it's only a few pieces here and there. But the habit remains.

Here are a few cartoons that I recently packed away. "Peanuts" from childhood, others from when I was freelancing, and one from grad school. Click to read more clearly.

And two that are still up.

Also on the walls: quotes from Orwell and Amelia Earhart, a postcard image of Rosa Parks being fingerprinted during arrest, a reproduction of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic of Easter 1916, a postcard of Picasso's Guernica, and pictures of Joni Mitchell, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, and Robbie Robertson.

On top of the desk hutch: David Ortiz bobblehead, small bust of Charles Dickens, Leela (from Futurama) action figure, 1996 Atlanta Paralympics mug, baseball from a Yankees-Orioles batting practice (tossed to me by Dion James), empty can of Kilkenny ale, several tiny Wishbones dressed for various roles, Lou Gehrig statuette, Charles Dickens finger puppet, and many photos of our dogs who live in my heart.


Amy said...

Hmm, weren't you the one who told me to throw out all the stuff in my office? :)

Great cartoons. I had several on my office door and bulletin board. I think I threw them out!

laura k said...

Hmm, weren't you the one who told me to throw out all the stuff in my office? :)

No. Not "all the stuff". As I recall, we were talking about work product from teaching law. I don't have drawers full of research for magazine articles, old drafts of books, theatre subscription drives, and all the other work I've done.

I would *never* suggest anyone throw out anything personal that has emotional or sentimental value to them, especially if it takes up very little space.

I also have shoeboxes of old letters and postcards. I'll never throw those out... and would never ask anyone else to.

johngoldfine said...

I have much junk everywhere, but if I may offer my own short list of what I have tacked on the wall next to my computer:

* the set-up code off the bottom of my modem, scribbled on a torn piece of frontpage of the Belfast Maine weekly 'Republican Journal'
* my favorite Barsotti cartoon ("Chapter One: Call Me Scooter....")
* postcard of the Manhattan tower of the Brooklyn Bridge--postmarked March 1997
* laminated card from the Maine Association of Retirees
* postcard reproduction of 'Fusilamiento de Torrijos'
* two photos of Patrick the Poodle

laura k said...

Nice. Plus Barsotti!

Anyone else? Office toys, images, memorabilia?

John F said...

Extra points for no Dilbert!

Seriously, I want to launch a Dilbert Inquisition in my office...

laura k said...

Down with Dilbert!

deang said...

I don't currently have much on my desk besides my computer and lamp, just a plastic toy glyptodont from the American Museum of Natural History, a red Folle 26 stapler, and a heavy old pencil sharpener from the 1950s that was in our garage when we were children.

laura k said...

a heavy old pencil sharpener from the 1950s that was in our garage when we were children.

I wonder what happened to ours.

Cool stapler.

deang said...

Thanks. I did not spend the amount shown in that link for it. It was bought long before they were worth so much.