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slightly feeble question but can you help please?

(16 Posts)
mckenzie Sun 06-Jul-03 20:20:45

Here's the situation.

Big building job going on at our house, roof coming off, walls being knocked down etc so having to empty loft, clear out cupboards and all that.
I'm just going through my personal boxes and sorting through photos and letters that I've amassed over the years. I worked at summer camp in the US back in the '80s and worked in Australia for a year also in the 80s and I have lots of letters relating to those times that as I'm reading I'm doing the old "wow, I remember that" and "now who on earth is that guy?" and "that was such a brilliant day" etc.

My question is, do I keep these letters etc only to probably read them next time the loft is emptied in perhaps 2018 or do I bin them?

See, I told you it was a feeble question. Why I can't decide the answer for myself I have no idea. Wimp!!

lilymum Sun 06-Jul-03 20:24:04

Definitely keep. If only because one day, when someone is writing your official biography, they'll need them!

TerriB Sun 06-Jul-03 20:25:12

I know I'm an old sentimental, but I'd keep 'em. It'll be great to tell your 'grandchildren' all about your wild exploits as a young woman!!

XAusted Sun 06-Jul-03 20:25:13

Keep them. If you chuck them out you might regret it one day. If taking up too much space, perhaps just whittle the collection down a bit.

sobernow Sun 06-Jul-03 20:29:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mckenzie Sun 06-Jul-03 20:35:31

thanks everybody. That's decided then. trouble is now, I think i'm going to be up until 5am reading through them all. Just read one from my late nan and now I need some tissues.

kmg1 Sun 06-Jul-03 22:27:10

I'd definitely chuck them out ... My gran recently died, and left a parcel of my letters for me - I read through them and actually regretted it, it was very upsetting.

Subsequently I spoke to some old friends, and several mentioned they still had letters from me dating back 15+ years - I was completely horrified. I don't have anything like this, and would not like letters to be re-read now even by the original recipient.

It put me off ever writing letters ever again.

Ghosty Mon 07-Jul-03 01:03:30

It's a shame that you feel that way kmg ... I think looking back at how you were in the past and how you have changed is really interesting (by you I mean 'one'
When I was going through all my stuff that was in my parent's loft when we were emigrating my best friend and I had a real laugh (and a bit of a cry) over the letters she sent me when we were 13 and 14. She gave me some of my old letters to her on my Hen night and we had the same laugh and cry!! I love looking back at stuff. I still have all the letters that my ex boyfriend sent me 15 years ago. DH knows that I keep them and knows I will never throw them away ... they are part of me and my past and without my past I wouldn't be me IYKWIM!!

monkey Mon 07-Jul-03 08:49:47

if they were mine, I'd chuck them, but then I'm not very happy about my past, and the last few years have been the happiest of my life. I also recently found old letters & photos etc. Like kmg1 I looked through & regretted it. Now chucked & happy I'll never see them again. So i see where kmg1 is coming from. however, mckenzie, if they're a source of happiness for you & they are of happy & exciting times, just conjuring up wonderful memories, then lucky for you & keep them.

Harrysmum Mon 07-Jul-03 11:03:33

I threw out a whole drawer of teenage letters when I went to university and regretted it the moment the bin men emptied the bin. Still regret it and now hoard letters like mad. It does make a for an interesting afternoon once every ten years.

sed Mon 07-Jul-03 12:08:27

Keep them, keep them !! I have mine in just one box (though quite a big one) which I call my Memory Box. In it I have old letters, programmes from shows I loved, school certificates, a list of who came to my 18th birthday party, all those kind of things. Having just one box means that no-one comes across them by chance, so they remain quite personal, and I limit myself in terms of what I do and don't keep. The children know its there, and one day when they are older I'll be happy for them to look through.

sis Mon 07-Jul-03 13:23:02

mckenzie, if space is a bit of a problem, you could scan them and keep them on a disc.

jasper Mon 07-Jul-03 13:56:24

McKenzie I had a similar dilema a few years back with some very personal letters from my past. I reread lots of them and did get quite upset. In the end I invited a few good friends over for a "significant burning" party. We had a bonfire, lots of food and booze and everyone had to bring an item that had some significance but which they now wished to be rid of. It was the most wonderful therapeutic laugh ever. We had shoes belonging to ex boyfriends and nests of tables from ex mother in laws and all sorts.

ThomCat Mon 07-Jul-03 14:20:11

I could never throw stuff like that away, and I think my daughter and any future children & grand-chilrden etc would love to see / read all that sort of stuff. Glad you've decided to keep them.

ThomCat Mon 07-Jul-03 14:20:19

I could never throw stuff like that away, and I think my daughter and any future children & grand-chilrden etc would love to see / read all that sort of stuff. Glad you've decided to keep them.

mckenzie Mon 07-Jul-03 20:44:04

I think the common thread seems to be that if they are happy memories, then keep them but if they are sad ones, then bin them.
I loved hearing your story Jasper about the bonfire and think that's what I would have done if there were old letters/photos that caused me to get upset.
I'm pleased that I've decided to keep them and I think like sed, I shall put them all in just one box that will be very clearly marked and in years to come I can show my child/ren and laugh with them at just how awful I looked with a shaggy perm!

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