Apology 11: Unfinished Paintings

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Away Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Unfinished Acrylic Painting on Canvas
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear Unfinished Canvas:

I am truly sorry that I never got around to finishing you. What a life for a painting to be rolled up inside a cardboard tube in a metal drawer year after year, never to take your rightful place on a gallery wall, or even have your brilliant colours revealed in the light of day.

It must be particularly galling to know that you were painted as one of a set of four, and you were the only one left unfinished. It must have rankled when I opened your tube, and you saw the others all finished, and two of them hanging above the couch.

I am sure you wonder why you are not complete. You deserve an explanation. For a semester at Art College I was engrossed in junk food. I worked with chips, cheezies and candies. A single chocolate-covered maraschino cherry was the subject matter for many small drawings and sculptures. When the class was over you were in a pretty sketchy state. Some time later I put you back on the easel along with the others, one by one. The first one showing chocolates in a box seemed complete in loose brush strokes, although I never framed or hung it. Like you, it is a golden-section rectangle. You had too much paint on you already to pass as something dashed off quickly. The two abstracted chocolates on a square canvas seemed to demand the careful reworking which I subsequently did. They graced the walls of my mother’s house for years, and now they hang on mine.

I did intend to work on you again and would like to say that I will, but since that time I have rarely painted except for installations. I do promise to make a video that will need you as a backdrop. It will never make up for ending up with me instead of a serious painter, but it is the best I can do at the moment.

Sincerely,

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P.S. I cannot count the chocolates I had to eat to find the perfect one to paint.

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Apology 12: Earring

Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Unattached emerald earring,

Please accept my apologies for losing your mate. Everybody talks about the single sock, but you don’t hear as much as the deserted earring. Maybe it’s because ears can have multiple piercings and a matching partner isn’t such an issue. It could also be attributed to the fact that your disappearances aren’t quite as mysterious as laundry mishaps. You are really small, and easily get caught in hair and hats.

I can’t remember the specific circumstances of your companion’s loss. Even if I could relate the whole series of events, it probably would not be seemly or even legal. I do remember a Halloween Party with food, music, and wine, etc. I was dressed in my black 1938 velvet gown as a pre-Technicolor Hollywood starlet. When I woke up in the morning I had you in one ear, but my other ear was without adornment. I searched the apartment for you, to no avail. The party hosts looked and never found it either. The velvet gown bit the dust a few years later when I stepped on the hem getting out of a rented limo at another dress-up party. I still have you – a tiny emerald in a silver setting, a gift from my sister bought during one of her trips.

I have other single earrings and bits of jewelry that I am planning to string together into a necklace. It may not make up for the loss of a soul mate, but at least you’ll be in circulation again.

Forever Yours,

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PS 2017 It occurred to me that you have the only gemstone – even if it’s a barely visible emerald chip – among the single earrings and broken paste. I hope you’re not acting snobby about it.

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Apology 10: Dolls

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Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Scotchie Bailey Smith, representative of the Dolls and Teddy Bears,

I do apologize for your current sorry state and for not knowing the real spelling of your name. We never got you a birth certificate, and sometimes people spelled it with a “y”. I remember you changed it to Scotchi for the duration of your teenage years, and how it irritated you when people called you Scotty, even when Granddad used say he was a Scot and Scotch was what he drank. He grew up near the Glen Garioch Distillery. You can buy a bottle of their single malt at the liquor store for $69. I digress…you were my first doll and my mother convinced me to keep you.

I feel a tad rueful that your face is wearing off. I applied some make-up filched from a friend’s sister but it rubbed off ages ago. Your little white socks and black highland dancing slippers that were painted are also gone. The paint was probably lead-based, and sucked off by me or some other toddler. I don’t know where you got that pathetic little skirt you are wearing now. It was probably made by somebody who thought a bare-naked doll was immodest, even though there is no evidence of anything to hide. You did come with a beautiful frilly white blouse, red (Campbell?) tartan skirt, weskit and tam. Who knows what happed to them. Some sister doll must have borrowed the ensemble from the toy box one night.

If you are interested in your history, you were given to me for my first birthday by Great-Grandma Bailey. As the story goes, I didn’t have a doll and she thought a girl should have one. You’d think that might invest you with some sentimental value for me, but frankly Scotchie, I barely remember GG Bailey, and you are a hard piece of plastic that has never been good for a cuddle. Anyway, the old lady could never have guessed that I would turn out to be a Lego and Pac Man gal.

Until a few years ago I kept a Spanish doll sent to me by a teenage pen pal whose name I’ve forgotten. She might have provided companionship, but you probably didn’t have much to talk about anyway. Although, a lot of Scottish people learn Spanish for their holiday trips.

You are now the only one I have left of thirteen dolls and seven teddy bears. When I was 15 years old I boxed them and gave them to my cousins. My mother carried on as if I was abandoning her grandchildren. My dad said objects have no sentimental value; only people do. Barry and Teddy (I only remember your names, so you will have to represent the rest of the teddy bears), I am sorry if you didn’t get much attention at your new home. With ten kids in my aunt’s house, toys didn’t last long.

Do you remember Ruthie, the two-year-old life-size doll? I have a picture I drew of her that was kept in my Grade 2 art folder. On second thought, you might not want to remember Ruthie. She was the biggest doll in the playhouse, and I always imagined she was bullying you little ones when we were off playing ‘cowboys’.

As for the dozen or so whose names I’ve forgotten, I’m sorry. I remember that my mother made us ragdolls from a pattern she ordered and painted them with our hair and eye colors. I know I tried to play with all of you and I regret to think that you are probably buried willy-nilly in landfills somewhere. I was reminded of you when a woman on Hoarders broke down crying when she found her childhood teddy bear in her junk-filled house. She lamented that she had not taken better care of him. Upon seeing the footage, her grown daughters were hurt that she seemed not to regret neglecting them in her attachment to her possessions.

Thanks for hanging on, Sctochie. For the others, I am grateful that I knew you, no matter how briefly, and that you were part of my life.

Forever Yours,

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P.S. Scotchie, dear, I am sorry that you are the one left of the dolls and teddy bears and the apologies are piled on you. It occurred to me that you might have felt neglected as a child among so many, although a family of 20 dolls and stuffed animals might seem small in today’s toy box. I hope you are not too lonely since Spanish doll left. Language barriers aside, you two might have become close after all those years of being together.

 

Apology 9: Ghetto Blaster

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Away Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Ghetto Blaster
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear Ghetto Blaster:

Please accept my apologies for deserting you. I cannot help but think that you have noticed me walking around with my iPod plugged in my ears, or heard that its dock sits on the wall unit shelf that used to be yours. I am sorry if the news arrived in the basement from somebody else. I do admit that it was my responsibility to send this apology at a much earlier date.

In my defense, I do feel obliged to explain the iPod was not even my idea. It was a freebee with my MacBook. You probably gathered from my recent whining that the laptop is already so old the extended warranty has expired.

Recently I found an old tape labeled with my grandmother’s name. I remember that my sister gave me the copy of a conversation recorded shortly before my grandmother died. At the time I got it, my old tape machine was broken. I forgot about it by the time I got you. Needless to say, my iPod is useless in this case, and I really require your help. I do hope you are still working and willing to cooperate.

I look forward to working with you again.

Sincerely,

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P.S. Please do not think that I am apologizing just because I need you one last time. The earplugs bother my ears, and you never could. I miss you.

P.P.S. 2017  It might give a chuckle to know that the Clock CD Player that replaced you is now broken and I’m entirely dependent on downloads for music.

Apology 8: Broach

Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Magic Carriage Rhinestone Broach,

This is a short note of apology, as you don’t really fit with jewelry apologies since your clasp, and a couple of your stones, have been broken for as long as I can remember.

You were the second of two gifts from Great Grandma. Apparently, I was always fascinated with your shiny stones when she held me so she let me play with you. She either gave you to me just before she died or made it clear that you were to be mine. When I was younger, my mother kept you in my tin box of valuables. When she was no longer concerned that you would accidently swallowed, you provided transportation for a miniature Cinderella and all the other imaginary princesses.

I don’t think the next generation will be interested in inheriting you. They never knew Great Grandma, and you are just paste – it seems I exhibited a taste for the cheap and gaudy from an early age. I do promise to get you fixed on the off-chance that some future kid might like to play with you.

Forever Yours,
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P.S. From ancertry.com and family myth, we figured out that Great Grandma and Great Grandpa lied about their ages, and eloped to the next country when she was 15 and he was 17. They died in their eighties a few months apart. Relatives, who remember them better than I, say that he always treated her like his little princess.

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