My Massive, Sappy Time Capsule by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

I have a few dozen diaries and journals I would put in my time capsule. The first is a little fake-blue-leather thing with a lock where I wrote the hilariously precocious longings of my fourth grade soul. The journals become less legible as time goes on until, by the time I was twenty-six and actually writing real journal entries while on stage during my year-long run in The Mousetrap (actor’s purgatory here in Toronto–it ran for 25 years) the writing impossible to decipher, even for me.

Somehow I’d like to get the feel of my daughter’s ‘smooshy kiss’, the velvety, tap-tap sound of her laugh, the feel of that chubby little part of her arm, just above the wrist…a few of the bedtime minutes when I climb into her crib and she uses my body as a climber and a slide and then, finally, curls up and asks me to lie down beside her and stops wiggling and jumping and lets me tuck my face into her neck.

Add the notes for the book I want to write for her sometime soon when I’m not in the middle of launching the first one.

Plus dark chocolate M&Ms–sorry Gail, though I appreciate the organic dark chocolate, I have a serious and possibly unhealthy love for M&Ms.

Photos–all of them. Can I do that? Especially the one of The Oppressor at a 70s party last fall (see left!) and of us right after we signed the deal to buy our first property–a condo–in 2001. Wedding Day, everything of T, Finny as a puppy, Garster at my graduation, one with four generations of women–my grandma (Fast Eddy, 90!), my mom, me, little T, 10 days old. And the one of Kimber and me up to no good on the roof outside my bedroom window–both of us in funny hats and huge sleep t-shirts and bad perms.

I’d want the jewelry case that holds a most of the items collected by The Oppressor on his “quest” to get me to marry him–27 items I dictated to him over margaritas on a patio in Cabbagetown one hot summer night as a joke, including a poem on the bark of a tree from Saskatchewan, water and sand from the lake in Muskoka where I went to camp, a t-shirt with the name of his high school metal band on it (“Scavenger”), a pearl from France (though he used big poetic license for that one) and a felt flower sewn onto the ear of my childhood stuffed (and bedraggled) rabbit, Vanilla, and a secret from my best friend. I saw him writing it all down on a napkin that night and laughed as he egged me on, asking me to come up with harder, more obscure things. All this engagement stuff was supposedly hypothetical and we were just drinking and joking around but even then, I knew The Oppressor was unstoppable with a list in his hands.

My real live book.

Music by Prince. Melanie Doane’s album, Shakespearean Fish. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, Until I Find You by John Irving, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. Wuthering Heights, Catch 22, On The Road, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, some Alice Walker, some Chekhov short stories.

A chunk of “fools gold” brought back for me from a parental trip many, many years ago which I treasured as much as I would have real gold…because I’m like that, I guess.

Deb Danielle

11 Replies to “My Massive, Sappy Time Capsule by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman”

  1. Danielle, you’re chipping away at the Oppressor’s facade… He doesn’t look so oppresive in that picture (but would he force you to put Doritos in the capsule, I wonder?)

    Great post – you have a knack for keeping all that’s important close to you.

  2. Kristina–yeah, he did. He’s a maniac. And yes, a keeper for sure.

    Gail–thanks! He’ll love all the compliments.

    Joanne–I LIVE to chip away at The Oppressors facade. I swear though, he can be oppressive. I will write about the Doritos, I promise. But be assured, there will be none in the time capsule.

  3. Wow! I think you’d better lasso that Oppressor in and hold him real tight because every woman who hears about that will want him for their very own! What an incredible romantic!
    Such a charming post (and your grandmother is as cute as a button–will she be at your launch party in NY?)

  4. That picture is, um, ah…yeah. Out there on the web forever…at least it’s not tagged on facebook. And thanks for the comments everyone, but remember, I’m such a baddy, as the photo attests to.

    The Oppressed-Here

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