When people walk into the room I grew up in at home, they probably first notice it's blue. Or teal. Or 13F-4 Chesapeake Cove, the color between Bristol Bay Blue and Bay City Blue on the 413 color palette. And then, they'll notice flowers, everywhere. My duvet cover: flower-patterned. My Andy Warhol poster: a yellow flower I got in the teen section at the National Gallery of Art when I went away to college in DC. Then they'll notice I have no trophies. They'll be looking for the rows of dusty, gold-plated, tomboy-shaped figurines draped in medals that will define how cool I used to be, and sadly, they're going to be disappointed.

My mother gets rid of bags of clothes that say "DON'T take to Goodwill," and Estee Lauder freebies I'm saving for when I hit rock bottom and need to look like a prostitute.

I played Dad's Club soccer and basketball when I was nine; I looked like a boy with a bowl cut and stick legs. I did gymnastics and played tennis when I started to look more like a girl, wearing sparkles and skirts. And, I did ballet long enough for my body image to become warped and to realize I hate leotards. Later on, I was even a semi-popular cheerleader, combining stick legs and skirts, while sacrificing my hatred for leotards with button crotches.

I have memories of eating greasy crustless squares called pizza and melty vanilla ice cream at award dinners. On the last day of the season my soccer coach, in between sips of beer, would call me up and whisper, "Now how do you say your last name?" and then give me my award. After I received it, he'd look at me and say, "That's how I thought you said it." I would sit back down, all smiles, at the long table surrounded by my teammates with either my vague "Team Player" award or the uber-specific "Most Cheerful After Being Kicked in the Shins Too Many Times" award. I've been to lots of these pizza-ice-cream parties, so where are all of my trophies?

My guess is Goodwill. Or was Goodwill. That was years ago, and maybe they've been recycled through a couple times. A kid who couldn't play sports picked it out as his one Christmas gift. A mother brought it home to her son who would never have the chance. Then, they didn't want it anymore, and it went through the system again like a dollar bill. It didn't matter that it was once for somebody named Erin Pesut (peh-shit), or that he didn't have a ponytail like the trophy did.

My mother usually cleans out periodically. I'm not sure if it's seasonal, or related to the moon cycle, or even her quarterly bank statements, but when it happens, shit disappears. Like: the Crest cups with a dancing toothpaste dude the dentist gave me, the six bags of microwave popcorn that would last years even in a bomb shelter, or stale marshmallows I was saving for microwave experiments. How about that color-changing oatmeal bowl I saved up box tops for months for? My bubble gum POG slammer? Art that my teacher said "portrayed the best techniques of Van Gogh"? Basically, things that would be worth a lot of money right now.

She gets rid of bags of clothes that say "DON'T take to Goodwill," and Estee Lauder freebies I'm saving for Halloween or the day when I hit rock bottom and need to look like a prostitute.

O.B. tampon ammunition belt
Looks like things are gonna get bloody.
One time she gave my friend Andy a paper bag full of tiny hotel shampoos and lotions to take to the homeless shelter where he volunteered. The bag had lost its handles and as Andy picked it up like a fat watermelon, it ripped, and O.B. tampons spilled out onto the asphalt like a secret stash of pills. Andy has red hair and white skin, and grew up with four brothers, and probably turned the color of pumpkin pie, his version of extreme blushing. The only other time I know Andy to have been in contact with "menstrual materials" was when we first met. And that was only because his mom was taking his dog, Gunner, to the vet because Gunner had eaten a sanitary napkin. I mean, there was still a stomach muscle and lots of German Shepard fur separating Cody from that pad, but that was probably the closest.

How about old tables, chairs, and stools? My mom gets rid of it, although we could have furnished an apartment by now. Old Christmas decorations from the sacred days of my childhood? All gone. Dispersed out into the universe. She saves our old computers, not quite sure if we really deleted all of our personal information. She likes to save gym equipment, like that blue deflated ab ball, even though we don't have a pump, and the rower machine she used back in the 90's.

Baby hat with a pink ribbonOne summer I was in the attic looking at my baby pictures with my friend Laura. We were bored, or wanted to see what it would be like to suffocate in 102 degrees, I forget. I found a tiny hat with a pink ribbon around it and stuck my fist inside. In awe of my head being the size of my fist at one point in my life, I didn't see the piece of jerky fall out, but Laura did. And screamed.

"What….what is that?!" she asked.

"Oh, my umbilical cord?" It did look a bit like a dried up earthworm. But of course, something my mother has held on to.

Girl's soccer trophyTo each of my trophies out there that is chilling on the top bookshelf of some kid who didn't even play basketball or soccer or have to wear a button-crotch leotard, I hope you're enjoying it. I hope my trophy is dusted weekly and I hope you've named her something exotic like Angelina Jolie or Erin Pesut. When you tell your made-up stories about how you scored that three-pointer at the last second or how you made that corner kick to win the game, you better cover up my name with your thumb. Because even though I don't remember that soccer season, either, I know there were snacks on the sidelines. And for all those Rice Krispies I ate, and all those Capri Suns I drank, I've got nothing to show in my bedroom, except flowers.