The first round is easiest to get rid of. The people I don’t know anymore. Many of them pictures of children of people I’m not friends with anymore. I have a feeling I only kept them out of guilt. There are parties at jobs at businesses that folded years ago. Some of the pictures I recognize as fellow passengers from cruises I’ve taken. People I wanted to remember forever and so took pictures as a keepsake... whatever their names are. It’s funny since today these same people would probably be on my facebook or at least in contact via e-mail.
In the early 90‘s I escorted groups of older women on cruise ship for AAA. The group was called The Merry Widows so very few were under sixty years old and most were over eighty. Meaning most of these women smiling in their formal portraits next to my twenty three year old self are dead now. Trash.
Next are the terrible pictures of the places I’ve gone. I’m not in any of them so that makes it easier. Blurry images of some plate in a museum in Turkey doesn’t mean anything to me and probably never did. Mosques, Prince Raniers yacht, a city scape at night in a city I can’t figure out. I was a terrible photographer. I remember thinking it was possible even then that these pictures may not come out so I collected post cards from most of these places. I wanted to have really good shots of some of the more important things to see on these trips, The Cliffs of Moher, The Blarney Stone, El Cristo, Vesuvius, etc. But I haven’t looked at them in years. Besides, I’ve seen many of the same shots in books and online so they’re always at my fingertips. Trash.
Pictures of family, old friends and me are a little tougher. I’m pretty sure most of these family pictures have duplicates in the hands of the other people posing. Except maybe a few of the more embarrassing ones of my sister and her rather impressive architectural skills in hair. She’s the type that would throw out such treasures. This makes them harder to get rid of so I set them aside to scan in later. I don’t have a scanner so I just take a picture with my phone. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s enough to harass my little sister. Maybe I’ll show them to her grandchildren or use them for blackmail later.
The pictures of me are a little more difficult. It’s probably due to vanity but I’ve saved these pictures of myself like I’ll need them for evidence in a trial later. “See” I could say holding up a picture of me on stage or in a speedo on a cruise ship “I was young once, I had a great body, I HAD HAIR! I still deserve to be treated like I’m good looking!”. And in the cases of pictures of me with one of the growing number of exes. “See, we were happy once.”
The thinking and rational part of me knows I’ll never go on trial where I’ll have to prove an interesting past but I also know I have a habit of remembering some of the bad things with near perfect clarity. Some of these pictures a really reminders that it wasn’t all bad. Some get trashed, some get saved. After all they won’t take up THAT much room in a suitcase.