Show me the receipts, and I'll show you the man

I’ve referenced the vast wasteland of my filing and storage “system” before. For those of you that don’t know what that is, here’s a precis:

Once a preset-yet-undetermined number of objects has been reached, I purchase a bankers box, then proceed to put things in it. At that point, I may or may not label it, and place it in a location that may or may not make sense.

I don’t have a name for this process, although Julie has offered the best candidate so far, which is:

“Being a dick to your future self.”

And she is so right.

I count 77 boxes as of this writing. And that count is only based upon boxes that I can see. Also not included are rubbermaid boxes that I borrowed specifically for this move.

I’ve started the process of unpacking / sifting / unearthing, and found a box of credit card statements from 1999 in a box labeled, “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS & STUFF 97 – 02”

I know where I was exactly five years ago today.

I don’t necessarily know what I was doing at those locations, but I do know that I was there.

November 15th. In one day, I managed to make it to the WalMart in Germantown ($73.25), the Toys R Us in Rockville ($95.45), and the Whole Foods-then-Fresh Fields in Tenleytown ($14.96). Astounding, because I don’t have a car. Also astounding because I spent more on consumer items and toys than on actual food.

Other transactions hold other clues to what happened in my life in November of 1999. I visited my cousins in New York City (train ticket purchase) for Thanksgiving. I was also apparently still on the Magic: The Gathering crack wagon, as evidenced by a low dollar purchase at one of the now defunct Wizards of the Coast retail stores.

I can tell who I was dating at the time by atypical purchases at locations like Filene’s Basement. Also indicative of who I was dating at the time is the amount of money spent at restaurants.

My PalmPilot usage was also apparently at an all time high, because I purchased some software for it. Today, I function more with my phone, laptop, the tiny camera, a pen, and 3 x 5 index cards.

Just reviewing these documents at a glance, I can only imagine future archaeologists getting so screwed trying to get a picture of “typical” turn of the century America using my receipts.