I'm something of a pack rat. My wife cannot understand why I'm compelled to keep old, seemingly inconsequential junk. I don't understand it myself. Sometimes I'll have a fear that if I get rid of something, I may want it later and then I'll regret not having it. More often, I form strong emotional attachment to things based on where I got them or some event or person associated with them. For some reason, this happens quite often with clothes. I have all kinds of ratty old clothes that my wife is itching to get rid of, but which I won't let go. Maybe it's not 'spiritual' to have that kind of emotional investment in material possessions. But, it's not like I would save them in a fire instead of my wife or something. And, my connection is usually more with the emotional association than with the object. So, question #1: What do you have that you would be sad if you lost?
And that question leads me to the thought I had which originally led me to write this post. Since we're moving in about a month, we've started packing, but of course we're finding plenty of ways to get sidetracked as we box stuff up. One way my wife got sidetracked was to sort through some old pictures for a new picture frame she got. She created a nice 'national parks' themed frame. In one of the pictures--I think from our honeymoon--I'm wearing a Notre Dame hat that certainly fits into the category described above. In fact, it is probably the example par excellence.
I bought the hat in the 3rd grade from my friend Rick Magni for $3.75. We--the hat and I, not Rick and I--have been through a lot of life together. When my best friend in junior high school, Michael Nolan, and I used to play tennis together every day, all day, during the summers, I always wore the hat. He had a tennis court just down the street from his house, so we would play all morning, have lunch at his house, then play again until dinner. During our lunch break, we would both put our soaking-wet-with-sweat hats in his freezer while we ate, so they would be nice and cold when we resumed. For many reasons, that sounds disgusting to me now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Later during high school, I was a cross-country and track runner. I wore that hat to every single practice, and I never washed it during the seasons. By the time the district meets rolled around for each sport, that hat could probably do a few laps of the track on its own. Then during college, I spent a lot of time in Colorado on family vacations and a few trips with friends. I was wearing the hat each of four times I hiked to the peaks of 14,000 ft. mountains. On top of all that, I've had a lifelong devotion to Notre Dame (thanks Dad!), both its athletics and academics. No matter what the state of affairs is with Notre Dame's teams or whatever, that hat was always a testimony to my longevity as a fan.
Unfortunately, I have no more recent memories to write about. I no longer have that hat. I lost it. I don't know how or where. And I can't even pinpoint when. I can't remember if I've had it since we moved to St. Louis four and a half years ago or not. I actually think about the hat more often than when I have occasion to see a picture of myself wearing it. I wish I still had it and I could still wear it. I mean, it's not like in a movie; I'm not sitting on a bench at the end of a pier staring into the distance with a single tear dripping down my cheek. I just want my hat back. Some of those memories and stories are a little less real because I can't see or point to the hat as a memento. Thus I ask you question #2: Is there anything you've lost that you wish you had back?
While this is a bit of an obvious attempt to generate more comments than usual, I am also really curious what some of you might have to say. I think there are some potentially interesting and peculiar responses out there.
boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."