A few weeks ago, as I am trying to figure out why my printer wouldn’t print, my Dad calls me to verify my address. He explains he has a box of my stuff he’s been dragging around for fifteen years, he is getting ready to move across the country for his new job, and he needs to shed the box.
I tell him he’s still got the right address and great, send it on! I’m mildly curious as to the boxes’ contents, but not really excited. I mean, how exciting can a box be? If there was something important in there, I surely would’ve missed it before now. Turning back to the uncooperative printer, the thought of the box slips my mind as I realize a few of the contacts on the printhead have worn completely through and that would be exactly why the printer can’t print.
Fast forward a few days, and my husband calls me at work. I have a package from Amazon and the box from my Dad as soon as I get home. Thank God, I think, the damned printhead has finally arrived. I need to test print two brochures and three posters so I can decide which ones I want to send off to be printed professionally. I get home, replace the printhead, do my test prints and spend the rest of the night staring at them, trying to figure out which one I like best. The box sits in the corner of the front room where it will remain untouched until the weekend.
Come Saturday, I am looking for my nice spring sweater I can wear over my dress that evening. I’m fairly sure it’s in the front room closet. I go to look and realize I have to move the box to check. As I start to slide it — what the hell is in here? It’s huge! — my curiosity gets the better of me and I open it up. I stare inside, suddenly feeling like I’m on a treasure hunt. Every item my eyes fall on seem like a long lost treasure, instantly familiar and resonating with me.
The clothes are top and I start sorting through a few sweatshirts, t-shirts (Are you sure that Wilco shirt was mine?), scarves and gloves. I found what used to be my favorite knit hat, and hey! What’s this — oh, gross, those are the tennis shoes from that diner job I had in college! Quick throw them out, they’re biohazards! And looky here… That damned red polyester miniskirt I had to wear at the same diner — burn it!
Under the clothes start the plastic stuff and electronics. How many Discman’s and Walkman’s did I own? And what is the wired cassette tape? Oh yeah, stick the cassette into your car cassette player, plug the other end into your Discman, and voila! You can listen to CDs in your car!
Oh, and my old TI-86 calculator! This cost over a hundred dollars if I remember correctly and I was told if I lost or broke it, I was in serious trouble. Now I can get the same results using and iPhone app that cost 5.99.
Now I have hit the Holy Grail, mix tapes! Look at these! I’m gonna have to get these digitally converted on principle.
Down at the bottom, I find the books!!!!! Now at this point my husband is looking at me like I am completely nuts. “You are getting excited over a calculus text book”, he points out is his slow, exaggerated voice meant to smack some sort of sense in me. “It is a perfectly good book that cost a lot of money, and who knows when I might need to reference it”, I reply, in as superior a tone as I can muster, knowing full well I will most likely never have need of the damned thing. But it’s a book!
My husband peers into the bottom of the box, no doubt praying it is now empty. “What’s this?” He pulls out a thin, skinny rectangular jewelry box. I glance at it and my heart skips a beat. No, it couldn’t possibly be! Could it?
I snatch the box out of his hand, hope flooding through me. “Let me see that!” “Please,” I amended quickly. With a slight tremble, I open the box, telling myself it’s probably empty, but, oh, hoping for so much more! And there was, in fact, so much more. Tears sprang to my eyes as I lifted the contents.
“It’s my grandmother’s pearls”, I announced in a choked up voice. “I thought I had lost these forever. I found Nannie’s pearls.”
Never in my life have I felt so blessed to have been given a box.
In response to Objects in a Box #1.