Odd Little Things We Humans Do
By Hayley Green
I’m sure I’m not the only one; we all have a secret obsession or maybe, a collection, that we are absolutely convinced is the weirdest thing ever. Collections can be of anything. They could be fruit-scented nail polish from sixth grade, they could be your dog’s partially-chewed collars from his puppy stage, or they could be anything that you want to collect but may appear…odd from someone else’s point of view.
For example, I have vintage porcelain cookie jars. They sit in my apartment by my TV (weird, I know) and look as though my grandmother handed them down to me in some grand fashion. This is not the case though–I found them at the thrift store–however, they match nothing in my apartment, do not reflect any kind of style from my decorations, and, as far as condition goes, they certainly do have cracks in the lids. Certainly, an odd choice.
So why do I keep them?
To sum it up the best my wordy self can, they’re charming. They make me feel like a grannie-ma in her 1980s kitchen, baking in her gingham apron, sporting fluffy gray hair. There is something that transports me there when I look at them. I have lost a lot of the older people in my family, including both of my grandmothers, and the ownership of these cookie jars fills in this hole in my life. What they symbolize means more than the item itself.
Collections like these have importance in our lives. They remind us of good things, or inspire us of good things to come. Like a woman collecting baby shoes for a child she wants to have one day: it’s things like this that help us sentimental folks put our broken pieces back together.
I understand that some collections are just for fun. They could just look nice on a shelf, or it keeps you busy during your off days, but there is a deeper meaning behind these collections that I find both wholesome and satisfying.
This thought speaks to the days of stamp collecting and coin collecting, of which my late grandfather took part in, to participate in history. He was a purveyor of quarters, one’s with designs on the back he had never seen, and he once gave me a gold, one-dollar coin with Sacagawea on the back, a coin that he was incredibly proud to have seen with his own eyes.
There is a magic in these collections that takes us to places that we miss, or to places we wish we could remember, and even better, takes us back to people we miss. This contributes to our motivations as humans to keep moving forward, even when we cast a spare glance behind us.