Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite Possessions

Earlier today, several authors stopped by Come In Character to share their characters' most important possessions. The answers ranged from photo albums to weapons to musical instruments – and the discussion made me wonder how I would answer the question, “What is your most important possession, and why?”

To be honest, I'm just not sure. Given that my husband, Dan, and I live in three different places, I'm often forced to consider those items that I can't live without – including obvious items like toiletries, kitty toys, my laptop, and my cell phone, plus precious things like my grandmother's wedding ring, my own treasured baubles, the medicine pouch that I made on a vision quest when I was 13, perhaps even my bunny slippers. So, how can I possibly name just one thing?

After all, despite my wish to be less materialistic, the need to possess is a very human trait. In fact, right or wrong, what we possess partially defines who we are – especially our most beloved possessions. But, of course, that need to possess can become an obsession for some of us. When my grandfather, for instance, passed away last June, he left behind a house nearly filled with possessions – so many records and clothes and coins and knick-knacks and dishes and bicycles and such that it was hard to discern what he'd really treasured in life. Upon seeing what his house had become, I couldn't help but recall Ruth Gordon's advice from Harold and Maude: “Here today. Gone tomorrow. So, don't get attached to things!”

But, nevertheless, it's hard to let go. So, I ask you... what is it that you couldn't live without?

10 comments:

jbchicoine said...

hehehe...didn't Maude later say something to the effect of 'Having said that, I'm not opposed to collecting a few things...' just before she brings Harold into her own little hovel?

I suppose I feel the same way. Just the same, stuff is just stuff to me, and although many items hold special memories or feelings, I still have those even if I lose the object. Having said that, I think I'd be sick if I lost my paintings...

Becky said...

Yeah, Katrina did a number on all of my parents' possessions. Moving twice cross country in the last 4 years really made us narrow things down. Both Chris and I really cherish items handmade by our parents, both living and gone. There's something special about a painting, a quilt, a handmade piece of furniture, or even a computer built from a kit. They're more than a thing. They represent time and effort, something we can never get back...

Laura Martone said...

Okay, Bridget, you got me. She did in fact say that. But, more importantly, you've seen Harold and Maude? It's one of my favorite movies!!!

As for stuff, I'd love to believe that it doesn't mean anything to me - especially after losing so many things in Katrina (not to mention during the course of so many moves), but sometimes, I remember something important that I've lost - like the picture of my eighth grade class in D.C. - and I get a little bummed out.

jbchicoine said...

Heck yes I have! owned it on VHS--need to find it on DVD. Love the scene where Harold's mother is filling out the dating questionaire...Oh my goodness--we quote Harold and Maude as part of our daily converstaion...Love the Cat Stevens sound track...

Laura Martone said...

Well, Becky, I understand the Katrina factor, believe me. Of course, my mom, dad, stepmom, aunt, and grandma lost a heck of a lot more than I did. But I still lost my share of beloved memorabilia in my old bedroom (at Mom's house).

Moving so often hasn't helped matters either - especially since I tend towards pack-rattiness, and Dan tends to embrace paring down - our "discussions" are never pretty.

I know what you mean, too, about handmade items - I kept my high school prom dress if for no other reason than that my mom made it for me. Same goes for all the baby clothes for my Cabbage Patch doll - Mom made those, too. They ARE more than a thing - they represent Mom's time and effort, not to mention my childhood (which I can definitely never get back). :-(

Laura Martone said...

OMG, Bridget, that's awesome! My mom and I both love that movie - we, too, owned it on VHS (gone with Katrina, I'm afraid), but I have it on DVD. In fact, I now feel inspired to watch it again tonight! I quote H&M often - and I love pretty much every scene. It's based on a play, and back in high school, I tried to get our drama director to do it, but it was a no-go. Really, though, the movie's even better - in fact, every element (dialogue, acting, the Cat Stevens score, etc.) is perfect. I would HATE it if Hollywood ever tried to remake it.

jbchicoine said...

I find the movie polarlizes people. Either they love it or are repulsed by it. Even funnier, it changes the way they view a person if they know he/she loves it!

Laura Martone said...

I've just found that people either love it or have never seen it. But you're probably right that there are folks who simply hate it - and frankly, I have nothing to say to such weirdos. So, there!

P.S. I just blamed you on Facebook for why I'm now watching H&M. LOL! :-)

Becky said...

Yeah, that just sucks doesn't it? I pretty much lost all of my childhood pictures too. Between all our relatives even, I bet I have less than 40-50 pictures of me and my family growing up. I made copies of all of them for my brother and I when me dad passed, and my mom only had about 20-30, mostly all formal pictures that were high up on walls in frames when the flood hit, but some black and white baby pictures also survived somehow! :( And of course most of the picture my family has is corny stuff like school pictures, but at least I have them!

Laura Martone said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Becky, and I definitely know how you feel. Luckily, I removed lots of photos from my old bedroom in late 2004, but there were still plenty I lost, especially baby pictures, old school photos, and those of my mother when she was little. Although I've tried to come to terms with most of what I lost, I still miss the photos - after all, everyone in my family lost theirs, so they really are irreplaceable. :-(

But, ultimately, they're just reminders of the past - at least, my family survived the flood. Not every New Orleanian can say that.