Save it just in case

When shoulder pads from the 40’s disappeared 15 minutes into the ’50s, most people got rid of them. The same was true of platform shoes, and button hooks. The list is long. Platforms and shoulder pads came back in the 80’s. Keep them somewhere. That was 20 years ago already. I’ll give it another 15 and you’ll see them reinstated as new. Art deco redressed itself in the 60’s and wallpaper resurrected in the 70’s and 80’s.

Some people are squirrels in human form. For the terminal squirrel, it’s painful to throw away anything that is:

  • not broken
  • fixable
  • potentially useful
  • once upon a time useful
  • used at least once
  • never been used
  • of any sentimental value real or imagined
  • could be valuable in any way to anyone now or someday
  • may be in style again whether the keeper is alive to see it or not

The last one is the most powerful to squirrels. Oh, I’m sorry! I should say “keepers”! To a genealogist, keepers are saints. Finding a box of forgotten trivia is tantamount to a detective breaking a case. That’s when rejects become treasures. Let me know when Antique Road Show is in town!

I was minding my own business in my cubie, earphones in place when something shiny caught my eye. Immediately, ADHD, a diagnosis not yet officially made, caused me to stare at a stalk of shimmering silvery foil reaching skyward from our supervisor’s cubie. Company issued keyboard brush? The lady next to his cubie has a couple of years’ worth of mysterious leftover food substances imbedded in her keyboard so it was a fair question.

As I stared, it wiggled and jiggled and started moving toward the wall. I’m checking this out.

Me: Wow, I haven’t seen one of these since I was short. That’s ….. a while.

Supv: My mom has one in the attic in its original box, the color wheel, the plastic sleeves to store the branches and the price tag.

Me: about $12.95, right?

Supv: Around that. Someone offered her $500 and she turned it down. She let us use it on our apartment balcony one year. This one is a retro Wendy found online.

The color wheel was activated and the steady stream of people whose grandmas had one way back when oohed and aahed. Nostalgia impresses me, but what impresses me more is that a corporation of our size, a bank, no less, in today’s world where a school in California formed a task force to make sure the winter celebration didn’t offend any in the 14% of the population who claims not to believe in God, a world where they can’t wear red after December 1st, a world in which Santas in Australia are told to say ha, ha, ha because ho, ho, ho scares children, doesn’t grey us down or dumb us down but allows employees to put up trees and exchange gifts and actually say Merry Christmas to each other. Welcome to the Bible belt. The ACLU is around but not victorious yet.

My friend across my cube wall is a Jehovah’s Witness. We both get to choose and to be. Last year I gave her an unwrapped gift “just because” and she said thank you.

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