I am not very attached to things, primarily because I am no longer identified with them the way I was when younger. In my 30’s it mattered what kind of car I drove, the clothing I wore, etc. This, by the way, isn’t a bad thing; it’s the normal evolution of the psyche (healthy) from having and doing to “being”. As we get older and the psyche must confront its impending end, it searches for what psychologists call transcendent meaning, i.e. meaning that surpasses life and death.
Of course, these days it’s pretty easy to stay hooked into the first two phases of psychic evolution; a condition Carl Jung postulated lay at the root of adult neuroses such as depression and anxiety. Given the vast global consumption of anxiolytics and anti-depressants, it makes you wonder….
I do find myself attached however, to things that are linked to memories of significant people. I treasure my Dad’s watch, ring, Parker 51, and even his silk handkerchief; all items I wear and use daily, as links to a past that perhaps also foretells a future.
I have a great fondness for the massive, heavy, all-metal, 30 year-old microwave that sits in our kitchen. Damned thing refuses to die. I love using it: A simple dial for intensity and another for time. All mechanical. No pizza mode, ice-cream defroster, etc. It’s probably killing us with radiation!
I remember the day we bought it. My daughter was 18 months old and we had taken her to New York (big mistake). She only had two modes: Asleep and running full blast. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and she insisted, i.e., tantrumed, that she wanted to walk. Well, we saw the entire museum in under 20 minutes as she ran through every exhibit, my wife scrambling to keep up with this little dervish.
On the way back to Montreal, we stopped at an appliance discount store recommended by my cousin and bought this huge microwave for the wonderful low price of $250 (a terrific deal at the time). A Panasonic. With rotating glass base. We had a two-door BMW 320i at the time, loaded with luggage, car-seat, and 18 month-old toddler. We crammed the microwave in the space between the front passenger seat and the baby car-seat in the back, and my daughter rode all the way home with her feet on the huge microwave box.
Funny the things that hold our memories. I’ll be sad when it breaks down…although we might be dead before it is!