A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some things you just have to keep forever

I was changing purses the other day and noticed that, no matter what size purse I use or for what occassion, there are three items that always go with me - in addition to my Treo and camera, of course. In order of age, the first one is the leather "S" on my keychain. My brother, Tony, made this for me in shop class in junior high which means it's around 30 years old. Much of the stitching is gone so the backing just sort of flaps around. But it's traveled with me from car to car over the years and I don't imagine I'll be getting rid of it any time soon - or ever.

It has brought me some amusement. One day I was at the cleaners and put my keys down on the counter. The cleaner guy and I were sorting through the clothes and suddenly he said in a heavy Asian accent, "You have a big ass!" I was a bit horrified and self-conscious. Could he tell that just from the clothes I had dropped off? He was smiling through the insult and then he pointed to the keychain and I realized what he had REALLY said was, "You have a big "S". I did, however, put my coat on before walking out of the store just in case.

The second item is a little curved rock. Back in 1986 my ex-husbnd (he-who-shall-not-be-named) and I took the kids for a weekend trip to Mexico. Jenni was 13 and sent much of her time searching the tide pools for interesting objects. She found this rock and gave it to me "for luck." I was able to finally divorce HWSNBN so I guess it worked! The special rock has been in my purse for 21 years.

The final item is a folded five-dollar bill. My grandfather, Papa Jim, used to create what must have been Italian origami and the claim was that, if someone who loved you gave you a specially-folded five dollar bill, it would bring you luck and good fortune. Papa Jim died 34 years ago and he had made these bills for his two daughters, but not yet for the grandkids. So, after my mother died, my aunt made one for me and labeled it with love from Papa Jim. It stays nestled between my dollar bills and my credit cards. And, since my life is pretty damn good, I guess it worked!

I also have all the usual crap in my purse - lipstick, hand sanitizer, paper clips, sharpies, allergy pills, an empty ziploc quart-sized bag for traveling so I don't forget and have to dump everything liquid (!), But those are all replaceable. The above three items are part of who I am.

Do you have anything in your purse or wallet that has special significance?





8 comments:

Scoobers said...

I love that you keep those things with you. Especially the rock. Jenni and I used to refer to HWSNBN as "I Shot a Bear". I'm not really certain of the whole story behind that... you may want to ask her.

Just today, while I slept, Dookie chewed up my keychain given to me by my sister when I was still in HS. Very sad (and a little mad). But GLAD I still have my car remote. : )

Halfmexican Mama said...

Cant say that I carry anything that interesting...the asian guy cracked me up though!

Fleur de Lisa said...

I love your big "S" story! I can't say that I have anything as significant as your rock, but I can see why you still carry it and the 5 dollar bill around. :-)

Gracie said...

That was such a precious story! Well, in my wallet all I have in pictures currently.....

Chris said...

Oh yes I do. My 2 two dollar bills. It's sort of a mental thing but I'd be lost w/o them. Yes I do know I need help.

Desert Diva said...

I'm sure that you don't have a big "S." ;-)

Being somewhat of a "packrat" (it's the educator thing) I try to periodically clean out things - especially my purse. However, I feel "naked" if I don't have on my cross necklace - the only time I take it off is when I'm getting a massage.

I do have a dollar bill that an educational assistant at school folded in an intricate manner for "good luck."

holly said...

Love your stories! The most special thing I have is a keychain. I took it as a gift when my friend had a Tupperware party when I was pregnant. It's a yellow dragon and I thought it would be perfect for the baby to play with when he got fussy. My baby is now 9 years old, I still have it and it always makes me think back to when Hayden wasn't even born, how much I was thinking and planning for him.

Jenni said...

I have one of those $5 from Aunty Mary in my purse too! She said if I ever spent it, I would be poor for the rest of my days. Terrified the crap out of me!