Collections

I wrote this for Antonio after he asked me to guest post for him.  I was glad to do it; especially after all the great council he gave me.

Before I married my wife, I told her there were a few things I was bringing into the marriage that were non-negotiable. One was the naming of our first son; he had to have my name.  (Check and done.) Another was my collection of baseball cards.  I think this was one of the best sells I have ever made in my career — I got her to marry me without seeing how many baseball cards I had altogether.   I don’t have a whole room full of them, but there are a lot more than the shoebox full that she probably thought I had.

The question my wife has probably asked herself multiple times is “Why does he keep thousands of little cardboard squares with pictures of uniformed men on them that possibly might never be sold or given away?” In one word, I say: Sentiment.

Those baseball cards of mine represent hours of riding my bike back and forth to the baseball card shop when I was nine, ten, and eleven  years old. The money I earned mowing lawns with my Dad was burning a hole in my pocket each and every day.  I traded cards with the store owner and with my friends.  I sought out individual cards of my favorite players. I thrived on the hope that I would pull out of packs of cards the best and most valuable cards of each set.

Great times, for sure.

I could go on, but I’ll leave it there. These baseball cards mean a lot to me.  To most people, they probably look like a waste of space. To others, they (hopefully) see some value.  Even if other people don’t see any value, I do.

There are many things out there that we all hold on to that have sentimental value that may or may not have an extrinsic value for anyone but ourselves.  Watches, rings, coins, necklaces, money holders, pens, tie tacks, neckties, earrings, bracelets, etc.  All of the things I just listed could have some sort of value to one person and someone else could think the total opposite.

 All of these things I classify as trinkets.    

I’m sure that we all have a trinket somewhere that we keep around for sentimental value.  It could have a really high re-sale value if we were to sell it, or maybe not.  The point isn’t the value to someone else; it’s what that trinket means to us.

I think having trinkets in our lives help us to remember life events.  They are the physical representation for a memory that is locked somewhere deep inside our brains.  I can’t pass along a brain cell, but I can pass along a watch or a ticket stub and tell the story that goes along with how I got it, or where I was when the event occurred.  Not everyone writes down what happens to them each day, nor do many people keep trinkets for each daily event.  I am sure that the many (or few) souvenirs we collect along the pathway of life help in telling our story to others and making life more meaningful.

I’m sure a fan of the life trinkets I’ve collected, in all their various shapes and forms. Though, just in case, I better go and check on my baseball card collection.

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