I develop irrational attachments to things.
I once had a light blue Tshirt that advertised some business or other and was covered in handprints made with white paint. I wore that Tshirt to sleep in every night for four or five years. At least. It was somewhat compulsive behavior, I admit (I've always slept in it; I can stop now!), but the Tshirt held significance. It held the memory of time of service and laughter, one of the last times I spent with a childhood friend before I moved ahead to high school and she moved away. And, as you can imagine, after a few years in, it was like slipping into a second skin.
Most of the handprints faded away. The ones that lasted were the multiple ones that had been placed by slapping my butt, and those handprints rose to the small of my back. Holes appeared and the Tshirt became more or less transparent. My mother was horrified by it. She once threw it away but foolishly in her bedroom trash can. My father saw it, rescued it, and hid it under my pillow.
I think I reached a point in college where I realized it was indecent. But I never parted with it. It remained folded at the bottom of my Tshirt drawer and then later, in a plastic, zippered bag in the attic with all the other Tshirts that held sentimental value. But they didn't make it to Maryland. I don't know where that bag of sentiment landed, but I can't locate it.
Yesterday, I moved a new dresser into my daughter's bedroom. Her old one was one my mother picked up off someone's curb when I was a toddler. It was yellow in my childhood and then at least three shades of pink over the years. The drawers are made of flimsy wood and barely held together with old, rusty nails. In spite of my prolific use of wood glue, the thing's decrepit, and my daughter can't even open one of the drawers.
Then one of our neighbors offered up a free dresser. I let my daughter choose its new color (a violent shade of purple of which I heartily (but silently) disapprove). I exercised my own taste by decoupaging colorful paper to the drawer sides. And I moved the knobs from Old Pink to New(ish) Purple. The drawers are much deeper, and they slide in and out with ease.
But the sight of Old Pink on the curb, forlorn and denuded of its hardware, twists my heart. I actually considered keeping it. I thought, "I have more wood glue. I could probably figure out how to hold it together." Isn't is possible that it has feelings? That it feels abandoned by the woman it saw grow up? Whose threadbare blue Tshirt it held for so many years?
I'm going to hope, instead, that someone else will find it and use it. That someone else with wood glue and patience will give it a fresh coat of paint and new knobs and fill it with clothes. But I'll give it a kiss before it goes.