This past weekend I sold my husband’s scientific graphing calculator to a neighbor. I’d thought about selling it before, but when I searched for comparable items on eBay it didn’t seem like I would make much money by selling it, so I stashed it away in a drawer and didn’t think about it again until a request for one popped up in the neighborhood list serve.
When I asked my husband how much I should sell it for he looked startled and hurt. He said, “what you’re selling my calculator? I used that throughout high school and college.” I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by his reaction. I was intrigued by his attachment to an old calculator. It’s probably twenty years old and has been sitting in a drawer in our basement for over ten years. After further discussion, (I had already told the neighbor I would sell it to her), my husband agreed to part with it.
If I was surprised by my husband’s attachment to a calculator I was even more startled by my own attachment issues this afternoon. Believe it or not I was reluctant to recycle a bunch of Nordstrom’s boxes that were stowed away in a plastic crate in the basement.
When I was in college my grandmother would buy pants and skirts for me at Nordstrom’s. My legs are very long and my grandmother would actually search for pants by looking to see which ones hung closest to the floor. When she found a pair that nearly touched she knew they’d fit me.
When I came home for spring or winter break she would often present me with a shiny silver Nordstrom box. Inside I would almost always find an expensive pair of pants that I could wear to my internships or interviews. It always felt so good to try on a pair of those pants with their soft silky linings. It felt even better when I looked down and saw they were the exact right length for me. (When I was growing up they rarely made clothes long enough for tall women and I often had to modify men’s pants to fit my long inseam.) While the clothes from those days have long been donated the boxes have remained in my possession for nearly fifteen years.
I always intended to use them for gifting, but I suppose I never found the need to use one. When I looked at the boxes today it brought back so many happy memories for me. It’s not really about the gifts my grandmother gave me, but rather that she was thinking about me when she shopped and doing her best to find pants when she knew how difficult it was to fit me.
I grabbed those boxes and carried them upstairs fully intending to throw them into the recycle bin. I took them outside, opened the lid of the bin, closed the lid and brought them back in. I’m not sure why I can’t part with them. Perhaps it’s because my grandmother is nearly 90 years old and I think it might be a bad omen. Whatever the reason those boxes did not make their way out of the house today.
It goes to show we get attached to strange things in our lives. I thought an attachment to a calculator was odd and then I found my own issue with a bunch of old boxes.
*Note: Thanks to Mike’s comment below I realized that I left out an important part of this post. My husband actually agreed to sell the calculator on eBay a long time ago. That’s one of the reasons I was so surprised when he didn’t want to part with it when I actually found a buyer for it. I would never sell my husband’s stuff without asking him.