Me: “Oh, what a beautiful mirror! Did you get it at Raymour and Flannigan?”
Friend: “No, my Great-Great-Aunt Myrna picked that up at a flea market in Poland. It was crafted by a peasant for an aristocrat in France in the 18th century – before the revolution. She had to leave Poland rather quickly in 1830 during the insurrection. Anyway, she left Poland with the mirror strapped to her back. Halfway across the Atlantic, the boat sank and she had to use the mirror as a raft and she used her petticoat as a sail. She made it across the Atlantic and landed on the shore of New Jersey where she set up housekeeping and lived for the rest of her life. This mirror gets passed down to the eldest daughter from generation to generation. Some day it will go to my daughter Tiffanie.”
Me: “Dad, these colored bottles are beautiful. Where did they come from?”
Dad: “Remember that summer we spent in Uncle Jack’s trailer in Vermont? We walked down the lane and snuck into the abandoned house that used to belong to Uncle Jack, but was “stolen” by his nanny when his parents died? The house fell into disrepair and started crumbling.”
Me: “Yes! Cool! Did we find the bottles there?”
Dad: “No, the bottles were gifts from you girls from Avon. They used to have cologne in them.”
Moral of the story: Ask your mother where all the stuff came from.
We are surrounded by stuff that came from somewhere. Your mother knows and has probably already told you when you were younger. Unfortunately, when you were young, your Mom’s voice was just an annoying buzzing in the background saying things like, “You cannot wear those frayed jeans out of this house” and “Save your money and buy your own dippity doo” and “If I have to listen to Build me up Buttercup on that record player one more time I swear I will go crazy” and “You have to keep track of your own skate key” or “Here’s 12 cents – go buy yourself a candy bar and get one for your sister”.
But I digress.
Ask your Mom or someday one of your kids will be saying: “These colored bottles are gorgeous – I bet Great-Great Grandmother McCurnin brought them over from Ireland when her family immigrated to Jersey City. Lets put them in a place of honor in the china cabinet.”
And this is how history is written.