The Glass

Our mismatch drinking glass cupboard is the one just to the right of the sink. To the left is the cupboard with our dishes and our glasses that match. If you open the mismatch cupboard, you’ll find a few Nestle’ Quick rabbit glasses, a Mulan cup, a couple Tupperware glasses (tumblers?), a Winnie-the-Pooh cup and other anomalous drinking containers. You’ll also find a solitary glass with no mates that has been with our family for a while. The last survivor of the original set it came in that once dominated our dinner table drink-ware.

Whenever I get this glass out now I fill it with a measure of dread. Part of me is thinking, “be careful, it’s the last of its kind!” But another part of me, a very anxious part of me, is thinking, “smash it! get it over with!”

I’m a packrat by nature. I attach sentimental feelings to inanimate objects and struggle with letting things go. I’ll keep an empty envelope because ithasmynameinmymom’shandwritingontheoutsideofit andmymomwon’tbearoundtowritethatontheirsomeday you know! I have drawers and boxes full of stuff that I attach emotions to and from time to time go through them – not to toss them but to just sort them into other boxes. And to feel the feelings I’ve tagged to each thing. Occasionally I’ll pull something out that I can find absolutely no emotional memory for and I can toss it. That, I keep telling myself, is what separates me from the Hoarders.

But this glass is different. No emotional attachment really, nothing sentimental anyway, other than it being the last of its kind. It’s nearly extinct and that pushes a button in me.

And yet.

I’m desperate to just smash the glass and be done with it! I want to end the suspense and get the inevitable over with. Its very existence leaves me unsettled. There will come a day that glass is gone, cracked or shattered and tossed in the bin. Why risk holding on to something that will not and cannot, stay with me?

Do you know what I’m saying?


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Confession, Fable, Life, Meaning, perception, Reflective, truth. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Glass

  1. Seeker says:

    Do I ever know what you’re saying, lol.

    I, too, attach emotions to things and keep them forever. I have a little plastic dinosaur to remember a kid I used to take care of but I can’t remember which kid it belonged to! I just remember I love whoever it was. Clearly.

  2. Heather says:

    Dude, moving house must be a nightmare for you!
    You aren’t alone. I struggle. Just went through the trunks that were my Grandma’s. She died 7 years ago on our last wedding anniversary, and this was the first time it seemed ok to throw some out. I didn’t. She really had nothing of material worth, but oh,, the sentamental worth. I have often wondered if having a house fire would settle all of it quickly, but the loss to my spirit would be so great….
    excuse me, must wander through those trunks again…. ☺

  3. Michelle says:

    I tent to purge and then regret.

  4. sweetlybroken says:

    Boy do I know what you’re saying. I too am a sentimental gatherer. But, I’m also married to a practical holder of stuff and every year there is a struggle between what I keep and what must go out with the trash or a need for more storage. We apparently will no longer be visiting the concept of more storage so………
    During one of our clean-up/rearrange “seriously Deb, why are you keeping this” days I came across a tiny ziplock back of dirt that I acquired somewhere between here and B.C. I remember taking the bag out of my pocket, grabbing a spoon from the trailer and scooping some dirt into the bag but I could not for the life of me remember what Province we were in. Sadly it, along with the other 5 bags got tossed so now I have to go back and replace them all 🙂

    It’s so incredibly hard to throw out tiny pieces of our lives when sometimes it’s the only connection we have.

    • brianmpei says:

      “It’s so incredibly hard to throw out tiny pieces of our lives when sometimes it’s the only connection we have.”

      Well said!

      • Dede Nicholson says:

        I can totally relate. About 20 years ago there was a book (or maybe more than one) that came out called the Messie’s Manual. It labelled the different kinds of “Messy”. What you are describing and what I am also suffering from is called a Sentimental Messy. (I had some of the the others as well but that’s a different story)
        I have a feeling that last glass is going to haunt you and stick around for a very long time, just cuz it can. 🙂

  5. Chaz says:

    Brian…. I am similar in that I attach a lot of sentiment to my belongings. When I was first divorced, I hung onto everything because it was a connection to the life I thought I wanted back.

    In the past few years, I have been slowly getting rid of items stored in my garage. Many of them are from the past and had reminded me of many wonderful times when my life was happy. I remembered the beautiful home we built when my kids were small and how we were a family together. Then it all ended in the most intense pain. No, make that agony. But that was years ago and I am getting stronger all the time.

    In the past year, I have had occasion to burn old papers at a family members rural property. At first I did it because it was easier than shredding. But now, I find tremendous therapeutic value in burning old papers as a way of closing out the past.

    Just yesterday in fact, I spent a good 45 minutes at the burning barrel on my uncle’s back 40. I stood there with a banker-box full. I’d pick up a few sheets, glance for a second, experience a momentary memory and emotion, then throw it in the fire and watch it become part of the inferno. Gone. That was it. The emotion attached to that piece of paper was now gone forever and I felt lighter.

    My garage now has far less emotional and literal clutter. It frees my from my unhealthy fixation with the rear-view mirror. It moves me closer to living in accordance with my favourite Don Draper line from the TV show, Madmen.

    “My life moves in only one direction; forward”.



  6. TJ says:

    “I’m desperate to just smash the glass and be done with it! I want to end the suspense and get the inevitable over with. Its very existence leaves me unsettled. There will come a day that glass is gone, cracked or shattered and tossed in the bin. Why risk holding on to something that will not and cannot, stay with me?”
    So, the glass is you, me, any one of us…the big “I AM” that we all try to hold on to, the part or parts that we won’t or can’t get rid of, give up, give over to Him…the ones we hang on to cuz we might lose ourselves…trying to keep one last piece of the original “ME” cuz without it there might not be a”ME” anymore…or maybe, if that last piece is gone, if the glass gets smashed, the fear is gone, we’re free, the last bit of who we were is gone, and we get to be who we are…
    Or…’s just a glass….toss it…

  7. damulfo says:

    I too allow my emotions to become entangled with objects, however, I deliberately choose to allow the other half of my brain to decide if something has use your not. I do throw away things that have no use (except for very rare iconic objects) The part I don’t understand is the desire to smash something that still has a usefulness. I would keep the glass until it breaks on its own. Maybe you have some some small part of your past (or past self) to which you attach negative emotions, and in your moments of “smash it”, you are trying to walk away from that memory or association.
    It is not about the glass, its never about the glass.

    David M

  8. pastmyshades says:

    From one pack-rat to another, I do know what you mean. I was literally telling Josh just the other night, my night stand is literally covered with nick-nack objects that have no value outside the emotional attachment I have to them. Off the top of my head I know I have a piece of sea glass, a batman movie mug, a fairly ordinary stone from the beach, my broken watch (has been broken for years), old half used skimboard wax, and some Gargoyle pogs. All junk. But anytime I see any of these objects they take me to a different time and place. Why is it so hard to let go sometimes?

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