Thursday, December 27, 2007

My handsome pocket watch

When I was in my early twenties I enjoyed spending time and money in antique stores. Many of the precious books I share with my children in our homeschool moments, today, were purchased during the years when I didn't realize how little money I had, and when I did not understand budgeting. If I saw a fascinating item on a shelf and it interested me or connected to me in some deep way (read below about how my clutter defines me), I just bought it. I have some tattered first grade readers that are, thankfully, intriguing my children as much as they always have me.

I remember one day when my mother went on a spree with me. I found and was observing a silver decorated pocket watch. I turned it in my hands and showed her the design of hunting dogs, the top winding style, and the handsome weight of it. As I caressed it and considered it, the face glass broke. I was committed. You cannot break something in an antique store without understanding the cost--that is, you pay up! So, I bought the pocket watch, then promptly took it to a jeweler for a new glass face. The jeweler was wise enough to place a high quality plastic face instead.

I really loved that watch. Part of my character at that time was a love for authentic old things that had a smell, a taste and a look of bygone days. I appreciated the Christopher Reeve movie, Somewhere In Time, as one of the most pleasant I'd seen. I wore silly French berets, and wrote longhand in paper journals for hours on end. I was a hopeless romantic! I dated the same, in fact, until it occurred to me that someone had to have their feet on the ground instead of head in the clouds! So, that sad relationship naturally and thankfully fell away. But I still had my pocket watch and my cloisonne, my cameo pin and my antique copies of Poe & Shakespeare.

Then I moved a few too many times and lost track of all the little bits and pieces. And I married a man with little sentimentality, and a lot of practicality.

So, it occurred to me a few days ago that I have a new pocket watch--

--my cell phone.

Oh, yes, it fits in the pocket, and when I want to know what time it is, I flip open its top to peek at the numbers presented there. It harkens back to that past relic, while also reaching out to the future communicator from old sci-fi--the original Star Trek.

How confused I am now. Talk about an identity crisis! What does it mean to live in today? Do I still adore the antiques, or do I crave the advances?

Pocket watch. Ha!

What they ought to do with that precious iPhone I am coveting, is produce some skins to fit that are three dimensional with images of hunting hounds and terrified foxes, of ladies with parasols and men in bowlers.

What they ought to do is embrace the new, while regarding the old. Hmmmm. Maybe there's a business idea there!

1 comment:

Jen S. said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE "Somewhere In Time." I want to cry just thinking about it!