Are architects sentimental as a stereotype? What about men? I only ask because I am both and I am trying to decide if I am safely within the school or am I swimming against the current. I’m not terribly sentimental on the whole and I don’t have a lot of clutter in my life. There are very few things that I find precious and I generally don’t keep mementos of places I’ve been, things I’ve done or people I’ve met.
Inner Bob: Hold on a minute Mr. McBigfatliarpants! You do too! You have all that sort of stuff!
Me: What are you talking about. I go places and see all sorts of things and I don’t buy stuff to remind me of my trip. I don’t think taking photos counts either before you try pulling that one on me.
Inner Bob: What about … (using inner-inner voice, looking around at the space between my ears and seeing nothing) … the BOX?
Me: Hey hey hey!! You know your not suppose to mention the (whispering and spelling) B O X – besides, that’s for when I have been shipped off to some home and I need to remember that people used to like me.
Inner Bob: Yeah – that’s the purpose of everyone’s BOX. You aren’t the only one who has one.
Okay, I’ll admit it – I have a box and it’s a nice box –
- It’s leather
- It’s perfectly square
- The lid is attached to the bottom part and hinged
- The interior is lined
Just the sort of box an architect would have (a testament to my wife’s attention to details since she is the one who got it for me in the first place).
The question is – what do I put in there? Is there some sort of criteria, some undefinable aspect to a thing that either makes it worthy of keeping or not? Is it dependent on the size of the box? Eventually, you either run out of space or you have to get another box. What makes the cut? Is it first come first served (saved) until it’s full and then sayonara to the mementos of my late 40’s and beyond?
I don’t readily know the answer to any of these questions, which is probably why I’m not terribly sentimental in the first place. I suppose this is because I am either:
- emotionally lazy (that would be the “man” part I alluded to in the opening sentence), or
- I feel a need to not have unnecessary clutter (… that would be the architect part).
My initial response when I heard the question “What are you carrying?” was “… a bunch of crap.”
So why can’t I throw this stuff away? Is it possible that I kept these things thinking that when I was older, this would be the evidence my child would have that her Dad was more than just her Dad? While I am not terribly old, the origins of my collection pre-date the common man’s Internet. Now I know that my daughter can do a search on her old man and find somewhere around 200,000 links, not to mention that she will have access to every post I have ever written from this site.
So why keep it? What could be in there?
Actually, that stuff is pretty important. 31 hernia inducing pounds of letters, cards, diplomas, diaries, datebooks, photos … I think I need another box.