A bag of water bottles behind the old truck in the driveway. That’s a pretty potent memory of mine from childhood, a black contractor size trash bag on the broken up rocky driveway filled with branded sip-top reusable water bottles. They were from my grandpa, the one that didn’t hate me when he was around. He brought them home from work one day and I thought it was the most fascinating fucking thing as a kid. I’d bring them to my friends and they all loved them just as much, I think kids just like to own things. This applies more so to kids with siblings, everything is shared and so anything that belongs to just them is a treasure.
I think a lot about everything that fascinated me to have, and how much impact that had on me. I think about the same for people that are in my life and it makes me curious what things they treasured that way.
I felt that way about my Gameboy too, a yellow orange Gameboy color, Pokémon Yellow edition loaded up and It was missing the back panel so my two double-A batteries were taped into the back so they’d stop falling out. I even once got a different game for it, being Pokémon Trading Card Game, the Gameboy edition. There’s a theme in the games I grew up on if you didn’t notice. The B button was sticky and it would leave imprints on my thumb from pressing down so hard for the Pokémon catching trick, but I thought that was hilarious.
Thanks uncle, I loved that thing more than anything when we were living at grandma’s house.
I think that my older brother felt that too, with his PS1, the fascination of owning something. It was just his but he let me think it was mine too because I was a little kid and he gave me a lot as a kid. More than I can ever really thank him for or make up to him. He and I played Spyro in our room on the little TV and took turns each time one of us died and then we would give up on that and switch to a Tony hawk game and we’d say we were going to switch every time we fell but sometimes he’d keep playing after his first or second fall. That was okay though, even if I whined about it a little in the moment, I was just being dramatic.
Thanks Tyler, you were my first best friend. You still are, and I’m so proud of you.
I sometimes wonder what the first thing my mom felt that for was, I’ll have to ask her sometime. The first thing that fascinated her just to own it, in the time that I’ve been around I’d say maybe it was her little taco bell chihuahuas. She had a couple of those little Gidget plushies that talked, she kept them on the bookshelf and she knew they were the funniest thing in the world to Tyler and I. She’s always been a collector, she collects her tea sets still, that everyone gets her as gifts and maybe she’s tired of them by now. She also collected those beady eyed little dolls that tortured me as a kid because I was allowed to watch Child’s Play a little too early. She collected some things from us too, our boxes where she keeps everything from when we were small. The giant safety pin from when everyone thought I’d be born “Alyssa” (Surprise!). One thing she collected that stuck out to me as a kid were candles we made her at Apple Hill. She never burned them and I didn’t get that when I was little, you gotta burn candles y’know? But now I get it.
I hope you still keep everything Mom, I love your collections and I love you.
My dad was never much of a collector and he’s pretty forgetful, which I got from him. So maybe there isn’t too much that I’d remember as a landmark item for him. I do remember though, he was quite a gadget guy. Meaning, when I was a kid, lots of the stuff we had around his house was labeled “As Seen On TV”. I remember the first thing he seemed pretty excited to show me was his slap chop, he was very excited to show me how it could get through whatever you put in there if you smack it hard enough. There was also the time he got those funny little circular pan inserts that made the “perfect circular egg” right there in the pan, he was adamant that these ones were “just like McDonald’s” and we’d have homemade sausage egg Mcmuffins anytime.
What a concept for 9 year old me, Mcmuffins anytime. I think he was always pretty proud of his dealer trophies too, five years with this company, ten years with this one, and I was proud of him for having them but I never really knew why as a kid. I think now his prized possessions are the photos of my younger brother. He’s taken thousands of them since he was born, probably damn near everyday of that kids life he gets a photo taken of him. That’s not a bad thing though, it’s something to look back on. I was never one for having my picture taken as a kid, or teenager for that matter. But who could blame me, I was in the wrong gender!
I’m sorry for not giving you more to look back on Dad, and we’ve definitely had more than our share of troubles. I do love you though, things are better now that we’ve had some conversations. Thanks for putting in the effort with me.
I reflect a lot on who I was as a kid, it’s a little bit of a dirty mirror because I don’t have the best memory. But I’ll always remember the things that fascinated me as a kid, and the things that seemed to do the same for the people that I love. There’s more people in my life to love now and I’ll probably ask them what did for them what my Gameboy and my Sam’s Club water bottles did for me.
I wouldn’t be me without the people that I love, thanks everyone.