The last few weeks of packing up our old house to move, we began to give stuff away, and throw stuff away in a manic fury. But for several months before that, The Skimmer and I would argue about not giving or throwing away anything. He being the one who'd want to do it; me being the one who over my dead body would we ever do it.
"Can we finally give this to Goodwill?"
"That's the box of my Grandma's hand-sewn linens! No!"
"We have been moving this box from place to place for 20 years. You've never even opened it! Get over it!"
When we moved into our new place, he watched as I unpacked something. He said, "What is that?!"
"Blue Kid made it."
"It's a rock!"
Since obviously it's so much more than just a rock, I didn't tell him that Blue Kid made the rock when he was six years old. I put it on the window ledge in the kitchen as The Skimmer struggled to carry the heavy box of my Grandma's linens to the basement where it will stay until we move again, and where it will move along with us again because in my new house I'm going to have fabulous dinner parties where I will use my Grandma's hand-sewn linens on the table and everyone will ooh and ah over them and I will stare across the table at The Skimmer as they do, silently laughing and making an I told you so face.
Because that's how my Grandma would want it.
"Boy, that was a refreshing Coke. I loved it so much, I hate to throw this can away."
"That was a nice birthday card from your Dad. But how could I have just thrown the envelope away so carelessly? His handwriting was on it!"
"What is this?!"
"That's the box of magazines and newspapers from when Princess Di and John Kennedy, Jr. died."
"Oh my God, I am trying to make room in this storage room! Can I throw them away?!"
"What are you ever going to do with them?!"
"I don't know!"
After work on Friday, we went shopping to get Blue Kid a bunch of stuff for the new house he just moved into. As we got out of the car The Skimmer picked up the cup of coffee that had been sitting in my coffee holder since Wednesday. He hoisted the styrofoam cup in the air and bellowed, "Can I throw this away? Or do you have special memories of it?"
I laughed and then thought, I do have special memories of it.
On my way to a meeting in Cleveland last Wednesday, I stopped to get gas. I was the only customer at the station that was the only station in the middle of nowhere. The two employees working were out front, smoking cigarettes. Tight jeans, black t-shirts, rainbow-lensed, wraparound sunglasses. One had a black leather vest on. They didn't look like the type of girls who would save a box of magazines from when Princess Di died. They looked like the type who would roll up one of the magazines and beat me to death with it. The Skimmer would have loved them.
I was done pumping gas and ran inside to get a cup of coffee. One of the women walked over to the pump and grabbed my receipt. They both came into the station.
The platinum blonde handed me my receipt. "Here you go, honey."
"Thanks." And I handed her two dollars for the coffee.
"Aw, don't worry about it."
"Yeah, don't worry about it."
Surprised, I said, "How come?"
The other one said, in a sing-songy voice, "Cuz we're nice!"
"You are! Thank you! I'll do something nice for someone today, in your honor."
"Yeah, pay it forward, honey!"
I promised I would and as I walked to my car they both sort of yelled in their sing-songy voices, "Have a good day!"
"You guys, too!"
Those two were the highlight of my week.
The Skimmer tossed the styrofoam cup of coffee into the trash can outside of the store. As we went in to get Blue Kid's stuff, he said, "What else is he going to need?"
"Well, we've got to find that box of black dishes in the basement. The ones we bought when we first got married? I've been saving those for him ever since."
"Think they made the move?"
"I hope so."