Moving in together is weird. Relationship semantics aside, just the physical act of combining two people’s things is a feat in and of itself. I feel like George Carlin put it best:
Now the missus and I have been living together for almost five months now. Her stuff and my stuff have happily melded together to become our stuff. But because we took over her grandparents’ house, there’s also a lot of residual stuff left over from them too. Some of it was useful: her grandfather had a massive collection of tools, most of them in great working condition. Some of it was clearly old and meant to be disposed of: Like that 1970’s vacuum cleaner with the millions of broken attachments, or the lamp that was more rust than lamp.
But there was one thing that simply could not be touched– The plates.
Her grandmother had amassed quite the collection of plates of the years. Serving platters from the nearby Chinese restaurant the family loved to frequent. Dishes brought home all the way from Japan. The little cat bowl grandma used to serve my girlfriend as a kid. Each dish has its own unique history and story.
But I don’t know any of these stories. All I know is I have a cabinet full of plates. Some of them will blow up the microwave because they have gold flecks inlayed in the edges. Some of them may contain lead. None of them stack, because this mismatched menagerie of dishware is amassed from so many different sources. So our cabinets are full of a Dr. Seuss-ian dystopian toppling towers of dishware.
Now I can’t get rid of any of the dishes. But I can… disappear some of them. I am taller than my girlfriend by about three inches and we have one particular shelf that is waaaay up there where where only cobwebs and a rogue cat hangs out. And ever so slowly, week by week I hide a dish up there.
In a way, I’m preserving them. Like the Monument’s Men saving priceless artwork from the clutches of evil Nazis, I am saving her grandparent’s dishes from the inevitability of gravity, chipped corners, and explosions… all of which I am prone.
So I’m a hero. A hero of plates. Until that day she cleans up there and finds them all again. And I’m back to square one. But boy can I dream.