It is funny how you can be attached to inanimate objects. I don’t get attached to too many, but when I do my attachment is real and voracious. I actually feel loyalty to some of my things. I had old enamel (remember those? They were usually blue with white speckles. Everyone’s mom had one.) I had a small one that I got from my Grandmother. It was a small roasting pot that would hold about a 2-pound pot roast.
I dropped it. The enamel chipped and had a small hole in the bottom. I loved that little roaster and didn’t want to buy a new one. So I put a small bolt thru the hole and a nut and a washer on the other side and tighten it up. Fixed! I use that roaster and it served me well for five additional years.
What happened after that you ask? Did it wear out? Did the bolt rust? Did I drop it again? Nay. Nay. Nay. I got married to Brunhilda. When Brunhilda and I moved to the house in which we were going to live, (she moved from a different town and state and my “bachelor pad” wasn’t big enough), we were unpacking what would go into the kitchen.
We unpacked my little roaster and when she saw the bolt sticking out, it was like I was handing her a plate of rat turds. We had an argument about the roaster, I was telling her that the roaster still worked fine and I had prepared many meals with it. She argued that a group of hoboes would have thrown it away years ago and she would not cook a meal in that roaster. It was an argument of form over substance.
I set it down on the counter hoping that Brunhilda would see the error of her ways and would relent because that was something that I was obviously attached to. Two days later I discovered in the trash can that we keep in the alley for pickup. I picked up intending to bring it in the house prepared for another round with Brunhilda. At the bottom of the roaster, she had taped a note saying: “Don’t You Dare!”
Brunhilda won that battle. But that was nothing like the battle of wills that was coming when Brunhilda tried to throw my football watching chair out. I will freely admit that it is not a pretty chair. It is mustard yellow, overstuffed, with a back that goes clear up the neck. The arms are massive and come right out of the back, so you have to have your arms at shoulder height to rest them. It is massive enough to hold a bag of chips, a full beer, and three or four empties. It matches nothing I have ever seen, but I don’t care, because it is comfortable and has been with me for eleven NFL seasons and once held me comfortably through nine straight hours of bowl games on a single New Years Day. On top of that, it is upstairs, a place where Brunhilda rarely goes. What is her problem!
“It has got to go, Doug.”
“What?? The chair? Impossible!”
“It as ugly as nine miles of bad road.”
“The only place it would look like it belonged, is at a beach, in low tide.”
“What about character? Doesn’t that count for something?”
“The only character that chair has is when you’re sitting in it.”
“What memories! Do you see this stain here? That was from a spilled coke when Montana hit Clark with a touchdown pass to clinch the Super Bowl!”
“And look here, see that small rip? That was when I fight broke and both benches emptied during the Yankee – Boston play-offs!
“And this discolored area here, do you see it?”
(Sarcastically) “How could one miss it? it is painfully apparent to even the most casual observer.”
“Tarkentons pass to Rashod against Green Bay. And look at this bean dip stain.
“You mean the one with the active mold culture?”
“Larry Bird’s winning shot against the Lakers.”
“It’s still ugly and I won’t have in my house.”
“What about as a reading chair in the bedroom.”
And so it went. But if you readers think that I weakened or sold out just because of a little resistance, well think again. They don’t call me Determined Doug for nothing.
I am still using the chair! In fact, you can drop by tonight and I will be reading the paper in my yellow sports chair. Just as big as you please . . . outside. . . in the alley . . . next to the garbage cans.