Things

My sister called.

"How's the cleaning going?" She can't come help - she's more or less banned, and no one really trusts her. From my perspective, she's like inviting a little black rain cloud over. One that'll hit you up for cash.

"It's fine," I said. "As good as can be expected."

"If you're throwing stuff out, I'll take the Egg Chair."

There it is. It's the second reference since I've been here. I blame myself for expecting subtlety. It's never happened before, so I don't know why it would happen now.

My family is fixated with things. Once, when I was visiting my grandmother, just months before she passed away, I was sitting at her bedside, having a great conversation about when I'd stayed with her as a child. My uncle appeared at the door and asked - interrupting the conversation - gestured at the things in the room and said, "What would you like?"

"Just more conversation, thanks," I replied. "And maybe a Coke.".

The other evening, visiting my mother, she informed me my younger brother wants the portraits of our grandparents. I didn't know what to say. Evidently, she expected a fight.

"They're just things," I said. "Let him have them."

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bitternsweet said...

Have you watched the French film, Summer Hours? I just watched it this week: all about how families deal with things, get caught up with things.

The point: it's people, not things, no?

June 11, 2010 at 8:51 PM
profacero said...

Oh, a good French film on this, that's a great idea, they're sophisticated on this kind of issue. You watch and then realize there isn't a right way to do it and that everyone is fallible and that it is normal. It's reassuring. I will try to see this film. http://beta.rottentomatoes.com/m/summer_hours/

June 12, 2010 at 1:04 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

I haven't seen the film, though I'll add it to my Netflix list once I'm back. You did inspire me to think about film in relation to this, albeit in a much nerdier way.

June 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM