Random Stuff and Why they Matter
So what should I add?
As the founder of Will 2 Click, I get that question frequently. Or better, people often share with me that they don’t have any valuable or important personal items to leave to family and friends.
So I thought I’d look at my own stuff and think about what personal items were important to me.
In a safe deposit box inaccessible since March, in a pale blue envelope scrawled with my father’s handwriting, is my grandmother's wedding band. The gold, now tarnished ring, is from her third, later marriage. The extra wide band and large ring size reflect her thickened fingers and arthritic knuckles.
I don’t remember much of her husband, Sam, except he was gentle and kind and had an endless supply of log-shaped candies that would cut the top of your mouth before you finished sucking on them. I do remember my grandmother smiling during this time, this sliver of happiness long overdue.
I also don’t remember why my father gave me this ring, given to him when my grandmother passed away 20 years ago.
I do think of what I’d do with the ring when the time was right. Wear it? It's too big to fit on my thumb. Make a pendant of it? I’m still not sure, so it sits resting peacefully in a 8x13 steel box at a TD Bank location.
I do know who I want to pass this on to. The right person, at the right time.
Jewelry accounts for 14% of items added.
A friend with the incessant ability to convince me to do ridiculously stupid things, cajoled me into attending a drawing class at the Cooper Union School of Continuing Education. The stress of being on time to a class held at a East Village public school, the anxiety of what I was leaving unfinished at work and the overall inability to draw a straight line, should have made the learning experience an intolerable and insufferable waste of time.
It was nothing like that. With patience, generosity and sensitivity of an angel, this instructor guided my hesitant hand to the cheap drawing paper. Week after week, lines and curves blended to create drawings that I never would have believed would extend from my charcoal stained fingers.
Our final class project was for each student to translate an oil painting into their own charcoal drawing. I selected an 18th (?) Century oil painting which resonated with me. The landscape included a sole figure carrying packages up a hill towards a cliffside town as storm clouds rolled in. The sea is dotted with tiny sailboats in the distance.
I preserved the small charcoal drawing in a glass frame and at a holiday party a friend of a friend offered me $500 for it. I passed.
I do know who I do want to pass this on to. The right person, at the right time.
Home Goods accounts for 57% of items listed.
Yeah, I got nothing here. In aggregate, the furniture I have would be costly to replace, but most of what I own is CraigsList-worthy at best. Pier 1, Pottery Barn, and Target helped me decorate my NYC apartment and I can’t say I’m too fond, or proud of stained dining room chairs, a scratched table or nicked coffee table. I do know that someone would benefit from this stuff, even if it is to post and sell on a neighborhood Whatsapp chat.
The right person, at the right time.
Furniture accounts for 19% of items listed.
I’ll probably never own a Chagall. I lost my pearl necklace. My laptop is older than Twitch and TikTock combined. But the things I do have are important, meaningful and/or valuable. I take comfort in knowing that I’ve matched these items I care about with the people I care about.