When the Pants Wearing Family left Boston, we didn't actually have a house or apartment waiting for us. Instead we moved into Wife's parents' house, where Wife insisted we live in her old bedroom. Obviously a certain amount of decluttering was involved - Luke Perry posters trashed, bus notes from old boyfriends tossed into a pile and ritualistically set aflame - which reawakened all kinds of Wife's memories and experiences.
"Hey, there's my Grateful Dead concert ticket! That was a great show...I think."
"Do I have to throw Luke away? Look at those eyes, that hair, those tight jeans...here, I'll just put him by my pillow, you won't even see him. It. The picture. Not Luke Perry, obviously, ha ha! He's not actually here. But if I wish it, with all my heart...what? No, I said I was fishing for, um, a dart. Yeah, I had this dartboard, and I lost a dart, and now that I'm cleaning my room, I'm looking for it. Like fishing. But no pole. I love you Lu- Pants Wearer!"
One hidden treasure was truly unique, dare I say more unique than the rest of Wife's collected doodads: her eraser collection, stored lovingly and carefully in a set of tiny plastic drawers on top of her bureau. Needless to say, this discovery prompted several questions. Here, then, for your edification, the Eraser Interview:
Pants Wearer: So, why erasers?
Wife: I don't know, I guess cause it was different than other people, who did stamps, or stickers, or whatever. Those are dumb. Erasers are much cooler. What? You know they are. Don't make that face. They are so cool.
P: I didn't say anything. So how many erasers are there, exactly?
W: I don't remember (walks to the shelves). Wow, I DO have a lot. Over 30, easy. And not boring old red ones, for math homework. Boooo, math!
P: Absolutely. What do you mean boring?
W: For example, look at this moose. It's a moose! How much fun is it to bring that out in class?
P: I honestly wouldn't know. But it doesn't look like you used it.
W: Of course I didn't use it, that would kill its value.
P: It's trading value?
W: Yup. Who wants a nasty old moose, streaked with black graphite? Gross! Ooooh, check this one out, it's a piece of coal! Or this one - would you like a rubber cookie? It's delicious!
P: I didn't think it was possible to have this much fun with erasers.
W: Well, not all of them. Look at this stupid sailboat. Blah.
Suddenly Wife's eyes lit up, as she reached for a drawer. Slowly bringing it out, she carefully carried it over to me, and presented her most precious eraser.
W: Look at this...isn't she gorgeous?
P: Is that a Cabbage Patch doll?
W: Uh, yeah (rolls her eyes). Not only that, she's exactly like my Cabbage Patch doll! Hair, and clothes, and everything!
P: That is...special.
W: She gets her own drawer, because I know how to take care of my erasers. See this one?
P: Is that a gun?
W: It used to be, before Brother T ruined it. He used it, like, every day. And now look at it. Yuck. Look! I could serve a whole eraser meal! Strawberries, a hamburger, lollipop... this is so fun! What other cool stuff do I have in here?
And on it went. More revelations about Wife's past, including her time as a bouncer, and her summer as a maker of fine jellies, and maybe some other ones that actually happened, came out as we made our way through the rest of her room. But knowing what I know now, about Wife, and her erasers...I'm just glad she doesn't know about my collection of ceramic bunnies.
I'll tell her, eventually. When she's ready.