Monday, September 25, 2006

The Things We Keep

Now that I'm a dad myself it's probably not an issue because in procreating I "proved" my masculinity, but I'm sure at one point in my life I was somewhat of an embarrassment to my dad in being an athletically declined nerd with a too sensitive emotional side that was always gushing. I kept a special cigar box from late childhood into early adulthood in which I put various mementos from my growing up. When I outgrew the cigar box my mom bought me a sewing box to replace it. Dad must've loved that! Into the box went the obituaries of my great aunts and uncles, and later my grandparents - wedding announcements as my cousins tied the knot one by one, tickets from ball games that my dad took me to, and other sorts of keepsakes that would be meaningless to anyone but me. I still have that box. I still look in it from time to time to wallow in the bits and pieces of my youth that I captured there inside.

This is one of the items in it.

It's the ring from the condom I used the first time Dee and I made love in the autumn of '82. When I got home that night after we did it on her dorm bed - even then I knew that I'd just experienced something that would shape and change the course of the rest of my life. I carefully trimmed and then laminated the ring, and put it tenderly into the box. Sure, it's weird that I kept it. Maybe even somewhat disgusting. But it's a treasure to me as sure as the white gold band I wear on my hand because of what it symbolizes. It reminds me in a tangible way that when Dee and I took off our clothes that night and gave to each other our bodies, we exchanged parts of our souls as well. We hadn't spoken of marriage yet, but we didn't need to. Each of us knew when we were joined together that we'd found the missing pieces of ourselves in the other - the missing pieces for which we'd searched all our lives in order to feel complete.

If one day they ornament my bier with symbols of my life, I wouldn't mind at all if this ring were among the tokens of my personhood. It marks the biggest rite of passage of my entire life - the day on which I first knew love in its deepest, most consuming form, and knew with all my heart that if I didn't keep it I would never feel complete again.
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Anonymous said...

I don't think it's weird at all. In a way it's even romantic. Something hit you so hard that you felt the need to capture it forever in that special box of yours.
I think it's wonderful.
I hope you have many more additions to your memory box.

SemperSexualis said...

It's kind of weird. But in a more personal way... very cool. Very romantic.

this girl said...

two hand pics in a row??? There IS a God!!

And, on a side-more-serious note, i'm so glad to see you coming (grin) back to 'normal'
this girl

Mac said...

I knew you'd be back with us Joe. Glad you're better.

Sheen V said...

Its good to hear that you are feeling better. And don't worry too much about collecting things - almost all boys do this at some point growing up.

Rosie said...

It's incredibly sweet that you kept the 'ring.' And the picture showing both rings show just how speical you regard both.

AlwaysArousedGirl said...

It is sweet that you kept it. And it doesn't much look like a condom ring, does it? So no one will be weirded out when they see it on your bier, right?


Cheri said...

That is amazing, as if you had insight to your future with Dee. Love the pix, love the two truly know how to capture a pix

Buttpluglover said...

i haven't been here in a while, but I wanted you to know that i love the new page layout and header. much improved.

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty cool keepsake!!!