I'm not much of a collector. Until recently I rarely took photos. I am more prone to purging than to hoarding, and I can count the number of sentimental items or trinkets I own on one hand: the very wise and lyrical (handwritten) letter that my dad gave me as I got on the plane to go to college for the first time, a small perfume bottle that my sister brought back for me from Cuba nearly fifteen years ago, an odd little ivory box adorned with several frogs that a friend of mine in elementary school gave me and one iconic (in my family at least) image of each of my parents.
They say that opposites attract, and in this realm that is most certainly the case with me and Paul. He is one of the more sentimental people that I've ever met, and as a result each and every item that he comes across is at some point considered very special. I used to find it charmingly amusing until I was cleaning out a large dresser a while back and came across piles and piles of letters and programs and photos gathered during his ten years living in London. It was wonderful to look through, and allowed me to get acquainted with the person he was before we met. And as he sorted through the stacks and stacks of paper, he was able to reminisce about some very good old days that might not have been quite so memorable were the visual aids not available. So I began to see his habit of collecting as the action of a wise, emotionally evolved person rather than as a quaint eccentricity.
Having seen the joy that going through his collection of tidbits brought us both, I began to see that collections of that sort really ought to be displayed such that consistent consumption is possible. So, as a birthday gift, I set out to put one of his larger collections, that of concert tickets, into a visually appealing form.
And I came up with this:
Four cheap frames,
filled to bursting with every ticket from every concert he's attended since he moved to the United States eight years ago.
They are currently displayed on our hall wall. Not only do I find them visually appealing, but I adore watching him walk past, pause, stare at a section for a moment and smile quietly in recognition and recollection of a particularly great gig.