Sage Advice 87: Getting Sentimental

People are able to infuse all kinds of meaning into seemingly meaningless material objects. One minute the concrete dog statue playing a banjo that keeps your front door propped open is just a chunk of rock that you accidentally kick when you walk into your house and the next it’s a symbolic artifact representing a time when your wife didn’t lock you out of your own house because you told her about your true feelings for the postman the other day. Symbolism can be complicated.

I’ve never been able to maintain sentiment with material objects; injecting ideas and emotions into a physical object has never come naturally for me. I’ve conveniently convinced myself that it’s because I consider the feelings and ideas behind those sentiments as being far more important than any possession you could connect to them, thus I try to let memories carry sentiment for me, stashing them into the neglected crevices of my mind like some would leave a love letter in shoebox, collecting dust in a closet.

That’s not true though. The real reason I don’t hold the material to sentimental standards is because I’m completely convinced that all objects are trying to kill me. Think about it. What kills more people than anything (except maybe cancer and heart disease and distressed mother goats)? Things. Things murder the shit out of people like it’s no big deal.

Buses, rocks, bullets, woodchips, glass, gold nuggets you find in your basement, bright yellow polyester gloves, string, horseshoes, any pointy rock, your Dale Earnhardt collector Dr. Pepper cans, pictures of Ryan Gosling taken with a Polaroid camera, Polaroid cameras. That’s just a small list of the ridiculous number of things that could murder you on a moment’s notice.

I’ve never been one to spread paranoia and fear through intimidation, but if you really think letting a thing represent a feeling will stop it from murdering someone, you’re basically a terrorist. Try looking at that stuffed teddy bear your mom gave you when you were an infant in the same light after being told that. You won’t be able to.


-Matthew Fugere



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