A horrifying thing happened to me the other week. I went into a thrift store and saw a fabulous piece of yarn art for sale–you know, brightly colored flowers made out of yarn, on a lovely canvas, probably made by some Death Row inmate–and it was so me I was ready to plunk down virtually any amount of cash for it on the spot. Then I realized: That artwork WAS mine! I had donated it to the place to reduce clutter in my apartment! No wonder I fucking liked it–it’s something I had already owned and treasured for years!
I even remember a friend begging me to never get rid of that particular piece “because yarn art is something very special.” I knew that, but it was a little too bulky and I wanted a more streamlined decor, so I gave the thing away as if handing a child to the Nazis. Well, suddenly, it veritably sparkled–maybe they’d had it cleaned?–loudly crying out for me to buy it back. “Mommy, take me home!” every yarn daisy seemed to be screaming at me, tears running down those lovely petals. I was all set to do so when the shop clerk informed me the piece is now part of their permanent decor! It’s not for sale for any amount of moolah! They love it every bit as much as I did! Actually, more so, because they’ll never part with it to reduce clutter. They are much better parents!
Is this a familiar phenomenon–to want to buy back something you couldn’t wait to give away? Anyone else ever have this experience with art, objects, or boyfriends?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 21, 2008