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Are You An Antique?

So this happened. The other day I went into an antique mall looking for a lamp. The store was one of those where everything is divided up into consignment spaces.

After about a half hour, I found myself in a hallway looking at paintings and pictures. I turned around and boom! There I was! I stood staring in disbelief at myself on the wall. No, it wasn’t a mirror. There before my eyes was me as a young child.

My father passed away a couple of years ago, and among the "legacies" he left me were eight full-size moving containers, the big ones, full of stuff. I’m not kidding. He was a world-class hoarder, one of the best.

I’m sure he felt the mass of contents inside these eight pods was totally worth the monthly storage fees he was paying all those years. The reality was quite different. The vast majority of it would end up being donated, recycled, or sadly, sent to the landfill. Yet in amongst the chaos and clutter were a few interesting tidbits.

One was a pastel portrait of me that my grandparents had commissioned when I was around two or three years of age.

I plucked it from the mess and brought it home for a while, though it wasn’t long before I decided against keeping it. The painting was a huge point of contention between my parents after their divorce. The associated memories I had of their arguments over who would get “custody” of it did not bring me any pleasure.

So I donated it to a Goodwill drop-off center never expecting to see it again. But the universe has a sense of humor. And obviously, some local resellers saw a potential monetary value in the piece.

Finding myself for sale, displayed on the wall of the antique store was surprising, to say the least. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. How funny it all was. So much so that the charge I’d felt from all those lousy childhood memories was suddenly defused. I felt a release.

Now when I think about that portrait, all I do is smile, especially at the thought that someone might actually have me hanging on a wall in their home. How wonderfully weird. Everything always works out in the end.

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