#397 All I want for Christmas is … (15)

… a great big box, apparently. The conversation with The Mister began something like this.

“So, there is something I found that I would like for my future craft room to and in the meantime I want to store it, and I don’t want you to laugh at me, ok? I’m sick, so humour me please.”

“With a preface like that, I can make no promises about laughter, but I promise to *try*.”

“Ok, it’s an antique wooden trunk.”

“So…. you want a box?”

“It’s not just a box! It’s an actual TRUNK! Like the kind they use to pack in Pride & Prejudice!”

“Right, well, far be it from me to stand between you and a box. I’m not that brave.”

This is a long-running joke between us. The truth is I might have a bit of an obsession with boxes. Wooden boxes in particular, but frankly any sort of interesting container. Ornamental, utilitarian, organisational, what can I say? I’m an addict. Ok, it might even be slightly worse than that. I might actually be a bit of a compulsive hoarder. I could describe any number of examples as to why there isn’t any sort of container in the house that my husband would deign to throw away before first checking with me. After many years of marriage he’s learned to deftly avoid this pitfall.

A part of this impulse comes from a desire to be organised. I may not always actually succeed, but I have an incurable obsession to pack stuff neatly or compactly. I love compartmentalising and organising things. Honestly, I knew I was going to marry my husband when he first visited my home in the US, peeked inside my filing cabinet, and didn’t immediately run for the hills (hint: the folders were alphabetised).

Another part comes from many, many, many years of having a semi-transient life style. When you go to boarding school and college far from home, you spend a lot of your life packing and unpacking. You also spend a lot of your time trying to fit all your stuff into small dorm rooms, narrow closets, under beds, and any other space you can creatively utilise. That doesn’t stop after your final graduation. You simply move up to tiny apartments with shoe box bedrooms and awkward kitchens. Not only that, but I moved abroad, continuing the need to be able to pack my life into a suitcase.

Now, you would think that by the time we spent eight years in our last apartment, I might have surrendered some of that innate desire to be easily “packable” but, you’d be wrong. I mean, I always knew that we would move some day, I just didn’t know when. So I often kept boxes from the larger or more awkward items or smaller, fragile ones, storing them above the kitchen presses, nestling them as best as I could. Two things emerged from this when we bought our house: I may have gloated, just a little, when I was packing the kitchen and whipped out the box from our ceramic ware with the internal packing material still there. Things just stack easier when they’re in boxes, so I was able to pack our kettle, our pillows, numerous bits of kitchenware and more into their original boxes. Furthermore I had a large collection of smaller boxes I smugly donated to my husband for his collection of miniatures.

But when we began unpacking, I knew this time was going to be different from all the times I’ve unpacked before. This is our house now, so I looked at The Mister, took a deep breath, and told him that I was going to get rid of all the cardboard boxes I had accumulated after they were unpacked. Bless him, he didn’t laugh at me. He knew it was a significant moment.

In the end, I kept a small handful of boxes from the crystal and a couple of decorative fragile items that I may or may not keep displayed and which I may want to be able to store safely. But I did get rid of about 95% of all my boxes.

Of course, this doesn’t include all the other boxes we have – jewelry boxes, SAMLA crates from IKEA, document storage boxes, etc. They are all being used. I particularly have a fondness for quality wooden creations, and this is why there is now a large antique wooden trunk in our living room.

It was an item someone was giving away for free and I was lucky to be first in line. I know it can become a restoration project later. It is actually perfectly sized for a coffee table. And once our attic is insulated it would be just as useful storing items if we need to keep it out of the way for a while. Someday in the future, I want to have my own little nook for my crafts and hobbies and that is where I see it ending up eventually. In the meantime, because he loves me and because he knows me so well, The Mister put up with god awful city centre traffic to collect it for me and is prepared to suffer its presence in our life.

Also, as a bonus, I figure my brother is going to be wildly jealous as this is just as cool as the vintage barrel he has in his house that acts as a little side table.

Right now, it’s also going to be hiding all the kiddie Christmas presents for another week. Aaaand we may also have told Hawkeye that it was where naughty boys went. For some reason, he was strangely reluctant to climb inside when I suggested it afterward for the shot. Almost like he wasn’t quite sure if if we were serious or not. Mwahahahahaha!

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