Useful Souvenirs

This past week has been a hectic bout of vacation. I’ve missed three days of blogging. Something I’ll have to plan on for my next trip. That’s not what I want to discuss today, as I recover from my trip. Rather, I’d like to discuss something I did that I don’t normally do. I bought a souvenir. Two of them, actually. A pair of turtles with wobbly extremities. A small one, given the name Wiggler by my girlfriend for fairly obvious reasons, and a big one, named Biggler by myself to create a sense of uniformity. This is unusual because I don’t tend to buy “useless” souvenirs.

I buy souvenirs because they’re reminders of good times and good feelings. Something we need to be reminded of every once in a while. I’m not huge on collecting things that only have one function. So typically these things have multiple uses to them. Usually, I buy a t-shirt. In fact, at the same gift shop I bought a shirt as well. I’m also going through a project to create a quilted blanket from the scattered remnants of old souvenir t-shirts that no longer fit. I’m turning older, no longer useful souvenirs back into  a useful and happy item.

My favorite useful souvenir has to be a pair of nail clippers from France. When I lived in France my parents and I visited the town of Mont Saint-Michel. I loved it. It’s a castle town on a small island in Normandy France. It was a magical adventure for me. Stores dedicated to medieval armaments lined the streets. I was allowed to purchase no weapons or armor. The tiny rented Clio probably wouldn’t have been able to hold any of that merchandise. There was a fantastic monastery that rested at the very top of the town. It overlooked everything. Throughout the whole day, I never once found a single souvenir that I really wanted. I left what was essentially a tourist trap, but was also one of my favorite places in France, empty handed. A month later we were walking through the streets of Paris when we turned down a side street. The street was empty except for a single vendor selling France related memorabilia. The woman looked like something straight out of a fairy tale and the goods she sold were just as magical. Flags, spoons, and what I settled upon, a pair of nail clippers, made in Korea, emblazoned with a French flag and gold line drawing of Mont Saint-Michel, and purchased in Paris. All these years later, they are still sharp, still useful.

Now, I’m going to go wiggle Biggler and magnify Wiggler.


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