Why is it that a museum quality lamp can elicit a ho hum reaction, but the avocado green one with a dented shade from the time your sister threw it at you is a priceless and treasured heirloom? Such is the power of family stuff.
If the notion of inheriting that lamp or the notion of having to get rid of it both inspire you with dread, read this article in the New York Times
about how to handle heirlooms. Although the tone of the article is
humorous, Ms. Wadler has some good ideas about this touchy subject. I
particularly like #6:
“6. Accepting a piece too big for your
apartment because one day you will have a country house is like buying
pants three sizes too small because one day you will lose 20 pounds.”
grandparents were very practical people and they asked everyone to tell
them what items they wanted to inherit. I couldn’t do it at first
because I hated to think of them dying and it seemed so cold to lay
claim to things before they died. But eventually I got a kick out of
knowing the kitchen clock would one day be mine. It still has the piece
of masking tape on the back with my name written on it just so no one
would forget it was mine.
[Winner of Ugly Lamp contest from merfam’s photostream]