It's About the Experience
Yesterday my friend gave me a T-shirt. It was for his band. I've been friends with this guy for close to 20 years, and we hang out on a very regular basis, but I was still excited to receive this free T-shirt.
It didn't have anything special about it. Sure, it has a neat design, but it's not like some big-name artist gave me this gift. It's not even that great of a band. (I'm kidding. It's pretty good.)
Then I started thinking. The band is taking the T-shirts as exclusive merchandise for its upcoming European tour, and it clicked—that's why it resonated with me. I had something attached to an experience, even though I hadn't experienced it (and Iwon't even get to). But it made me think about how promotional items can carry so much emotional meaning.
Just last week, my dad came to visit. He recently had gotten back from a trip to California for work, and had given me a hat he bought at a golf course where he played. Once again, I have never been to this golf course (yet), so I didn't have any real attachment to it. Heck, I didn't know it existed until last week. But now this hat is something that I'll hold on to for a long time, because of the experience attached to it.
In a couple weeks, I'm going to visit a friend in Colorado. Aside from daydreaming about the mountain hikes and breathtaking views I'll get to experience (and how I could potentially have to fight off mountain lions), I also have been thinking about what kind of souvenir I'll bring home, maybe a keychain from the airport, a T-shirt from downtown Denver. Who knows? But whatever it is, I know I'll hold on to it for a while—just like I have with my shot glass from Las Vegas, my refrigerator magnet from San Juan, my Outer Banks can cooler and my "Bonjour" T-shirt from Montreal—and remember a fun time.
Maybe I'm just sentimental and easily amused by the simplest souvenirs, but it's really fascinating how sometimes the simplest items can carry so much emotional weight.
(Also, if any readers in the Denver-Colorado Springs area have any suggestions for hikes/advice for fighting off mountain lions, I'm all ears.)